The morning of election day, I woke up early to register for classes. Just like any other Tuesday, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, went to therapy and grabbed some overpriced seasonal coffee on my way to school.
There was a current in the air that made me uneasy. On my morning commute I felt hyper-aware of the political markers around me: one Trump-Pence bumper sticker, one beat-up Obama-Biden bumper sticker and one H-arrow logo bumper sticker on the cars cruising down 281 South.
NPRâ€™s morning election coverage spoke of a â€œBlue Wall,â€ the theory that he faced an insurmountable challenge in preventing her from reaching 270 electoral college votes. Confident analysts denied any probability of the victory we would witness that evening. The â€œBlue Wallâ€ must have been built on a faulty foundation.
Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky read Walt Whitmanâ€™s poem â€œElection Day, November, 1884â€ on NPR. That election was defined by outrageous allegations and spiteful mudslinging.
I spent over six hours watching the votes pour in on live TV. It was 3 a.m. by the time I got home; I listened to his victory speech live on the radio, crying softly in my little blue car.
Today I am at a loss for words. But Solangeâ€™s masterpiece, â€œWeary,â€ puts into words what I struggle to:
â€œBut you know that a king is only a man / With flesh and bones, he bleeds just like you do / He said â€˜where does that leave you?â€™ / And, â€˜do you belong?â€™ / I do, I do.â€
I may not know much, but I know we all belong. And where we go from here is forward, together.
Sarah Haley is a senior theoretical economics and environmental policy double major with a minor in mathematics.