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I’m With Her

Hi friends, it’s been a while! I’ve been off working to confirm the notion that you can have it all, just not at the same time. I’ve taken a little break from writing while I focus on a new job and squeezing every last lemon drop of sunshine out of summer with the kids. Those are the only two priorities I can accommodate right now, and I’ve made my peace with letting the rest go.

But this week, I had to write. Each morning this week, I’ve spent my commute listening to the speeches and recap of the previous day’s Democratic National Convention. I listened to Michelle Obama talk about the promise that Hillary demonstrates for her girls. I listened to Bill’s long love letter to his wife; his story of really SEEING his wife and her capabilities and contributions to her communities. and I heard women of generations before me talk and weep for the hard fought victories they worked for an what this means for them.

And I’ve cried. The big, ugly cry, every morning. The kind where you need to fix your makeup in your car before you go inside. I didn’t expect to feel this way. Yes, I’m a capital F Feminist. I think and write about women and work more than your average person. I thought that seeing her get so far in 2008 and succeed through the primaries this year, that the convention and the official nominating would just sort of be another step in the process.

But it’s not. It’s a big freaking deal. And I get it now.

I’m in my forties. My twenty-some working years, I’ve had it relatively easy. Actually, that’s not true – I’ve been harassed, I’ve been groped at work, I’ve been sidelined for opportunities because I’m the only girl in the room. But I had so many more options because people like my mom, Hillary, or those women at the convention were out doing what they were doing in a culture far less welcoming. And the next generation will have it easier because of what we’re doing.

But this leaps us forward a few giant steps. I saw a meme this week that – with the hope that these steps lead to even bigger ones in November – kids my boys’ age are going to grow up never having seen a white man as President. That’s a big freaking deal.

Jen S.

Jen Swanson (@jgswanson) a digitally curious designer of experiences, a mom, a wife, a reader, a gardener, a cook, and a little bit of a bad-ass. Professionally speaking, of course.

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