If you’re reading this, you made it.

You may be someone who made it, despite heartache of an uncontrolled pandemic that left 400,000+ families broken.

You may be a Black person who made it, despite the weaponization of the US government’s attempts to stop you from having the temerity to ask that you not be executed in the streets, or even your own bed.

You may be a queer person who made it, despite this administration’s unprecedented attacks on LGBTQ+ people’s safety and rights.

You may be a refugee from a war-torn country that, having faith in the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, sought life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this land only to find them as hostile and cruel as your place of egress.

But you made it.

You made it through the tempestuous reign of the worst president of our lifetimes, an ignorant, ill-tempered criminal who formed around himself a cult of personality. You made it through him constantly feeding the hatred and bigotry of those who saw those qualities in him and thought him a savior. You made it through the trauma of four years of foresight, as everyone’s worst predictions came true with unerring accuracy. You made it through a literal coup attempt by this vain, petty dictator, as his pathetic, final grasps for power threatened our entire republic, and left Americans dead in his wake.

This isn’t the end. There’s so, so much more to go. So much healing that has to happen. So much hard work to repair the damages of the past four years, and so much more necessary to move the nation, and the world, forward. And never again think “it can’t happen here.” If nothing else, this has laid bare the incredible weaknesses of our system of government, from one ancient Kentuckian having a stranglehold over the entirety of the country’s future, to the pervasive, insidious power that racism and nationalism still wield.

But for today, you made it. Take a breath. Celebrate. Rest. And awaken tomorrow to a new day.