My most vivid memory of election day as a child was going with my dad to vote. I was maybe 5. I waited while he went behind the heavy velvet curtains, proudly displayed the sticker on my school uniform that the poll worker gave to me as we left, and proceeded to ask him who he voted for. As I waited expectantly for his answer, I thought vividly about how as a class we voted with our heads down and hands up and about how we celebrated and discussed who we chose when no one was looking.
He told me it was none of my business.
My dad is a man of integrity. He is a man who does his best to walk the fine line between fitting in and standing out; between following the rules and pressing the issue; between striving for a better life and finding happiness in the one that exists now. My parents raised me to think independently, to look at all the angles, and to follow my heart rather than the crowd. They took pride in my education and taught me to do the same. To this day, I do not know which side of the isle my dad stands. I honestly do not care. My father's identity is not tied to his political affiliation and his vote does not determine his value as an American citizen.
And today, on the day after, as I listen to the anger and joy, pride and disappointment, as I am judged by people I considered to be friends on the premiss of who I may or may not have voted for; I can't help but to think of my dad. It is not my business who received your vote, nor is it your business which boxes I marked on my ballot. It is only important to remember that we, who voted, filled our civic duty; we participated in the very freedoms that makes this country great, the freedom to advocate for ourselves and the freedom to have an opinion.