Happy Birthday Secretary Clinton
I have always been a dreamer. From the time I was a little girl, I imagined all the different lives I could have. Daydreaming was my favorite past-time, and to be honest it still is.
I can still remember looking up at the Presidents poster on my wall in my second grade classroom. It was right by my desk so I stared at it often. In all of my day dreams and night dreams, I never imagined that I could one day be President. It wasn’t because of a lack of interest. I was interested in American history and politics from a young age. It was because when I looked up at that poster, all I saw were men. The sad thing is, it didn’t bother me that I couldn’t be President. I accepted from a very young age that was a man’s job.
Flash forward a little over a decade later and I’m standing on the floor of the Democratic National Convention watching you accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. As I watched you look out over the crowd with your hand on your heart, I realized that you had been my champion my whole life, quite literally given that I was born in 1996. I simply had taken you for granted. Because while I thought I couldn’t be President, I never doubted that I could be a powerful First Lady or Senator or Secretary of State. I saw women like Nancy Pelosi running the House of Representatives and you “effortlessly” transferring to different positions of power, so I thought it was normal.
That night, July 28th 2016, my life changed forever. And it all seemed to happen in that moment. If I close my eyes tight enough, I’m back on that floor with the balloons and the confetti and the overwhelming sense of joy. It still gives me chills.
I realized that night, as I watched you soak in the crowd and the moment, that the only thing holding me back from going into politics was myself. Years of bullying had left me questioning my worth and my abilities. I thought I was better served communicating someone else’s message rather than my own. But seeing you on that stage propelled me into another daydream: one where I was on that stage. It was the first time I had ever imagined that life for myself. And it lit every fiber of my being on fire. It was magical.
You have dedicated the majority of your life to fighting for women and families. The fight was never easy. Working for you showed me the nasty sides of misogyny and sexism. Most days I was completely appalled by how unfairly you were treated: by your opponent, by the media, by bigoted people. I continue to be appalled. I often wonder how you still, after all of these years, manage to get out of bed every day ready to continue on fighting.
All I can say is…thank you. I don’t think a “thank you” suffices here, but it’s all I can say. We still haven’t shattered that highest, hardest glass ceiling, but in the seventy years you’ve been on this earth you have put a significant crack into that one and have crashed down countless others.
The most significant part of your journey isn’t the jobs you’ve had or things you’ve accomplished, but the lives you have changed along the way.
I will be forever grateful for your presence in my life and the support you have given me. This past election devastated me, but seeing you get back up gave me the hope I needed to continue on. I will keep being a “proud gladiator in a pantsuit” and fighting for our shared values for you, all the little girls, our country, and my future daughter(s). It’s my turn. You say being my candidate was the biggest honor of your life. The honor was truly mine.
Happy Birthday Secretary Clinton. We love you more than you’ll ever know.
With warm regards I am,