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EU Referendum – From Sadness to Hope

Sadness turned out to be unavoidable but it slipped in almost unnoticed. Having paid little attention to the genuine prospect of a Brexit majority, I don’t suppose I expected it to arrive. Shortly after midnight, however, bam! there it was. From the second declaration onward, whispers began to spread. What if… Could they… The sadness lay heavy in my chest.

I slept only briefly during the night, but apparently during a crucial period. Before sleep, there was still a chance. When I woke again, all hope was gone, and anger thundered into my heart. Tired, angry, full of fucks and bollocks, I ranted online. No need to search for someone to blame when 17 million culprits lay in wait. Fury raged within me, more so with every revelation. I wanted to punch Farage in the face.

Anger is exhausting and fear set in after a while. Fear at what might happen to our country, fear at what could be in store for our children. Fear of recrimination. Fear of the uninformed voter. Fear of xenophobia in all its sickening reality.

This led to disbelief, particularly after watching Cameron resign and thinking through the most likely options for his replacement. BoJo, or Gove. It couldn’t possibly be true, could it? This stuff only happens in really, really crappy dreams, right?

Realisation showed up shortly after disbelief had set in and I knew beyond all doubt that it was real and it was happening. Cue more fucks and bollocks.

Then I packed it all away into a tidy little parcel ready to be revisited another time, a time when I didn’t have to be a responsible human and collect my children from school. 

We spent more than an hour at the park, in the sunshine, surrounded by other children. At some point, I’m not quite sure when, I realised I felt calm and something more – I felt hopeful. 

I watched my children play with their friends, friends from diverse backgrounds, friends of different ethnicities, friends of different ages, with different religions and cultures. Other languages filled the air, people sat in groups and chatted and laughed; there was music too, which was quite surreal actually. It was a charming, positive scene to witness and it was exactly what I needed in terms of reassurance that we aren’t all outnumbered by racist bigots now (I know, I know).

I’m not saying it was a major epiphany. I didn’t suddenly accept all the shit and start dancing under a glittering rainbow. But there was the slightest tingle of hope that somehow, eventually, we might be ok.

Which leads me on to acceptance… I’m not there yet; not even close, truth be told. I’m not about to button up and pretend I don’t care anymore. I still feel there is a fight to be made. But there is hope. Hope that the fight may be a peaceful one and hope that goodness will triumph, somehow, some day.

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