This One is For Her

I don't remember a time where someone said to me, no, you can't do that job. But I have clear memories of thinking that some things were just for boys, or that if I did this, or tried that, I'd have to be the first. While there is plenty to be said about being the first, let's be honest, it's never easy.

So this is big. Tonight is big.

Because tonight, for the first time in United States history, a woman has been nominated by a major political party to run for the highest office in the country. For the first time in history, literal generations of women are validated in their idea that yes, you can be anything you want to be. Tonight, women who have fought tooth and nail for decades of their lives just to see this moment come to fruition can sit and watch in amazement.

Even women like me, 24 years-old, can sit and watch history being made.

This one isn't about me though.

See, I've got my goals, my dreams, and my career path. I grew up hearing you can be whatever you want to be. I spent years in school knowing that I had the right to work towards any job in this country. I could get my driver's license. I could register to vote. I could go to college. I could buy a house. And frankly, I never once felt like there were limitations on me - in those areas - because I also happen to be female.

So this isn't about me.

This is about her. This is about the little girl that I get to raise. This is about the girl that I'm dropping off at kindergarten. The little girl that I'm teaching to make cookies. The girl for which I'll proofread essays on Hemingway. The girl that I will tell, you can be anything you want to be. The girl that gets to  grow up in a world knowing her whole life that there is not a single limit for how high she can go.

She gets to know, from day one, that a woman can be a Presidential candidate in the United States.

Just like I knew that I could go to law school. I could vote at 18. I wasn't going to need to fight my way out of an arranged marriage. My education was never going to be a battle. And...well, we're still working on equal pay. We'll get there, girl. 

This is about all the daughters that come after this. This isn't about the 20 somethings that get to say, I was part of that history being made. This is about all the little girls that don't have to day-dream the image of a woman in the highest office of this country.

See, that's the thing. I knew I could be anything I wanted. It's a millennial thing, right? You know you can. But when you've never seen it before, when there is no one to show that it can be done, it becomes inherently much harder to envision. It isn't a simple reality - you can drive, you can vote, you can go to college. It is a distant reality. It's an idea, touted around like jet packs and flying cars.

There was a story recently (I think it was on Fresh Air, but it was NPR nonetheless) and a principal was explaining how when he - as a grown black man in a suit, who had been speaking to a room of adults - came as such a surprise to group of young students, that they were convinced he must have been President Obama. They thought, in a split second that a man, commanding attention, respect, and emanating power, was the President.

You see what that is, right? That there are so few strong black role models - in this case - in political positions that these kids only knew to think of President Obama.

This is what that was 8 years ago. The start of a new era.

Where little girls have someone to point to and say, she did it. Where it no longer is the figment of someone's imagination to be on the direct path to the Presidency of the United States. Where it actually is possible to be anything you want to be. Where after all this time finally as the "greatest country in the world," we may finally be on par with so many others.

Tonight is big. This is big.

Because one day some 17-year-old is going to be sitting in APUSH and she's going to be so unimpressed that we were so thrilled to see a woman nominated to become the President of the United States. Because why couldn't a woman be elected President, right?

Side note: Seriously, who you vote for is your right, and your business, but for the love of all that is good and holy, please vote. Please use this privilege that has - in many cases, 'cause I assume a lot of y'all are women - was bitterly fought for. For you. Don't. Not. Vote.

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