Thank you, Donald Trump.

I have a lot to be thankful for in my life, and one of them is the election of Donald Trump.  Yesterday he became our 45th president.   I have never grown so much as a person during such a short period of time as I have these last 71 days since Donald Trump won the electoral vote.

Dear President Donald Trump,

Thank you for making my bubble bigger.  When November 8th 2016 came to an end, above all else I was confused.  Since then I have read countless articles, heard countless stories, and really listened to why so many people believed you were the hero our country needed.  I don’t have to agree with them, but I could feel their pain, their frustration, their sadness.  These are human beings worthy of respect and love just as much as me.

Thank you for making me walk my talk.  Over three years ago I got “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” tattooed down my spine.  I always thought that leading by example was the best way to create change.  I have been forced to make a decision, do the hard thing and “live my brand,” or do the easy thing and talk a big talk.  Action equals change.  I decided to act.  I will be the change.  It will start with me.

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At “Gay Day on the Lake” in 2014 soon after getting my new tattoo.

Thank you for making me more compassionate.  Now I go out of my way to look strangers in the eye, to smile at them, to hold the door open for them.  I have never done so many random acts of kindness than I have recently.  When others choose anger I choose to see the person within.  Instead of fighting I choose to love.

Thank you for making me a better mother.  You made me realize my daughter needs positive role models now, more than ever.  I will surround her with strong females,  beautiful minorities, compassion and love.  She will learn that she is perfect just the way she is.  She will be strong.  She will be smart.  She will be our future.

Thank you for making me a better wife.  I now look at my husband and realize just how much he respects me and our daughter.  He is the kind of man I dreamed of sharing my life with and I wish every woman could experience such a partner, every daughter experience such a father.

Thank you for making me a better friend.  I realized the differences we share really aren’t so big after all.  I have become more sympathetic, compassionate, and less likely to judge.  I go out of my way to make sure my friends are doing ok, that they have a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.  This introvert has reached out to strangers and befriended them more than I would have before.  I have let go of grudges I have held toward others, for life is too short to stay angry over things you cannot change.

Thank you for making me a better woman.  I have never been prouder to be a woman.  I have never been prouder to have a daughter.  I have volunteered to walk with and sit with a stranger who needed an abortion but was scared to cross the picketers.  I am more observant than ever when I feel a fellow woman is in need or danger.  I will be vocal.  I will defend.

Thank you for making me a better advocate.  71 days ago I wouldn’t have attended a rally or a march.  I had participated in a few in college, but now that I am a mom keeping my child safe is my first priority.  This morning we attended the Woman’s March on Washington’s sister march in Laguna Beach, CA.  I was scared of what the anti-rallyers would do, but I am so glad I found the courage to go.  It was her first march, but it won’t be her last.  These two bodies were there to support the rights of: women, people of color, LGBTQ+, the environment, gun safety, and public education to name a few.  We represented love.  We represented peace.  We represented equality.

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One of the marches I attended in college, you can see me in the very furthest left. This picture made the local paper!

Thank you for making me a better scientist and environmentalist.  I now do a lot more fact checking, more reading, more discovering.  My daughter and I go for more hikes through nature to clear my head.  We have gone to more beach clean ups than we had.  We are making even more sustainable choices than ever before.  We will leave this planet better than we found it.

Thank you for making me a better educator.  I am currently not teaching, but once my own children have grown I will be back in the classroom.  My passion to help the next generation is bigger than ever.  I need to help my minority children, my special needs children, I need to give them a positive roll model.  I need to show them the world is a good place and can be made even better because of them.  Their strength and perseverance gives me hope for the future.

Thank you for making me a better American.  After the millions of stories I have read, after the millions of people who have touched me in some way, I feel more connected to the American people than ever before.  I have never felt a stronger desire to protect our country and my fellow Americans more than I do right now.

Thank you, Donald Trump, for making me a better human being.  Thank you for lighting the fire within me.  I really would not be where I am without you becoming our president, and that is the unfortunate honest truth.  May we both grow into even better humans these next 4 years and beyond…

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