Hey, my lovely American friends,
In the last two years I’ve argued, fought, voted, cajoled, and blinked in rigid disbelief through two referenda that didn’t go my way. So I know how you feel today.
The day after the Scottish referendum, I cried. I drove along the streets of my hometown and they felt different – alien, uncomfortable, unsettled, and no longer mine. I looked at everyone I passed, as they looked at me, for shared signs that we were the disappointed, disbelieving 45%. I’ve never sat in a pub before which was completely silent, but that night we did, and it was awful.
The day after Brexit, I remember Dave and I standing in the street, smoking furiously, feeling like aliens in our own birthplace once again. What is this country we live in? Who the hell are we sharing it with? What must the rest of the world think of us now, this tiny nation being submerged by racism, fear and I’m-alright-Jack-ness?
So I know how you feel. And I can tell you what to do. Just breathe through it. Do what’s right despite knowing that doing the wrong thing gets you far further in life (I’m looking at you Farage, Johnson, Trump, you poor downtrodden outside-the-establishment, banging on the windows of power, upper-class, privileged white males who want to win just because they can).
That’s shit advice, and I’m sorry, but here’s the thing: it’s not getting better any time soon.
Welcome to the club of embarrassment, shame, and knowing that the world is looking at you and seeing something that you never believed to be there, but is actually just next door, in your street, in your coffee shop, and in your office.