12 Days Down, 1450 to Go

It’s been almost two weeks since our government peacefully transitioned to a new administration. It’s been about 30 seconds since I’ve read a headline that knocked the wind out of me.

I’ve spent the past several days pouring over news articles, alerts and the ceaseless social media posts in response to all that has ravaged our nation this week. I do not know where to begin.

My emotional state resembles that of a goldfish I once accidentally dropped into the garbage disposal while cleaning the fish bowl — anxiety, inability to breathe, absolute disgust at my surroundings, waiting for someone to reach in and rescue me from the sheer terror of it all. Praying that no one will turn on the switch.

My dad actually rescued that fish — he stuck his hand right down the drain and plucked Kenny out of the mess. No blades, no guts, just immediate relief. After the incident, Kenny actually lived much longer than his roommates (Cartman, Kyle and Stan).

I don’t think that's going to work this time around.

I’ve been told to be less dramatic, to turn the TV off, to check out from the news updates and the Facebook messages. It’s going to help me decompress, or something.

The problem, however, is that I see checking out as a privilege — one I’m not willing to exercise.

“Four years isn’t going to be that long,” I’ve heard.

Tell that to refugees who are starving, to mothers dying from illegal abortions, to scientists who have been banned from tweeting about climate change, to protesters who were tear gassed at the inauguration, to gay kids who are being sent to conversion camps, to people living with terminal illnesses and disabilities who will be denied coverage, to women whose rapists have gone free.  

Tell it to teachers who have to show up every morning. Tell it to children whose parents will live on the other side of the wall. Tell it to innocent Muslims who are being slaughtered in a humanitarian crisis that we created.

I’m scared of Trump’s policies, I am enraged by every single Cabinet appointment and I am in disbelief that each day is worse than the last.

Even so, I’m not going to check out until everyone has the privilege of checking out.

I don’t care if I don’t sleep for the next four years. I do not care if I lose friends or if I get wrinkles in my 20s or if I go broke from donating to the ACLU.

I will never normalize this, I will never stop shouting the injustices from the rooftops. I will never stop fighting for what is right — or left, actually.

You shouldn’t either.