To Concerned Millennials,
On the night of the 2016 election, I sat on my couch watching Netflix while updating the Google polls about every 20 minutes. When I started to feel lonely, I sent out a few texts and made calls to friends to check-in and see if they saw what I was seeing and felt how I was feeling. I had read the articles that said historians would draw neat lines from Putin to Brexit to Trump. I had watched all the celeb videos smearing one candidate but not really giving us a reason to support the other, besides the fact that she was not him. I had heard the #bernieorbust and Obamacare despair, and I braced for an outcome that was not going down the way I had fiercely hoped.
The day after the election, the world as I knew it officially turned upside-down. However, I refused to be taken out by grief. I was steadfast in my resolve and determination. I recognized that there was much work to be done and that it was our generation’s task to do it. I was so caught up in being a strong leader in the election’s aftermath that I crumbled when I discovered that someone dear to me had voted for the current president-elect. It felt like a vote against me; a personal attack that seared through everything I stand for and try to be in my life. Confusion, bewilderment, anxiety, and hopelessness came flooding in. During that time, I needed constant reassurance that I was not crazy or overreacting. After that, I made a choice to trust myself and to do more.
Trust your intuition and trust your gut- the unspoken thoughts and feelings that ring true every time you make a decision. These are thoughts that will lead you to positive change.
Trust that you are not alone. Talk to someone. Get your daily dose of kinship and community support. Up that dosage, and take a friend to a business-building seminar, community-organizing program, anti-racism training, or local council meeting. Continue upping the dosage until you have a firm support system of people who can pick you up when times get rough, tell you you're not crazy, and fight for you as you would for them.
Trust that your despair will not break you. I feel your devastation, and I know it will move us to motivation because the alternative is not an option. We will not be ruled by fear and silenced into submission.
Know that not everyone has the same agenda as us. There are those that seek to preach hate, spread lies, and make you feel like you don't matter. Therefore, we must arm ourselves with vigilance, unyielding fortitude, and self-care. We cannot give what we do not have. Laugh often and much, listen to music, and share a meal with the people in your support system.
Trust in your voice. You have a story to tell. Share it. That is how we survive. No one can take away your truth.
Trust your dopeness. Trust your ingenuity. We are the future. We have the power.
Trust that we will leave this world better than how we inherited it. That is our generation’s responsibility and honor.
Trust your purpose, even if you have yet to unlock it. You are here for a multitude of reasons and the possibilities are endless. Allow yourself to cry and fly.
Trust that this is a lifelong journey with road blocks and twists and hills along with valleys. We are here for it.