This election is stressing me out.

Katie Smiskö
Oct 24, 2016 · 3 min read

I’m fairly certain it’s stressing most people out, because there are so many emotions flying about right now. The internet is filled with judgement, hatred, holier-than-thou attitudes, and all-out violence.

It’s too much. I’m realizing I’ve been taking in a lot of these emotions and it’s getting to me. During my hot yoga class yesterday I let myself open up for the first time in a really long time. I cried for almost half the class — good thing I was already so sweaty no one noticed the tears rolling down my face. At least I don’t think anyone noticed.

I want to retreat. I’m ready for this election, this hatred, this contempt to be over. I’m also scared of the outcome. So much is uncertain and so much energy has been stirred up that I don’t think all these emotions and injustices can just be pushed back neatly into a little box. What sort of changes are coming?

I don’t have any answers. I’m hiding from the Internet, so I’m learning how to build it (yes, me… learning to code… I’m still trying to grasp the concept myself). There’s so much hate and negativity and conflict on the internet lately. All I want to do is create something to make the world just a little less hateful, a little more positive, and hopefully a lot more helpful.

But for now, I guess I want to ask the people who are posting such negative things: What do you get out of posting things that belittle someone else? How does it make you feel? Do you feel better when you bring someone else down? Do you think that demeaning others will open them up to your point of view? I have so many more questions, but for now, just one last one: What happened to you to make you treat others this way?

I wonder how much different the world would be if we all took some time for self-reflection. Or if we spent as much time empathizing and helping others as we do trying to make money. When did it become more important to make money than to be kind? Why aren’t more people upset by this “Fuck you, I got mine” attitude that’s become so prevalent?

No one’s journey, or life experiences have been the same as yours. What has worked for you or brought you success may not work for someone else — in fact, it probably won’t. Rather than judging someone else on their way of thinking or doing things, can’t we congratulate them on their journey, and on their successes? And can’t we realize that in doing so, it does not make our success any less valid?

As someone who has studied history extensively (especially the war kind), it’s scary to see which historical trends are surfacing again. With all of our progress and technology, shouldn’t we be better than this by now? Shouldn’t we be able to recognize the similarities in the lessons we’ve learned in the past?

I started writing this evening in hopes of getting some of my thoughts out of my brain and onto “paper”, so to speak. And although I don’t know if I’m any closer to answers to my existential questions, maybe I’ve been able to get you questioning too.

    Katie Smiskö

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