I never really write about politics, or things going on in the news. Most of the time I don’t feel like I know enough.
But this time it’s different. This time it’s not about knowledge or beliefs, it’s about feelings.
This time I’m personally affected. My emotions are invested and I feel like I really need to write this out and get it off my chest before I can start to heal and think ahead to the future.
As my UK readers (hopefully!) know, and my international readers may have heard: the UK has voted to leave the European Union.
And right now I am heartbroken.
And you know what else? (Sorry Mum, swear incoming): I’m fucking allowed to be.
I am allowed to feel upset, and angry, and sad. I am allowed to feel let down, pissed off, rejected, divorced and bereaved. I am allowed to feel hurt.
My entire life has revolved around the EU and the concept of free movement. My parents moved to Spain when I was just 3 weeks old. I came back to the UK to study and work. I’ve travelled to many European cities. My life would not look anything like it does now without the EU.
I would not have met some of my best friends. I would not have learned languages, experienced new cultures, and studied different subjects. I wouldn’t have had most of the opportunities I’ve had in my life, without the existence and assistance of the EU.
So I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve just come back from spending my afternoon coffee break locked in a toilet sobbing. Because it suddenly hit me that… it’s happened. We have actually done this.
Whatever the future of this decision, it has been made and there is no turning back and no second chances.
And like it or not, this is going to reshape our entire lives – some of us more than others.
I have to hope that it will be OK. I have to hope that the experts will be proved wrong, that the Conservatives will elect a strong, open-minded, straight-talking new leader who can negotiate and create something positive out of this utter chaos.
I have to hope that we can work out a deal where families don’t have to be uprooted and torn apart; where I can one day move back to what I consider home, if I want to; and where my children and grandchildren can travel, visit family and open their minds to the rest of Europe, without having to sell their souls for visas.
I’m not optimistic. Right now there is too much unknown and unplanned for me to feel optimistic.
And I am upset.
I am also very very sick of people saying that I need to not be upset.
I’ve heard everything today, from “move on” and “get over it” to “well, what’s the point in crying over it?”.
But why does there have to BE a point? When is there EVER a point to heartbreak?
Because that is what today means to me. Today is heartbreak.
Today means having something that I truly love, something that has been a massive corner-stone of my life, something that has given me opportunities, education, a career, friendship and love, pulled out from under my feet.
It feels like something kicked me in my chest. And, quite frankly, I’m really tired of people devaluing my feelings and telling me that it doesn’t matter. Yes, it’s a political situation, but this particular political situation has been messy, emotional and very personal, right from the start.
It may not be the end of the world. You may not give a shit. You may have voted one way or the other, and quite frankly: it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s done. It’s over.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to cry and rage and grieve.
It doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to feel hurt.
Tomorrow we’ll sit down and start to figure out where we go from here.
But today I am heartbroken.