Dear Mom,

Because of you, I've always felt comfortable identifying as a feminist. You taught me from a young age the true definition of feminism (which, unfortunately, many people seem to misunderstand). I know that I'm fully capable of doing anything that a man can do and that I can grow up to enter any field that I want. I know that I am worthy of respect and deserve to be treated as equal.

Thank you for being a role model for me growing up.

As a woman in a male-dominated field, thank you for being the first person in my life who showed me that women can excel in any profession.

Thank you for sending me to an all-girls school where I learned my independence and my worth, for driving me to and from the clubs and activities that I accepted leadership roles in, and for supporting me when I ran for student council (and being a shoulder to cry on when I lost).

Thank you for teaching me strength and, more importantly, resilience.

Thank you for picking me up every time I fell until I was ready to pick myself up.

Thank you for turning me into an independent woman.

Thank you for taking me to my first Women's March in D.C. in January 2017.

Thank you for giving me the space to grow as an individual and for giving me the room to make mistakes and learn from them.

Thank you for being understanding when I made mistakes and allowing me to fix them instead of punishing me.

Thank you for involving me in big decisions that would affect my life.

Thank you for moving me into my first apartment because I felt ready to live independently, even though you would have preferred if I had stayed on campus.

Thank you for explaining to me that my body is my own and no one else's (even though this led to me getting a tattoo and dyeing my hair bright pink, which probably wasn't what you expected).

Thank you for sharing your passion for politics with me and listening to my perspective on politics, even if we disagree.

Thank you for all of the times you've spoken to me as another adult instead of treating me like a child, even though I am your child.

Finally, thank you for being my mother.

Thank you for supporting me at my lows and celebrating with me at my highs.

Thank you for accepting any form of me while always encouraging me to be my best self.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of education, for funding my higher education, and for allowing me to pursue whichever major I wanted instead of setting a predetermined path for me.

Thank you for everything you did to raise three amazing women who will succeed in their professional and personal pursuits in life all because of your help, your support, and your care.

With all the love and gratitude in the world,

Your Daughter