The Undeniable Ruth Rotating Header Image

Now What?

Grandpa Jim says you can do anything for six months. Let’s see if we can do four years.

Keep Looking Forward - Gorgeous photo by Peter Shankman

Keep Looking Forward – Gorgeous photo by Peter Shankman

This morning I woke up to see that our next President is Donald Trump – a narcissistic, misogynistic, bigoted liar who brags about sexually assaulting women is the next commander in chief. (To all my friends in the military, I’m sorry your new boss is a dick.) The worst part about this is over half the country voted for him. They wanted someone who is prejudice against women, people with disabilities, LGBT people, Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, and immigrants to be in charge.

How the fuck did this happen?

I didn’t think it was possible to feel worse than how I felt after Proposition 8 passed in California. Today I learned that I was wrong. I started today completely heartbroken. How is it possible that half the country hates me and many of the people I love? I wanted to give all my friends reassuring hugs and tell them that we’ll get through this. I also had the urge to buy a bulletproof vest and a paintball handgun because the world felt a lot less safe today.

As the initial wave of pain and fear began to subside, I had another thought: “Get busy living or get busy dying.” We’re stuck with this guy for the next four years (1,461 days). How much good can I do in that much time? What about you? If anything, these devastating results infused me with an angry energy that reminded me that I have an obligation to be the best version of myself. I’m not asking for anyone’s approval; I don’t need it. My gut feeling has never lead me astray, and I’m lucky to have amazing friends and mentors around me, to remind me that ignoring the norm is often my job. Sometimes it feels lonely, but I’m not trudging the road alone.

So now what? As the Zen saying goes, “Chop wood and carry water.” Keep doing the next right thing, always mindful that there’s much work to be done. I feel the need to learn more, do more impactful work, and go on more adventures. I won’t become fearless overnight, but I don’t want my ever-present anxiety to be an insurmountable obstacle. More than ever, I am aware that we don’t have the luxury for of waiting for someone else to create change. It must start with each of us – boldly go and be the change.

And at the end of a hard day, if you need an extra boost, check out Uplifting News or do a search for “Restore Faith in Humanity.”

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8 Comments

  1. Amber Powers says:

    Ruth,

    I spent today a number of ways. In tears, huddled in my bed – too depressed to move, LIVID and now… now I’m planning. I will NOT let this piss poor excuse of a man impact my life to the point that I’m non-functional. He got my 1 day, today. Tomorrow, I’m putting action to my words. I’m getting involved in at least 2 projects outside of work where I stand in and with those that aren’t heard. He gets 4 years and that’s all he gets if I have anything to do with it.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective. I’m so glad to see people really getting fired up. I hope that equates to action in the near future. Cheers to you and to tomorrow.We’ve got this!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Cheers to you too – onward and upward!

  2. Mo says:

    “More than ever, I am aware that we don’t have the luxury for of waiting for someone else to create change.”
    Powerful motivating words, applicable to so many aspects of our personal and professional lives. Thanks for your post!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thank you. I hope the drive I feel this week is with me every day for at least the next four years.

  3. Lou Bortone says:

    Well said, Ruth! I stand with you no matter what… -Lou

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Awh thanks Lou! It’s easier to strive to be awesome when I’m surrounded by amazing people.

  4. Denise Garratt says:

    Ruth,

    Thank you for putting into words what so many of us are feeling. This sucker-punch will be my fuel for the next four years. I stand with you.

    In the meantime, making positive change where I can. You Rock!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks Denise! It’s easier to rock when I’m surrounded by so many awesome people.