Wednesday, January 20, 2021


 January 20, 2021

I anxiously held my breath today, and in fact have been doing so for the past four years.  Today, on this historic day, I finally exhale.  Today's inauguration was smooth, filled with decorum befitting the day, and inspiring.  I am thankful for the abundance of protections put in place to allow the ceremonies to proceed without incident.  In addition to restoring respectfulness to the Office of the Presidency, it cannot be overstated how empowering it is to see, finally, a powerful, intelligent, and driven woman take the oath of office beside the President as his Vice President, and to see representation of diverse members of our country up on the stage.

In just one of many inspiring moments today, Amanda Gorman took the stage as the youngest inaugural poet laureate.  Her message-- a moving call for moving forward--spoken with passion and poise, was beautifully and articulately delivered.  She moved me to tears.  She gave me hope. 

Today was everything I hoped it would be.  There is tough work ahead, and a long arduous journey toward undoing damage that has been done.  I am looking to you, Mr. President and Madam Vice President, to set the tone and lead the way.  The rest of us need to be willing to help get the work done.

It is time.  Exhale.  The new beginning is here.

Transitions Can Be Difficult

 January 19, 2021

Four years ago, a new president took office.  I wasn't happy about it, and honestly was still in shock about it, but it was happening. Though I was disappointed in the outcome of that election, and frankly more than a little frightened and worried about how the administration was going to face the challenge of being able to honor the respect and decorum expected of the office, I was not actually worried about safety on the day of the inauguration. On that day, four years ago, I was worried about our country's future, but I never for a moment was afraid of possible violence and insurgence on the actual day of swearing-in.  

Tomorrow is different. Four years of divisiveness sown in more concrete ways than I've ever seen in my lifetime came to a horrifying flashpoint two weeks ago with the attack on The Capitol.  The hatred inflamed by increasing encouragement of feelings of entitlement and outrage over perceived injustices has led to a thirst for violence and retribution.   Even people I know personally have posted incendiary comments on social media, still refusing to accept the results of the election and gleefully awaiting what they hope will be a hostile take-over on the world stage to keep their candidate in power.  It's like reading the pages of a dystopian novel, but we're seeing it unfold in real life, evidenced by the massive troops deployed to guard over the ceremony--a kind of militaristic preemptive show of might and power that has never before been deemed necessary in order to ensure the safety of the incoming administration.

I hope I am being overly worried, and tomorrow's inauguration will go smoothly, marking the beginning of a new era in our country.  Biden is not without faults, and I am sure I won't agree with every move.  I will continue to watch him and all those leaders who guide our country, and hold him accountable for steering the ship appropriately.  A party affiliation does not give someone a free pass, obviously.  Responsible citizens hold their elected officials to high standards, regardless of which party they belong to.  First and foremost, I expect the leaders of our country to be thoughtful, compassionate, responsive and respectful, and inclusive.  I expect to see humanity.  I have missed that in the past four years.  I only hope that when tomorrow comes, our new president will have the opportunity, without incident or impediment, to prove that he truly has the heart of country at the forefront of his priorities.  Tomorrow I will hold my breath as the President is sworn-in, hoping all precautions to avert any potential uprisings have been successful.  Then, slowly, collectively, it will be time to begin the healing this country desperately needs.  It will be a long, long road ahead.  Time to start the journey.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Worries...and Hopes

January 13, 2021

Every year at the beginning of the second semester, I do an activity with my students that's meant to bring us together as a community and highlight things we have in common.  We also don't always think about the fact that even the most put-together, seemingly happy people are often carrying around some pretty weighty hopes and fears.  It's a lesson in grace and empathy that's often very powerful.  I asked them to anonymously complete the sentences "I hope" and "I worry about". Then I read them out loud and just asked them to listen.  Here's a sample of  what they said: 

I worry about the well being of our country and how all this chaos will affect the future.

I worry that my elderly family members could get covid.

CurrI worry I  will not make myself proud.

I worry the pandemic is going to be prevalent for a lot longer than it has to because people refuse to follow guidelines. 

I worry I will "fail" to reach society's standard of success 

I worry life will never go back to the way it was. 

I worry when I go to school my social anxiety will get in the way of me having fun and enjoying my new friends and family

I worry I wont be able to let go toxic people and hold onto those emotions. 

I worry I  will soon be granted responsibility I won't be able to handle.

I’m worried of repeating my parents mistakes.

I worry m
y insecurities will make me fat, depressed, poor, and lonely like many adults I’ve seen in society. 

I worry I will let down my family if I do not become as successful as they want me to be.   

I worry 
all of the trauma, fear, anger, hate, loss, and grief of this year will hold us back from moving forward. 

I worry 
y parents wont trust or love me for being a part of the LGBTQ+ community.     

I worry I will never overcome the trauma of being physically assaulted.

I worry I am/will be a failure.


I hope to realize that my high-functioning anxiety and depression is a skill that I can use towards my future success; I have to look at it positively and make it become something great about me. 

I hope to have a "day one" mindset rather than "one day". I hope to be independent in all aspects of my life.

I hope 
I can move on from my past and become more free with myself. 

I hope that we get to go back to school soon.

I hope our world and country can heal from all the terrible things happening lately.

I hope that people will feel less alone. 

I hope when people see me they see Jesus in me and the light and love that comes from Him.

I hope our country can find peace.

I hope that I'll graduate as a better version of myself.

I hope that I will find someone to love me forever.

I hope that one day, people will stop bullying people, stop judging people based on their gender, race, or religion, and that our world will be a peaceful, happy place for everyone. 

I hope that I get into college and experience autonomy for the first real time in my soon to be young adult life. Also hopeful that I am able to learn more about myself in the process. 

I hope to find a good partner in my future relationships because all my family has had bad luck with men.

I hope that I find a friend. 

I hope I can be more honest with myself and those around me. 

It's a lot, the things these kids are carrying with them behind the scenes.  Whenever I hear people saying that teenagers are shallow, self-absorbed, or unaware, it makes me sad.  If that's what you think, you're just not taking the time to listen closely.