For a little context and in case you didn’t catch my blog post last week, I started this piece over two weeks ago. Back then the title was about the intense resentment and disappointment I felt with myself for graduating from yoga teacher training while remaining an uncertified Yoga Alliance registered teacher. That’s because I still have certification requirements to complete and a $725.00 tuition balance to pay off. I was trying to work my way through a pissy and negative state of mind about THAT when the election happened. Suddenly, sucking it up with grace and gratitude took on a whole new meaning and became what felt like an impossible fucking task.
I was devastated, livid, sick, and incredulous. I was profoundly hurt and disappointed in my country, in those who didn’t bother to vote and in particular with those who voted for a third party candidate. Something that still sticks in my craw because no matter how anyone tries to justify, explain or validate that action, the result and consequence of said action handed our country over to a reality star and questionable business man-child. Now we will have a Goddamned Cheeto-in-Chief in the White House. In the days following the election, I watched the uptick in racially motivated violence with despair. I read in horror about the stories of young girls and women being assaulted by young white males who now think it’s ok to grab a female’s pussy because our future Cheeto-in-Chief bragged about it and no one seemed to care. This country and many, many people who are part of my life said with their vote that racism, misogyny, xenophobia and bullying is what they prefer. That shit ain’t Politics folks, that’s personal. And now it’s become THE national agenda against people of color, immigrants, Muslims, LBGTQ, and women.
Election night I was crying in bed, furious at so many people in my life and at this country. I was miserably contemplating how the hell I was going to deal with people who had deeply disappointed me. Then a funny thing happened. A brand new Hillary-supportive Facebook friend sent me a private message to thank me for accepting her friend request. She’d seen a post of mine in a private Facebook group and she had just moved to my area with her wife. We commiserated over the election results and I told her I had a lot of friends who are avid supporters of the Cheeto. I joked I was grateful California legalized marijuana because I thought 19-1/2 years of sobriety was enough since I’d need some mary jane to deal with a Cheeto Presidency. (for the record, I wasn’t sure I was kidding) That’s when she typed that it was funny I mentioned AA because she was really active in Alanon! I didn’t think it was possible but I actually laughed out loud as my head ached from crying. You see, this is how my Higher Power works in my life. When I’m thinking about using drugs and jettisoning friends, God places an Alanon person in my life to show me: 1) I don’t need to use or drink over this and 2) even if I lose some people from my life, there will be new people to add to it. It turns out my new friend likes yoga and hiking so we have tentative future plans to one day grab some tea/coffee and go hiking!
It was rough for several days, then I developed a disturbing new symptom along with existing symptoms that showed up more frequently which caused me to miss two days of work and to go see my Rheumatologist, who oversees my Lupus treatment and diagnosis. Let’s review then, I graduated from the yoga teacher training program but still have attendance requirements and a financial balance to pay off before becoming a certified registered yoga teacher, my country elected a reality television star President, I have a number of medical and health issues that currently has me treating with three different types of doctors, OH… I somehow developed a severe case of sciatica in the past week that is truly excruciating and I was expected to celebrate 20 years of sobriety this week. All the while showing up to my full-time, cluster-fuck of a multi-tasking job, my yoga attendance requirements, and my 12 step meetings.
Let’s get to the grace and gratitude aspect of sucking it up, shall we? I may not be a certified, registered yoga teacher yet, BUT, my ass made it through the training program without missing any classes or assignments while working full-time. I am qualified to teach community classes for free through my yoga studio until I am certified, at which time I will be paid for teaching. My amazing best friend, Dawny, came up with a fabulous fundraiser that brought me $521.10, so my yoga school balance is down to a manageable $200 and I am chipping away at certification requirements. Yes, my Lupus and other medical issues are cropping up. For now, I am employed with good health insurance to help me treat and resolve what ails me. I showed up to a meeting and celebrated 20 years of sobriety last night.
As for the election and the call to “unite” and “come together” as a nation, sucking it up with grace and gratitude may not look like you think because I’m not uniting with hate, racism, misogyny, xenophobia or coming together with a Cheeto-in-Chief. I aim to speak up, protest, march and donate time, energy and money to organizations and causes that will help us deal with what is to come. I aim to misbehave. This is me with time to breathe, reflect and process some of this. I’ve made peace with people’s choices and I haven’t lost any real friends so far.