This is the hardest breakup I have ever gone through.
Apart from my incessant ability to procrastinate, I did just that when Obama gave his farewell speech earlier this week. I felt guilty for not watching sooner. But grief is a hard master. So tonight, I sat down and braced myself for the waterworks and ugly crying that I did. And you bet your ass I drank some Gloria Ferrer. If this is to end, I’m doing this with fucking class.
Let me lay this down for you. I’m not happy about this shit — and as much as I wish this weren’t true, it is (it’s not over until I say it’s over, you know?). And there’s (almost) nothing I can do about it.
For the last eight years, Barack Obama has perhaps given me the most stable, reliable source of trust and confidence I’ve ever had (an exception to my romance with beer and grilled cheese). No one’s perfect, but that’s what makes them perfect. And when you love someone, you don’t suddenly stop loving them because they walk away from the relationship. It hurts. And it hurts because deep down, you know it was for the best. You know this needed to happen.
So when I sat down and finally watched his speech, I was filled with an array of emotions that may be the weirdest cluster-fuck of feelings I’ve ever had: Pride, anger, fear, and love. There I was, watching the man I love continue to be the honest, inspirational, and provocative man I fell in love with eight years ago. I was so proud of him, even though with every word he said, my heart shattered into a thousand pieces, again and again. Just because he’s leaving my life does not mean he stops being any of those things — and that is why this hurts. He will continue to exist, without me as his (somewhat) law-abiding citizen and number one fan (challenge me, bitches, I dare you). Because life, as it does, will go on, and I will enter the next chapter of my life. Without him. It’s selfish and self-centered and possessive, but those are my feelings.
The hardest part of watching Obama leave the White House may not be the fact that he’s going to be replaced by a cheeto-dusted moron (a close fucking second, though). It’s because I know this is the right call. There is no other way. This is the way of our democracy, and I have to come to terms with it. The passionate, unrealistic soul in me was hoping Obama would come out and say, “Nah, fuck that,” and allow himself to be re-elected. Or write some sort of deus ex machina that would save me and the American people from World War III and being forced to let anyone grab my pussy. This must be some sort of sick joke. It can’t be real. It can’t really be over. He’ll change his mind tomorrow. This can’t be the end. He’ll change his mind tomorrow. It’s when you start thinking of all the grandiose, unrealistic options, that it’s really over. There’s nothing you can do.
I can’t blame him. I can’t say he cheated on me, or lied to me, or chose being an ethically moral human being over protecting me from a xenophobic, misogynistic, racist piece of fake burnt crisp. I have no ammunition. It is so easy to replace love with hate — but I can’t bring myself to do that. I’d be a total phony if I did. There’s nothing I can say that will change this decision. Nothing I can do to reverse what time and the Constitution has inflicted upon me. I feel so helpless. I feel so lost.
I avoided watching his speech, because I knew it would hurt. I knew it would leave me reeling. There’s nothing worse than listening to the last time the person you love tell you goodbye, because at the end of the conversation, that’s it. They walk away. And there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s nothing Obama can do about it — he has no other choice, either. And this whole time, while you’re trying to hold it together and respect their voice, you can’t help but dread the minute they stop speaking to you. The second he thanked Michelle for her devotion and unconditional love, I lost it. When he made his final, final comments, the tears and hyperventilating came. Because then, it’s really over.
I can sit here and tell you I finished that bottle of champagne to myself, or spent $70 on underwear because I’m dramatic and emotionally unhinged, I could. And for the record, I did both of these things. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from my relationship with Obama, it’s, well, love. I love that man. I always will. Him walking away from the Oval Office won’t end me. It does not break me. I am so proud of him. In the face of adversity, he did. I’m not bitter or resentful toward him — he has given me so much, in such a selfless manner, that I am struck with a flood of emotional gratitude. And I could never, ever resent him for that. His presidency — my president — has left me with an inspirational, uplifting sort of love. The kind that makes you want to be a better person. The kind that challenges you to wake up in the morning and dish out kindness and patience toward people you don’t know. The kind of love that challenges you to love yourself (what an idea!). The kind of love that makes you want to be a better person. In fact, you ARE a better person because of them. And, I think, that is the greatest gift that anyone can give you.
So, as much as it breaks me, as much as it hurts me, I have nothing but love for this man. Thank you, Obama. Thank you for all that you have given me. You can bet I’ll raise hell these next four years. I dare you, watch me.