Each brand new notebook with its numerous blank pages gets less and less frightening. I guess exposure therapy is on to something. I can only hope each election I live through will be the same.

I waver between extreme fear and extreme faith. Fear gives me images of riots across the nation, montages of violence on the newsreels, flights cancelled, hate and ugly widespread, cancerous rhetoric unleashed that can never be put back in the box, the nation being ripped apart. Don’t get pregnant, don’t make plan, Rome is falling.

Then I laugh at myself, realizing I’ve stooped to “their” level, the fearmongerers I used to think were so silly and foolish. “They” sounded mad, separated from reality and facts. What have I become? What have I allowed this election to do to me?

And yet, despite over 200 years of peaceful elections, it’s bound to crumble one day, right? Why not now?

But then, the faith I’m supposed to have. The belonging to another country, a spiritual “patriotism” that should surpass any earthly political worries here. How do I enter into that peace fully? One foot planted here, one searching for footing in a spot I can’t yet see, that I’m not always 100% sure is there. The ground over there eludes me, sometimes feels like it’s taunting me. I’m not fully anywhere.

I can push both the fear and the faith away, through reasoning, praying, or watching a particular news source. One moment, one seems silly. The next moment, it’s the opposite. I know which one I’d hope to choose, but the other doesn’t fully release me. Or maybe I’m not strong enough to let go of it.

Even having grounded faith doesn’t make the election completely unimportant though. It’s supposed to put it in perspective, like a setback rather than a defeat. But isn’t it hard to care deeply about something while protecting yourself against caring too much? We need good people to work and fight in politics, but just don’t get too invested? The balance is tricky, doesn’t always seem possible.

It’s a beautiful, fall-leaved, mildly cool, sunny day. It’s cruel to ruin the fall perfection this way. Let’s have the election in an already shitty month. How about July (too hot) or January (cold and dreary)?

I will attempt not to let it ruin my day, difficult as it may be. I will enjoy the weather, the memory of my lunatic after-dark run last night, my novel-writing, seeing my family next week, upcoming holidays, cherished time with friends, God’s love and His glory, my newfound thankfulness in appreciating Him. This will triumph. I wish that was easier for me to fully believe.

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