So much emotion is tied up in the 2016 election. So many hopes. So much history.

I’ve spent a decade of my life advocating for Hillary Clinton, working for her, advising her (the privilege of a lifetime), admiring her and doing my best to defend her against some of the most vile insults imaginable.

I’ve done it primarily for the women and girls in my life, because I know the world they live in is a different one from mine and because Hillary has spent her life fighting for their cause, aspiring to make their lives better and more just.

Hillary is the tip of the spear, the woman who stands for women, the individual who is willing to endure an intolerable amount of invective in the present to make the world better for the future.

Tonight there was a comment on my Facebook page that helped me understand what Hillary means in the scope of history. My friend Bev wrote:

When I voted in 2008 for Barack Obama, I was very aware of the people on whose shoulders I was standing. Casting that particular vote felt both sacred and solemn. When I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton for President, I will be casting a vote for my suffragette great-grandmothers, for my grandmothers who dared to enter male-dominated careers, for my mother who worked globally to bring healthcare to women and equal rights to all people, and for the young women who will stand on my shoulders.

I choked up when I read that because as I get older I understand how quickly time passes, and how we are each part of a larger whole, a letter in a word in a sentence in a paragraph in a chapter in a book in a library… we grab the torch, run our brief (mad) dash and hand it on.

In this moment in history, I want to be one of those who carries the torch with — and for — America’s first woman president. Then I will hand it off to my children and my children to theirs.

I understand why Hillary tolerates the put-downs and provocations, the rage and hate. It’s the price of change, the cost of breaking barriers.

It’s the journey of every woman, in this, the year of the women.