Dear America XI
It is Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020 as I begin this essay.
I do not know who won the election or if a winner has been determined. I have not looked at any news since early evening yesterday.
This not knowing provides me a sort of peace. Not the kind of peace that comes from sticking your head in the ground so as not to deal with the challenges around you. The peace that comes from being outside and seeing the sun peak through the trees, hearing the birds chirp, smelling the faint char from the wildfires that continues to linger in the air and feeling the brisk morning air harden my fingers as I type these thoughts.
It is the kind of peace that allows me to appreciate the world around me without the filter of elation or grief, sadness or relief. I am right now at peace.
What has been claimed to be the most important election of many people’s lifetime might be over or it might go on for a while - I don’t know yet and I am breathing deeply and hopefully.
Alba & Honey, our dogs, woke up around the time they usually do and Honey wanted to love and lick all over me and Alba just wanted to be able to do whatever she felt like doing. They are obviously oblivious to the results of the presidential election and for them today was much like yesterday and the days before.
In a way, without the knowledge of the election results, my world too is much the same as it was yesterday and the day before. I am still figuring out how to navigate this pandemic plagued reality we now exist in while I reinvent my business and myself. Right now, the challenges I had before I went to bed are still there. The opportunities I am pursuing and would like to pursue still have potential. How would knowing the results of the election change those things, if at all?
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that a Biden presidency and a Trump presidency would have the same impact on my life over time and that it doesn’t matter to me who won. That is NOT what I am saying!
What I am saying is I invested a lot into understanding these two men and the potential outcomes that would result from each of them being the most powerful man in the world. I respect the idea of democracy, this people power that we are privileged to partake in and I refuse to participate in the circus that is election night. I accept that I may have to participate in the circus of election week or election month if last night’s results are not definitive and that does not excite me. The circus has a way of making us think things matter far more than they really do and it can change what we choose to focus on.
This not knowing, is me exercising control right now when so much seems out of control. It is me choosing what to focus on. In a world where billions of dollars are spent to secure and monetize our attention, what we think of as being in control can slowly slip into being controlled.
Without us even realizing it.
It’s why many of you would rather listen to your playlists rather than listen to the radio. It’s why many of you have specific news apps on your phone rather than Flipboard or some news aggregating apps. It is why some of you do not watch any platform that has commercials or you carefully program what comes on even when you turn on the TV just for background noise.
Like me, you are exercising control over what you give your attention to. In the hyper-connected world we live in right now that can make the difference between the peace I am experiencing this morning and the pieces of myself I would not experience if they were sucked into an algorithm that is sure to disturb my peace.
So, I will continue enjoying this piece of peace and my fascination with how nature just keeps doing what it does in spite of who the President of the USA is. I will find out where things stand soon enough at a time of my choosing and without all the hype.
No matter what the outcome is or ends up being, we got work to do y’all!