I’m sure I’m not alone in waking up this morning with a sense of deja vu.
I went to bed last night knowing that the world would have changed come the morning. That America would have it’s first ever woman President, or it would have Trump.
And I never really believed that the people of America would choose Trump. In the same way I never really believed that the people of the UK would choose Brexit.
I felt the same disbelief this morning as I did on that morning back in the Summer, when I realised that my little bubble that I exist in on social media and in real life, was just that. A bubble.
And that the people I interact with everyday, who talk about hope and tolerance, and peace and equality, are in fact in the minority. That we have somehow reached a point where anyone preaching the exact opposite of these values, can be elected into one of the most powerful positions in the world.
My disbelief was quickly overwhelmed by despair.
Trump is a man who doesn’t even believe in climate change, and the Republicans now have a majority in both the Senate and in Congress, meaning that he will find it far easier to implement his policies than Obama ever did.
As my kids came tumbling into our room and piled onto the bed with us, I resented their innocence, their complete lack of awareness that while they were sleeping the world had just shifted again. To a scarier place. To a place I am starting not to recognise.
And at that point, I will be honest, the despair felt pretty overwhelming.
I looked at them and all I could see was a point 30, 40, 50 years down the line, where climate change has taken hold, and they are looking at us, looking at me, incredulous that we did nothing to stop it. Asking us why, at the point when we had a chance to take action, to make a difference, we repeatedly made the wrong decisions, moved in the wrong direction.
And not for the first time, I had to fight the urge to curl up under the duvet and just give up.
I never really want to admit publicly that I feel overwhelmed, that it all feels hopeless sometimes, and that sometimes I think about giving up. I somehow feel like I should be this annoyingly optimistic cheerleader, waving my recycled pompoms and telling everyone it will all be ok.
But I think it’s important to recognise it. And to verbalise it. Because I can’t be the only one who feels like this sometimes. And what we need to do is to realise that it’s ok, that it’s normal and that we all feel like this sometimes. So that together we can support each other when we falter and when we start to despair.
But as I lay there in bed, with the kids play fighting, oblivious to any concerns bigger than what might be for breakfast, I knew that giving up wasn’t, and isn’t, an option.
If the world really is going to hell in a handcart, it’s not going there because of me and my actions.
Maybe this is what the world needs right now. Maybe the pendulum needs to swing so far one way, before it can begin it’s swing back again. And that the momentum it gains will be what we need to push us towards a brighter future.
So I think that rather than view this latest shift in the world political landscape as reason to despair and give up, we need to see it as our call to action. Our call to re-double our efforts, stop fanny-ing about, and to make our voices heard.
The thing I come back to again and again, in my mind, and here on this little blog, is that our actions matter. The choices we make every single day matter.
Each one of us has a voice. Each one of us has a choice. Each one of us has a vote. Each one of us has the potential to make the world a better place day. Everyday.
Now is the time.
Get informed. Get vocal. Make the best choices you can for the world you want to see, and for the world you want for your kids and grandkids.
At times like this, individual actions can seem meaningless, but all each of us can ever change is the actions that we take, the choices we make.
Now really is the time to be the change you want to see in the world.
So while today we might all need some time to cry, and to mourn a world we thought we knew, tomorrow we need to turn our attention to the world we want for future generations.
It’s time for a gentle revolution.