The First Wednesday Morning of Four Years*

2016 has been life changing to say the least. This time, last year, I had just started writing for my first internship, I had found a path that I felt passionate about and that would lead me to greater things. It has shown me that anything is possible and I can make change faster than I anticipated, I do not have to wait for another ten years, I can be writing and starting conversations that will lead to worldwide change and that is truly an amazing lesson to learn. That is looking at my life in the micro lens. And when I take a step back and widen my lens to a more macro version, I know that 2017 was life changing in ways that I did not see coming.

Making history is not always a good thing and waking up to a different world is not always what we expected. I think that everyone can remember the time that they first heard that our president elected was Donald Trump. I was sitting at the kitchen table scrolling through an iPad at the house where I was babysitting. I had just put the kids to bed and before Findley, who I was watching, fell asleep, her eyes lit up with hope and with anticipation that she would wake up and everything would be different, it would be somewhere where she would have a female president running her country. I at the time, had encouraged her and felt a wave of relief come over me because I saw in front of me, a strong generation and a new era of young girls who were interested and wanted to know more about what was happening in their country. It mattered to them. I tucked her into bed and quietly went downstairs awaiting the polls on an iPad and waiting for their parents to arrive.

When I realized Donald Trump won, a mix of emotions washed over me. A sense of sadness, nervousness, and a wake up call of the truth. In all honesty, I wasn’t surprised. I know that my living in Washington state gives me a privilege because the majority of our state is very progressive. I also know that there are people around the country that are do not believe in that and that is why I was not as shocked. When I went to school the next day, I remember the feeling of oppression and the feeling of hopelessness; an immediate awareness was at hand at it was changing the environment. Halfway through my classes, I walked to the courtyard with my good friend Laura who had been terrified because she is Mexican and her husband is in the army, she was worried that he would go to war or get deported to somewhere overseas. As we began walking, I remember feeling rebirthed. It was a different environment of professors and students all hopeful and all coming together no matter what race or gender or sexual orientation. It was then that I knew no matter what the circumstance, America is going to find a way to always find hope.

I recently heard this song of Macklemore’s titled, “Wednesday Morning”. It is a beautiful song of what he felt when him and his daughter felt realizing that Trump had won as he says, “When they build walls, we’ll build bridges, when they spread hate, we shine brilliant”. It goes on to explain that the thought of moving to Canada because of who was elected is not what we should be doing, “No time for apathy, no more tears and no complaining, gotta fight hard for the next four and what we’re faced with”

We are in a time of confusion, sadness, and wondering what to do in this critical time. I remember the hopeful face of Findley and I have a hard time trying to move on and think of a positive outcome. But, the silver lining of this election is that I can clearly see that we are being brought together. Like when Laura and I were standing in the courtyard with all of these people affected by this hard time. It has all bonded us and has definitely had an impact of what is important and what we need to do in the next four years. We cannot forget to be hopeful. We cannot forget to have faith. And we cannot forget that we are all human and we all deserve the same rights.

by Sophie Kautz

*This work is not by a Black or Latina woman, but pertains to The Bridge's mission.

Sophie Kautz