3.04.2009

And, you were not the same.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Words (at least the 150 of them that I happen to know) can't express how thrilled I am to have received the Insta-lanche on my very first post!

While you're here, stop by today's last post. I have had yet another Pivotal Life Moment: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow: Pivotal Life Moments, Part 2.
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Pivotal Life Moments. They move us and shape us. They cause us to do things we swore we’d never do start blogs. They alter our future by imprinting our present so that, to paraphrase the brilliant Ben Folds, we are not the same after that.

Until now, my PLMs haven't always come through the usual sources—college, moving, marriage. (I'm two for three on this and my naked left ring finger and I agree that it’s fitting the phrase “two out of three ain’t bad” came from a singer named Meat Loaf.) Instead, they have slipped in almost unobserved via the mundane realities of everyday life. Case in point: Sitting at my kitchen table a few summers back, I realized that I had chosen the cholesterol-lowering, high-fibery-goodness-touting cereal over the cloyingly cute Trix Rabbit. I still consider that my official welcome to Destination Adulthood.

Still, it is not how these moments occur but simply that they do that matters.

My most recent PLM occurred this past weekend during a political pep rally conference in Washington, D.C. The setting was mildly more remarkable than my kitchen, not least because I was wearing high heels rather than eeyore slippers. For hours, I was whisked around by my illustrious mentor to meet one influential, potentially PLM-inducing figure after another. After introducing myself as a “feature writer for a lifestyle magazine” (translation: failure at life), the question of when I was planning to transition into “real journalism” invariably followed. Each conversation culminated in my fumbling for a business card that would later be used to line their kid’s hamster cage.

Suddenly, those eeyore slippers sounded pretty damn good.

Rather fortuitously, I ran out of business cards and arrived in the speakers’ room just as a husband and wife team from Ireland took the stage to promote their new movie, exposing the “conspiracy” of Global Warming hysteria. While I didn’t find a pot of gold, or even a Guinness, at the end of their address, I did find my Pivotal Life Moment.

The topic was global warming. The rhetoric was heated. The crowds were cheering. And, I was appalled.

As the couple offered sound reasons as to we why we could eat anything we want (We’re American!), drive what we want (We’re American!!), expend as many resources and show as little environmental responsibility as we want (We’re American!!!), I became acutely aware that this position was not only an affront to my intelligence but to the very core of what it means to be American.

At that moment, my PLM hit: maybe the world of politics and culture could use me, after all. You see, for the past few years, I have been determined to write about nothing of substance. I wanted to write “cute things about nice people.” (Don’t judge, or I may just give you my business card.) But it hadn’t always been that way.

I was one of those kids who grew up planning to be somebody important. I wasn’t content to imagine myself as a doctor or a fireman. I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson—minus the tragic end, Edward R. Murrow—minus the cigarette, or the First Lady—who, at the time was Hillary Clinton, so minus the pantsuit. (For those wondering why I didn’t aspire to President rather than First Lady, I did. But the Missus had better shoes, and a girl’s gotta have her priorities).

In short, I had big dreams.

Years later, in a fateful PLM, my parents shipped me off to Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia rather than boot camp. Just weeks into my freshman year, I became disillusioned—to put it mildly—by the well-intentioned but intellectually lazy zealotry of my classmates who were determined to storm Washington and take over the White House in the name of Jesus. Determined to separate myself from this culture, which I consider neither compatible with the sayings of Jesus nor conducive to gaining credibility in the real world on either side of the political continuum, I gave up doing anything “important” with my life and transitioned into lifestyle magazines. I moved to the south and, for over a year, wrote about home design, travel, food, and kitschy local events.

I was determined to prove that I knew being an evangelical did not mean I had a divine directive to change the world through politics. Still, the more I wrote about the latest color combinations and how to take a room from “so-so to smashing” (true story), the more I began craving an outlet for the dialogue of thoughtful analysis and humorous (to me) commentaries that I found running through my head at any given point during the day.

The obvious answer? A blog. So, thanks to my Irish-couple-induced-PLM, here I am. Now, having joined the ranks of those millions who feel they can contribute to society by, as Andrew Sullivan calls it, writing out loud, I hope that one of these days I may say just the thing that will serve as a PLM catalyst for one of you.

25 comments:

  1. Ok, so I can read at work. I love you. You crack me up. I never thought I'd see that day YOU started a blog...

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  2. Hahaha, I love your writing. I had never thought a PLM could result from eating old people cereal.

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  3. "If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature."
    - Bruce Barton

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  4. Very nice wordplay with the title. I've always been fond of the double entendre, but for the sake of decorum, will resist the urge at this point.

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  5. I'm still trying to get past RS McCain's don't drool on my keyboard comment.

    Welcome to blogger row. Find an empty seat and have at it. God knows after reading my own drivel these past few months, I could stand to read something good.

    Sean~

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  6. I'm one of those folks to whom your esteemed Svengali introduced you at CPAC though I hope I wasn't one of the folks who gave you the "feh" of disapproval. It's good to see you've joined the Howling Blogger Mob, Cute and Nice People Division!

    Here's to a wide and appreciative audience for you in the future!

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  7. Anonymous4.3.09

    I clicked on "view my complete profile" and it says "gender: male", is there something that you're not telling us?

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  8. Anonymous4.3.09

    Congrats on the R.S.McCain mention, and your next leap in personal evolution. Great title! Do some more of that, RSM has had some funny ones.

    Defend manhood often, you'll get a lot of traffic that way (though not all nice, I expect), like Helen, Melissa, Rachel and Cassy.

    Seriously, don't be afraid of the ban hammer for those obviously trying to disrupt and insult core base visitors. Liberals want censorship of any conservatism. Give them a taste of what they want for us...

    J David

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  9. is there something that you're not telling us?

    Yeah, that was weird, especially since I introduced her to her boyfriend. Does he know? Does he mind? NTTAWWT.

    But now she's changed it to "female," so she's officially part of the LGBT blogosphere, I suppose. If she starts putting rainbow flair on her sidebars, I guess we'll know.

    Look at that, Suzanna: Your first post, and already you're "controversial"!

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  10. My first grade report card said plays well with otters.

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  11. Then, were you to consider changing your name to "Dani," this t-shirt would be perfect for you:

    http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/plays-well-with-otters-womens-long-sleeve-dark-t/304179563

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  12. That's pretty sexist! I'm OUTRAGED!

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  13. Welcome to the blogosphere!

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  14. OK, Suzanna: Now you've got an eye-soothing color scheme. Next: Blogroll me, Jimmie (Sundries Shack) and Dr. Douglas (American Power).

    Dan, with your multiple blogs, how do you want to be blogrolled by Suzanna?

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  15. Dear Ms. Logan,

    The Other McCain sent me over here. What a refreshing difference.

    I am now of an age where I can switch back to Trix. My contemporaries don't care how I look even if they could find their glasses.

    Welcome to my world.

    Roy

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  16. R.S.M - for the sake of clarity, let's make that "ex-boyfriend," shall we?

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  17. Welcome to the party Ms. s.Logan. Looking forward to seeing more of what you care to share.

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  18. ...They grow up so fast. Personally, I have switched back to Cocoa Krispies, and I consider that a PLM too.

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  19. for the sake of clarity, let's make that "ex-boyfriend," shall we?

    Boyfriend or ex-boyfriend? Let's ask him, shall we? It's been off-again, on-again so many times with you two, it's like a soap opera. Now, hurry up and write some more posts, so you can become a blogospheric sensation.

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  20. PLM?

    Is that like a SEE?
    Significant Emotional Event?

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  21. I'm sure your parents think you're turning out fine.

    We won't bring in the kingdom of Christ through Republican Party precinct delegates. an the reason why *I* became interested in the Religious Right was franky schaeffer v's dad's books and franky schaeffer v's propaganda movies. Pretty sucky how all that turned out, eh?

    America had its dalliance with theocracy and all my ancestors got out of it was banishment from Massachusetts bay colony for being Baptists.

    When you believe in the separation of church and state, you can't premise political activism with, "don't kill babies because of the sixth commandment."

    The person of faith speaking of politics in a pluralistic society has to premise political advocacy on non-church-words. If you're pro-life, then you'd better find a rationale in securing civil-rights for the unborn.

    I started with the question, "What is a fetus?"

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  22. Great. So, how does a gun-blogger get linked to you?

    http://blackforkblog.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for playing blog-o-rama and many happy posts in the future!

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  23. Steve H.11.3.09

    I interviewed at Patrick Henry in January 2005...really dodged a bullet on that one. Lots of blather from Mike Farris about how he wanted to be just like Harvard--circa 18th Century. Prestige, yada yada yada. Yet nobody running the interview could tell me what my actual duties would be...very incompetent management of the place. And Mike Farris took a dislike to me because I happened to go to--gasp--a Lutheran church. Turns out his school is "non-demoninational" only for some denominations. I wasn't surprised to find out that a large portion of the faculty left within the next year or two.

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  24. heh, welcome to the show that never ends... I hope you have a sense that you should only listen to half the comments and believe none of them... oh, wait... that includes me. ;)
    cheers.

    ps. don't mention the naked ringfinger, or you'll be getting propoasals from everywhere...

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