This was my first election voting as a UK citizen. Having made the recent commitment to the naturalisation process and having plugged into life here in so many ways over the past decade, I exercised my democratic right, feeling deeply invested in the future of this country.
So much has changed for me (let alone for the nation) since the election before this one. This time I voted as a parent, concerned about the generation my children will grow up with.
And like so many, following the results, the past few days have been characterised by a sense of despair. I won’t vilify those who voted differently to me and I don’t believe any of the likely alternative outcomes would have been a magic cure.
But I live close enough to many who stand to be devastatingly affected by the policies promised to be unable to feel anything but anxious. Sick to my stomach, actually.
I wonder how many of us will let our vote be our one act of political activism before we trail off into depressive helplessness. I worry that many of us will not remain sufficiently politicised.
Even as I turn my eyes to the next steps (writing my local MP, joining a party, campaigning for change), I worry this about myself.
I feel more motivated than ever to look for opportunities to serve my local community, to put my money, time and effort where my mouth is.
Apart from anything else, raising children who see that loving others is what we do with the resources we’re fortunate enough to have, is an investment in itself.