Election Night 2016 was a top 10 worst night for me. I tried to avoid repeating those mistakes. No NY Times needle this year.
Managed my election anxiety pretty well Tuesday through Thursday. Avoided doom scrolling, kept myself preoccupied, checked the news a couple times a day. Friday, I woke up to the news that Biden pulled ahead in Georgia and Pennsylvania. That's when I gave in. I refreshed Nate Silver's twitter feed more times than I'd like to admit. I was up until 1:30am, waiting. The news never came. The networks never called it.
Saturday, I slept in, checked the feeds as soon as I was conscious. Still no call. Took a shower, and was picking up a couple things around the house when I got the news the best way possible – cheering outside.
After all the pull-downs on my phone, after a day of smashing CMD-R alone in my office – it was the collective celebration from real live people – our neighbors, our community – vibrating through the brick walls of our apartment that told me that the Trump administration would soon end.
Days like Saturday are one of my favorite reasons to live in an urban area. Days when the community spontaneously erupts in celebration together and collective joy radiates from the streets. I moved to Chicago in 2005. White Sox winning the World Series that autumn was the first time I experienced it. Obama winning the Presidency a few years later was the most memorable.
We spent most of Saturday outside. We brought Emma. She wasn't into it. She doesn't like loud noises or overt celebration. We told her she needed to see it anyway. Hopefully she'll remember, even if she doesn't yet understand. Hopefully she'll remember what the other side of anxiety and fear looks like. Hopefully she'll remember, when she's fighting for something she believes in, that she's not struggling alone.
Later that afternoon I hopped on my bike and rode down to Barclays Center. I was surprised to find the area so quiet. Found out later that that epicenter of the Brooklyn celebration was Grand Army Plaza, under The Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch, dedicated "To the Defenders of the Union, 1861–1865."
As I rode back to our neighborhood, I came upon an impromptu celebration at Smith and Degraw. Best I can tell, someone showed up with a loud speaker, started playing music, and a party started. Proverbial dancing in the streets.
We stopped by the playground on our way home. I swung on the swings next to Emma. Felt lighter than I have in months. A feeling that this year, 2020, may soon be over.