Thank You, Hillary


A good friend once recommended "strongly-worded letter-writing" as an effective form of catharsis and I've since employed the exercise several times throughout my adult life. Most of my letters are purely brain dumps that I left as drafts on my computer, however the one below I felt compelled to send and share: 


November 10, 2016

Dear Hillary,

This one fucking* hurts. And youof all peopleare probably like, “Yea. No fucking* shit*”. So I apologize for stating the obvious. But I spent yesterday feeling like a loved one had died (and if you read through my texts with family and close friends without context—you would probably think that was the case). In fact, if you watch what’s happening with the country right now (I hope you’re not. I hope you’re getting 7 massages per day, reading US Weekly, and have an IV drip of Chardonnay), a large number of us are very much in the throes of the grieving process.

You know all too well where my heartbreak lies: I’m a hard-working woman from a middle-class family who prides herself on her independence. I believe that inclusion and fairness are what make our country great. I believe that the decisions a woman makes regarding her body are hers alone to make. I’ve seen and experienced the benefits of The Affordable Care Act. And I have several email accounts that I have created for convenience purposes.

You get why I’m upset.

But, after some reflection, here are just a few things that you, your campaign, and this election have inspired me to do moving forward:

  1. Exercise empathy. Human suffering is no joke. If someone is unhappy, dissatisfied, feeling marginalized—seek to truly understand WHY— if you don’t already. Consider what you would do if in the same shoes. Demand this quality of your peers and instill it in your children.
  2. Maintain grace under fire. When they went low you went high. Michelle may have written the words but you inspired them.
  3. Stay awake. I live in San Francisco where I share political beliefs in-line with much of the population. And I admittedly get complacent because of it. Shame on anyone who fails to look beyond their immediate surroundings when taking the temperature of society. 

I’ll cut the rambling and leave you with this: Voting for you was one of the proudest moments I’ve had in my life to-date. I will always remember the morning of 11/8/16—the optimism I felt heading to the polls, women and men attempting their best efforts at assembling pantsuit ensembles, the heartwarming sight of parents voting with their kids, the annoyance I felt when I realized after 30 minutes I was in the wrong precinct line, the moment of pause I took before marking your name to let it ALL soak in...

I didn’t just vote for the first female president in our history, I voted for someone who would have made a fucking* great president. 

What I’ve been meaning to say through all of this is thank you. Thank you for all the fighting you’ve done. Thank you for paving the way. Thank you for showing it CAN be done. Even though it wasn’t this time, YOU'RE responsible for the fire that was just lit in the woman WHO IS going to do it.

Now go enjoy some well-deserved R&R.

With respect and gratitude, 

Ali Hartwell

*I would never speak to a president using such foul language. But since you didn’t make it into office, I feel ok giving you my unfiltered emotion. (Too soon??)

If you'd like to send Hillz a thank you note too, you can find here mailing address here (thanks to my Aunt Betsy for sending the tip).