Regardless of which side of the political fence you fall on, waiting for the midterm results is a torturous process. Despite the numerous claims I've heard today from anti-voting activists about how similar the parties are and how little difference it will make if Democrats lose or retain control of the Senate, there are indeed a number of policy implications, both in the long and short-term, that will likely be affected by these races.
This is especially true for women. There's the Iowa "personhood" amendment, which would extend the same rights granted to human beings to unborn fetuses, effectively criminalizing abortion by equating it to murder. In Colorado, Alaska, and North Carolina, abortion is a major talking point amongst candidates, as is access to contraception. So if you're feeling like a war is being waged on and around your uterus in Washington, it's for pretty good reason.
And with so much at stake, it comes as no wonder that many of us across the country are having palpitations in anticipation of what is projected to be one of the closest midterm elections in recent memory. With at least eight states deemed tossups and a 47 percent chance that the midterms will be going into overtime, the 2014 midterms are the very definition of a nail-biter. And to assure you that you're not alone in the emotional roller coaster ride that is the midterm waiting game, here are the 10 emotional stages of wishing, and hoping and praying for the 2014 results.
excitement — part 1
This is the Vanessa Hudgens flavor of excitement. That annoying I-can't-contain-myself-because-I-just-fulfilled-my-civic-duty-and-voted-for-the-best-candidate type of excitement that no one can talk you down from. How young, naive and foolish we are at this stage.
can't touch this confidence
Now that you've done your part, you can't help but feel like everyone else in the world also did theirs, and inevitably voted the same way you did. Because why wouldn't they? You're always right and so politically aware. They'd be silly to vote for that other, inferior candidate, right?
the calm before the storm
Suddenly, it's like the world stands still. Even as everyone around you buzzes in anticipation, you are the picture of tranquility. You are at peace with your decisions, and have faith in the American political system. Justice will prevail.
beginning stages of worry
I said the last stage came before the storm, didn't I? Your confidence begins to evaporate as you remember that there are people like those students at Texas Tech in the world, who didn't know who won the Civil War, or who we gained our independence from, much less who the vice president was.
Now that you've moved into a more serious phase of concern, you can't really stop moving. You've just got to get rid of all this excess energy. You really shouldn't have eaten that eighth bag of Skittles, or were those M&M's? Maybe if you run in circles long enough, you'll speed up the clock.
The sugar high has worn off, and now you're just frozen in a state of excited terror. Or terrified excitement. At this point, it's unclear which one is worse. All you know is that your face will never change expressions again.
The good news, you can move again. The bad news, you're officially panicking. The election results have started to come in, and your candidate(s) are down in the polls. Will life go on as we know it?
Because the first kind of panic wasn't enough. You need everyone to know how you feel. You're blowing up your Facebook and Twitter accounts with expletives that would make the most seasoned sailor blush. No one will escape your wrath.
excitement — part 2 (the crying kind)
But wait! There's hope! Those early exit polls are never to be trusted. Could it be? Do you smell a comeback in the works? Your heart really can't handle these emotions. You dissolve into tears like Kristen Bell at the mention of sloths.
excitement — part 3 (the Oprah kind)
It is over. It doesn't even matter who won anymore. You just want your life back, and you're excited to have it back. You celebrate by buying everyone a new car. Until 2016, friends.
Images: Tyler Golden/NBC; Giphy (10)