Choose To Rise


By Jillian Stacia

I shouldn’t be writing this.

One of my favorite writers, Nadia Bolz-Weber, says that we write from our battle scars, not our open gaping wounds. When you write from that place of pain and vulnerability, your writing is seen as weak and fragile and needy. Things need to be sorted, processed and analyzed before we share them. Share when you have a lesson, when you run your experience through a sieve and find the nugget of gold. Share when your pain has a clear purpose.

But today, I am writing from my open gaping wound. Because there is no time to process. There is no time to analyze and dig for gold. There is only this feeling of heartbreak and utter despair and the simple and impossible question of what to do next.

I know what I want to. I want to stay in bed. I want to keep crying. My heart is broken into tiny pieces and I want to scream and hit my fists against the wall and ask why this is happening. I want to stay in bed. I want to take a literal and figurative knee. I want to move to fucking Canada.

But I can’t. I have to get up.

We have to get up.

We have to show up. For ourselves and for our people. In whatever that looks like for you.

Maybe you have to tell your children that the woman you promised would be President won’t be after all. Maybe you have to go to work and suffer through your day with puffy eyes. Maybe you have to write from a gaping open wound.

Whatever it is, you have to do it. You have to show up. You have to do the work. That’s what nasty women do. That’s what Hillary does. We never, ever quit. When there is work to be done, we show up. With broken hearts and puffy eyes and shattered spirits. We show up. We rise.

And it’s difficult. It’s so unbelievably difficult. There was a moment this morning when I was just waking up, before reality hit. I felt safe and peaceful and happy. And then I remembered. I could feel the anxiety coursing through my system. I could literally feel my heart beating faster, my stomach tightening.

This is a painful thing we’re doing. This is a painful time we live in. It might be painful for a long time. Don’t feel ashamed for letting this affect you. Don’t feel silly for feeling so heartbroken. There is no shame in feeling disappointed. There is only shame in giving up.

Tend to your own garden today. Make your world brighter in any way you can. Smile at someone on the street. Hug your husband. Put on some uplifting music. Read poetry. Don’t engage in that Facebook post. Remember that we are good. Hold onto that goodness and spread it in every way you can.

I’ve said it before, this election is about more than who you are voting for. It is about who you choose to become. That’s truer now than ever. It’s easier to preach goodness and kindness and tolerance when you are on the winning side. It’s easy to not engage in hate when you are on top. It’s harder here, on the bottom. Here is where we show our stamina. Here is where we prove our mettle.

Yesterday, we made a choice. We voted for Hillary to become President.

Today, we make another choice. We choose who we become in the face of a Trump presidency. In some ways, this choice is even more important than the first. How we behave on a difficult road says more about our character than anything else.

We don’t have a choice in many things. But we can still choose how we react.

We can choose to move forward in love. We can choose to give others the benefit of the doubt. We can choose to get to work, to be resilient, to remember and believe and act like our country is good.

Because we are. There is still so much goodness left in this world. Remember that. Show off your goodness today, even if it is through tears. Show off your kindness. Behave in a way you are proud of. Hold your head up high and soldier on. There is work to do.

Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

{featured image via pexels

2 thoughts on “Choose To Rise

  1. unscriptedcafe says:

    I’m incredibly sad today, and still processing. I suspect this will take time, and I want to run, but I know that’s the cowardly way out. It’s hard today, and may be tomorrow and the next as well. It’s shocking, but together we are stronger.


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