In my favorite movie, The Truman Show, the question is posed: How's it going to end? In this film, Truman Burbank has been living a life that has been completely televised to the world. Everyone in his life isn't real, they are actors and his life is basically one big lie. While watching the movie certain questions begin to appear: Will Truman escape this false reality? What if he never finds out? The constant thought is, how will this all come to end? What will happen to Truman? Will he find out that everyone has been lying to him?
Well, the debate on Tuesday, September 29th was a disaster of an evening and left us with many similar questions, to say the least. Go on to any social media platform and your feed is filled with commentary from the debate. Yes, that debate was hard to watch and yes, there are a few more to come. The debate left us all with the thoughts of: "How did we get here? What the hell is going to happen? What will happen to us? What if we are stuck?" A lot of emotions have continued to boil to the surface and I've decided I am going to feel the pain, the suck, and the shittyness of what is happening. I will feel all of this but, I won't sit in it. I know that this has been a hard few years and regardless of the outcome from the November 3rd election, there will be some more hard years to come. There are some things I am will do going forward.
1. Acknowledge what happened.
So, that was a rough 90 minutes. Actually, it has been a rough couple of years for a matter of fact. But yes, that debate, it happened. There was little talk about policy and change for a better tomorrow. There were a lot of attacks on the opposing candidate and disrespectful behavior happening. The amount of interrupting I saw was completely jaw-dropping. Then there was that moment that Trump refused to denounce white supremacists. That happened. So much, yet so little happened during those 90 minutes. I sat through it and I acknowledge that wasn't great and it won't be the last one I am going to sit through.
2. Understand it.
I understand that this is a product of years and years of politics and government. This isn't just dumb luck that we made it here. This is based on many confounding events and yes, it is sad to watch. The saddest part is that some of the events/comments that unfolded aren't new, they have been going on around us for years. The thing that is different now is that a lot more people are paying attention. I am going to digest and take to time to understand what I saw. I know who is the more upstanding, caring, charismatic candidate and I hope that others understand and see my point of view. I want to wholeheartedly understand why so many people believe in Trump. I want to know why they do what they do because many of those beliefs are hurting many different communities. I want to understand how there is so much hate, divide, and anger. I want to understand what I can do. I know I am going to vote. Additionally, I am applying to be a poll worker and I will do whatever else I can do because I understand the importance of civic engagement.
3. Remember that life doesn't have to continue on like this.
Life can look different. There is hope that we can change the outcome. So, how can we change the outcome? To start, we can show up and vote on November 3rd. We can mail in our ballots (or drop them off directly at a secure drop off point) to make our vote count. We can VOTE. The ending isn't written. The story might be a dark one but, it doesn't mean we can't light a match and make it a bit brighter. We can choose to make a more civil and just environment for all but, we have to SHOW that we want it. I can't just write about how angry and upset I am. I need to physically show what I am feeling and thinking by making my voice heard. Actions speak louder than words. I am going to show up.
The ending isn't written yet. We all have the power to write this new ending together and decide what it is going to look like. Before we give up, mope, or complain, think about the ending we want to see and continue fighting for it. Go out there and continue to make that vision become a reality. Much like Truman's story, how's it going to end?
**DO NOT FORGET TO REGISTER TO VOTE!**
Election Day is November 3rd.
If voting by mail: Request your ballot ASAP and try to send it on or before October 20th so it can get in on time (Mailing time varies depending on State)
For information go to vote.org on registration, vote by mail, election reminders, and more.
*The Truman Show (1998)