I embraced Tootie’s ugly cry today.
I stood in line to pick up my dry cleaning as Frank Sinatra’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” pushed its way out of a radio on the back counter. Even from its tinny speakers, his croon seized me and I felt the tears swell up. I paid for my clothes and hurried outside lest they see me go into full out cry.
2016 has been a shit year, friends.
In 2016, the year of our lord, we don’t deserve Frank, and we definitely don’t deserve Judy.
I spent the past week trying to return to routines that felt strangely unnatural. I cleaned. I podcast. I watched hours of Great British Bake Off until my eyes turned glassy. And 15 seconds of Frank undid it all.
Because next year all of our troubles won’t be out of sight, friends. They are just beginning, and that is a hard truth to accept.
I love institutions. I love believing in democracy, in checks and balances. I love the idea of collective action. I damn near lose it when everyone stops to sing the national anthem at ball games. But somehow it feels like our system failed this time and that’s why I can’t believe we are here. We are supposed to be in a different place. We’re not supposed to still be debating whether women deserve equal rights, whether we should open our doors to those seeking refuge. We are supposed to be forging a path against climate change. We are supposed to be feeding millions of poor and curing diseases. We are supposed to be inventing great things we haven’t even imagined yet.
Instead, white supremacists are yelling “Hail Trump” in a federal building.
So for now, we have to be vigilant and we have to be persistent and we have to be loud because I’m not ready to give up on that future I imagined. We have to find the places where we’re going to keep pushing forward.
2016 was a shit year, friends, but next year we have a chance to begin better.