All my life, I’ve had people tell me, “You can’t do that, you’re a girl.” Mostly, I ignored them and kept on pushing — but I was a girl, and thus simply didn’t have access to the same resources the boys did. Now, suddenly, the horizon is so much wider for every girl in America.

Hillary Clinton is, finally, the Democratic nominee — and very possibly the next president of the United States. Which is practically like ruling the world, right?

When Hillary said she wished her mother was alive to see her victory, I laughed with recognition. I have no doubt her mother was watching — along with my mother, her four sisters, and all the other wonderful women who are no longer with us. In fact, I imagine our foremothers filled a very large stadium and the cheers were deafening.

Wasn’t it great, Mom? Isn’t it amazing?

Why do I love Hillary? It helps that, like me, Hillary really likes to delve deeply into a problem, and try to figure out how to fix it. She collects bits of information, because she never knows when she might need it. I trust that approach, and that’s why I trust her. I love competence.

But right now, what I feel is vindication. Which is odd, because I’ve never felt inferior as a woman — just really annoyed when someone treats me as if I am. (Like, “Do you know me?”) It wasn’t something inside that made me question myself — it always came from the outside.

Yet I feel something different today. Her win feels like my win, and that of every other woman who supports her. It’s as if our public status rises along with this remarkable woman, who never gave up.

If I were Hillary, I would have given up after 2008. Who needs the aggravation? But she really wanted the job. Not the glory, not the power — at least, not power for power’s sake. It was a tool she could wield to solve big problems, make a big difference. I never, ever thought it was for the sake of her ego.

Look at all the crap that’s been thrown at her. Yet she just kept going, which is the trait she has in common with every other hero of our time.

And that’s why I think of her every time I hear this powerful song Patty Larkin wrote in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.:

Sometimes I lay down
No more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you asked me to

Some days I look down
Afraid I will fall
And though the sun shines
I see nothing at all

Then I hear your sweet voice
Come and then go
Come and then go
Telling me softly
You love me so

The peaceful valley
Just over the mountain
The peaceful valley
Few come to know

I may never get there
Ever in this lifetime
But sooner or later
It’s there I will go
Sooner or later
It’s there I will go.

We are this close to electing a Madam President, and that will change the lives of women and girls forever. Thank you, Madam Secretary — for never, ever giving up.

And now, let us help you the rest of the way.