dear hillary

I want to say thank you. For affording me the opportunity to cast my ballot for President of the United States for a woman. For making me realize—truly, deeply realize—that women can pursue whatever they'd damn well please.

As girls, if we're lucky, we're told we can do whatever we set our minds to, and in theory it rings true. But despite these messages from the well-intentioned people in our lives, what we see with our own eyes feels more tangible; it seeps into our subconscious and influences our actions from the time we're young to the time we're in the workforce. And what we see is that the people in elected office, the people in corporate America, the people in leadership roles are, largely, men.

The notion that girls can do whatever we set our minds to will seem more plausible when we see women holding leadership roles—not as outliers, but as a force growing in step with our male counterparts. It will seem more plausible when we see a greater number of women in elected office. We have a long way to go, but the scope of what feels possible has widened, and you contributed to that. You made a major mark. You made me believe that I can aspire to more because I watched you prove it by example.

You did not win the election, but you made quite the stir. You brought to light deeply held values of misogyny in many of our nation's citizens. You stood up for women's reproductive rights, and I can't tell you how moved I was to hear a candidate with ovaries speak on the topic for a change. You made the presidency feel more tangible for women and girls. And while the glass ceiling may remain in tact, there's a crack stretching from end to end, and one day, it will give.

Thank you. A million times over, thank you.