Today, Hillary Clinton published a letter to her teenage self and it is unbelievably emotional.
The letter reiterates Hillary’s soft humanity, especially for someone who’s been torn apart at so many turns. The letter addresses herself as a girl who was homesick at college, who depended on her friends to keep her grounded, and as a perfectionist whose persistence was her strongest personality trait.
“Take risks, and don’t be afraid to get caught trying. Do your best to embrace the excitement that comes with not knowing what’s next, and remember that confidence and an open mind will always serve you better than insecurity and doubt. At Wellesley and throughout your life, you’ll find yourself in plenty of rooms where you’re sure everyone is smarter than you are—and sometimes they will be. But one of the best things in life is getting to know intelligent, inspiring people who have something to say. Learn from them.”
Hillary also encourages herself to welcome unexpected opportunities with open arms, like when her then-boyfriend Bill Clinton asked her to move to Arkansas with him to pursue politics, and later when he suggested she run for U.S. Senate.
And she took the same advice when another man suggested something similar.
“Oh, and when President-elect Barack Obama says he wants to talk to you about a job opportunity in his cabinet, hear him out. Serving your community, your state, and your country will be the greatest privilege of your life.”
Hillary is one of the most berated politicians, but she’s learned to stand firm on the ground and not let the false and the petty shake her confidence. Teen girls and women everywhere, take note.
“For a few years, it’s going to feel as if you are single-handedly keeping the tabloid industry in business. You’ll get through that, too. Take criticism seriously but not personally. There will be people who want nothing more than to see you fail, but you can’t let them scare you. Live your life on your terms, not theirs.”
And finally, she reminds us feminism and a passion for women’s rights have always been a part of her, even as a teen.
“It won’t happen as quickly as you hope, but in your lifetime, you will see the world change for women in ways you wouldn’t believe. You will have a daughter, and she will have a daughter, and they both will be born into an America more fair and equal than the one you know in 1965.”
I could sigh for ten years. We really didn’t deserve you, Hillary.