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This is a political one. Let me begin by saying that I don’t require your political views to be mine, and I don’t need anyone’s approval or validation.

I turned 18 in 1991, and I voted for the first time at the 1992 primary. As a freshman in college, I was all about being well-versed in my political choices. My parents (at the time) were independents, and so I learned to approach all elections with an open mind.

In 1992, I wanted so badly to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. I settled for voting for Bill, but in my head, I wanted her. Why? Because she’s a lot like me. She cares about people, especially underprivileged women and children. She wanted universal health care, an issue that was of sudden importance to me because I was about to be kicked off my parents’ insurance. There were many other reasons, but I liked her a lot.

Mostly she’s a pragmatist. I’ve been derided by people close to me for being a pessimist, which I find insulting. I’m not a pessimist—I’m a realist. I believe any goal can be achieved, but it takes hard work, a great plan, flexibility, and persistence to get there. It took me seven years to finish my undergraduate degree. As I searched to find my path in life, I attended three different colleges, including a community college and two universities. My path wasn’t easy, and I had to make compromises and take detours, but I persevered. Just like HRC.

In the last 24 years, I’ve only missed voting once, on a millage renewal that happened suddenly in May when nothing else was on the ballot. I still feel bad about that. Due to local politics—when you live in a predominantly red area, a primary often determines who is elected to represent you on a local and state level—I’ve voted on the Republican primary ticket every year except 1992 and 2016.

I’ve waited my whole life to see a woman in power. I want my daughters to see the heights a woman with a plan can achieve.