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As the sun was going to bed last night, the dogs and I walked past many a polling station during our neighborhood loop. While I watched the sky fade into a marbled design of color, results from the East Coast were starting to be reported. The next morning, I peeled one eye open, and took a slow look around the room. My mind is always a little hazy as it exits sleep mode, but I wasn’t sure I recognized the place where I’d woken. I knew it was my room, and that it was my home, but I wasn’t sure what kind of America it was going to be today. I trudged down the hall to crack open my laptop, and rubbed my eyes as I braced myself for the news.

If you’re standing in the Pacific timezone on an election day, you likely have a pretty solid account of what’s happening in the country before your head hits the pillow. It wasn’t the results I was holding on tight to hear; I already knew our government was swathed in a new red blanket. It was the levels of anger, discord, frustration and despair from my many branches of friends and family that I was dreading. Even those that received the outcome they were dreaming of still had negative things to say about this state, or that measure, or… can you believe so-and-so won?! Sometimes it feels like being back in high school, standing in the middle of the cafeteria and hearing gossip come at you from every direction.

As citizens of the United States we have the right to vote; to try our hand at making a change. Whatever your color preference during election season, let’s try to remember that we are here for a common goal: to live life to the fullest by learning, loving, and understanding the people and places of this world. If I see you at the polling station next time around, no matter the candidate sign you’re holding, I’d still love it if you had a moment to stop and say hello.

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