What Happened - Hillary Rodham Clinton

I wasn't going to read this book. I'm still trying to pretend that what happened on November 8th, 2016 didn't happen. However, seeing the vitriol directed at her for just DARING to write a book about her experience and not disappearing into the night in shame made me want a read it and so I did. Besides, I won't lie that I needed to hear her voice, I needed to feel some semblance of guidance.

 

This isn't an easy read, especially when you take into consideration how the United States is being led by a man without compassion, dignity or morality (just look at all he is NOT doing to help Puerto Rico). I'm not saying Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't without her flaws because she is. I'm not saying she would've made a perfect president, but she would've been infinitely better than the person at the helm right now: just to hear her express herself, her coherence, her candor, her knowledge of politics and international affairs. It makes me want to break into song: WE COULD'VE HAD IT AAAAAAALL.

 

Listening to it as I commuted to and from work both stung and calmed me. There were times where I had to stop listening because I just wanted to cry, it was too painful, too raw, my skin prickled with emotion. Other times I felt angry on her behalf. She holds no punches, and I loved her for it. I also loved how she spoke about her life's work, her family, but most of all I loved learning about her mother, about how Hillary Rodham Clinton takes care of herself, how she fusses over others. I relate to that. I am the designated mama hen of all of my friends.

 

She also talks about sexism, gun control, immigration, to name a few. It was refreshing to have someone speak with so much aplomb and sense. Contrary to what others might be thinking, she takes full responsibility for what happened during the 2016 election. She also points out the many other factors that inevitably influenced the outcome. She asks people to pick a cause and to fight it; she asks people to be kind.

 

The book ended, and I somehow managed to hold back the tears in the subway. I don't feel my heart has fully healed from the disappointment of her not winning, and therefore I get to live with anxiety 100% of the time, but thanks to this, I'm starting to gather the pieces to move forward.