I applied for my passport the same day I voted for the 2016 presidential election. It was a wonderful day because I thought things were definitely going to go “the right way.” First female president, the perseverance of good and rational thought, women breaking that last glass ceiling. I felt like I was taking control of my life and opening doors for myself as well by applying for my passport. I didn’t have any clue how things would unravel. I applied for my passport at the encouragement of my then boyfriend who suggested we go somewhere warm the upcoming winter. I though that sounded amazing especially being easily affected by Minnesota winters. I finally took on what I thought was going to be a tedious process only to find that it wasn’t so bad. Obviously you need your original birth certificate which I didn’t have a copy of, and my mom who had continued to say “oh it’s around here somewhere,” finally admitted she didn’t have any clue where it was either.
So after notarizing the correct documents, scanning them and sending off the digital documents to Los Angeles County Vital Statistics, the ball was in motion. My paperwork showed up and I headed down to Dakota County to complete the rest of the application process, wanting to avoid the offices in the Twin Cities, figuring it’d be a DMV type of experience. I was the second person in line, and it was so easy and they were so helpful. I couldn’t believe I’d been avoiding this process for so long only to find that there was no resistance to be found.
Well, as you can guess, that evening turned out to be one of the most traumatic nights of my life as I watched the election results pour in, refreshing and refreshing my news feed hoping something was wrong or about to change the direction of what I was witnessing. It was supposed to be a night of celebration, lighthearted banter and champagne.
I stayed up watching until the very end and as soon as Mike Pence and his family took the stage I started sobbing. People say politics don’t matter, that their life isn’t affected by who is in the role. I completely disagree because I find that I identify with who my leader is and when it feels like the absolute wrong fit or altogether wrong message to be sending to the rest of the world- if feels gross. The results of the election left a pretty big crater in my mind and changed the way I view my country but that’s all for another time.