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Excuse the trivial metaphor for something so important but it is apt since the holidays are approaching at breakneck speed.
Today feels like a bizarre Christmas Eve. The air is full of excitement, and people are ready to celebrate, with some gearing up for disappointment, and under America's figurative tree is a single present all wrapped up with a bow.
It's either solid gold or a big lump of coal under that decorative paper, and no one is certain. The atmosphere is abuzz and anxious, but many people remain hopeful that the present will be the gold and not the coal.
If it is a gold ingot under that paper in the form of the blue wave, there will be many celebrations across the United States, most likely literal dancing in the streets, and a feeling of safety, hope, and comfort that has not been felt in this country for two years.
If it is coal, and Republicans retain the majority in the U.S. House and Senate, what now? All the months of protest and planning might feel like a total waste. It will be heart-crushing, and we can all take time to mourn, but we cannot give up.
First, take solace in the fact that so many people are fighting for basic human rights. The support and outcry to get Democrats back in the majority have shaken the nation to its core. Even if the Republicans prevail, there is comfort in knowing a big chunk of the country does not stand for their hateful ways.
Second, do not fall into the trap of silence. Continue to fight, to protest, to scream. They cannot take your words from you. Call your senators and representatives and voice your disdain for bills that are harmful. Continue to display transgender flags at sports events and monuments. Whatever you do, do not let this go down without a fight.
Third, take care of yourself and others. Listen to people who are being harmed by bills, laws, or memos that don't pertain to you and ask what you can do to help and be a good ally. Make sure that you do not let self-care fall to the wayside. You are important. You matter. Take care of your body, your mind, and your soul.
We can hope for the best, but we also need to think about the "what ifs." What if the GOP prevails? What if the hateful transphobic memo becomes policy? What if Roe v. Wade gets overturned?
The answer is simple: We fight for our rights. We cannot afford to give up, not now, not ever. No matter what happens you can't lose your passion and hope for humanity.
Cast your ballots tomorrow. Be cautiously optimistic. The blue wave is coming in strong, and we can hope it will be strong enough.
JESSA POWERS is an editorial intern for The Advocate.