Today was a day of voting here in the States. It feels as if as a society we have been hurtling willingly toward greater hate and strategically insurmountable divisiveness. Big words, bottom line is it feels like no one wants to hear views other than their own. I realize that this is a generalization, a generalization I want not to be the norm.

I think it was in 2009 that I roomed with another blogger in Chicago at the introduction of my friend Leslie. She said that she was great. Her handle was Mommentator. I had not been particularly political online, and in reading the bio of this woman I saw that she was most decidedly political, and her politics did not match mine. I remember feeling incredibly indignant and threatened—until I met her.

Her name was Molly. She was bright, both in mind and demeanor. She was sharp, made me laugh, and mostly, she made me want to be quick and confident enough to speak from my heart. Over the days that I was there, we talked and laughed, some of it was political, some of it was just human. We talked and listened, tangled and weaved. It was in the hours talking with Molly that I came to understand that you can respect people who think differently than you, you can learn from them, adore them, and sometimes you can influence them—not to change their views, but maybe to consider yours.

I don’t know if you went into today worried about outcomes or flinching about majorities, but either way, there is still a way forward. One party taking control or a candidate losing, neither of those things take away our hopes. Defeat doesn’t mean it’s over forever, just as being fearless doesn’t mean that you can’t be afraid.

I have huge pock marks in my spirit from the jabs that people from all sides have taken at one another. I am not innocent in the game of barbs. The thing I do have, largely thanks to Molly and Leslie, is a desire to see the potential in all of us. We can move forward; we have to.

I am sorry for anyone who went to bed tonight feeling loss. I am hopeful that tomorrow we can, regardless of party or position, start the day understanding that every day that we are on this earth we have the capacity to make a difference.

I don’t have all the answers, I have some pretty fierce beliefs, but I don’t think that Molly is the only decent conservative. I don’t think that every person who believes in the right to bear any kind of arms is evil.

I believe that we are stronger together, even if it’s scary to consider. My fearlessness is in daring to try to make it work, all the while I am genuinely afraid it will be daunting.

My vote is to keep trying.