This week is big. I’ll be 44 on Friday and for the very first time in my life – I’m voting.

It’s okay to judge me. Even I judge me on this one. Not voting for twenty years? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you care? Just because I’ve never taken to the polls, doesn’t mean I didn’t give a shit.  I did. I just didn’t think my shit mattered.

In my 20s, I was a rebel without a clue. A stripper with a coke problem and an all-around rule-breaker. I somehow equated voting as giving in to the system, and everything about me was screaming of anarchy. All I cared about was the fast lane; blowing wads of cash, and living far off the grid. Besides, who would want to hear my opinions? The general vibe from society was that we (strippers) were scumbag prostitutes who didn’t pay taxes, cheated with husbands, and were worthless, airheads with no goals in life other than to find the next best deal in clear heels and Spandex. I was too busy partying to give a shit about proving them wrong.

I grew up in a middle class Republican home. But nothing in my young adult life seemed to fall on the right side, so I felt like a hypocrite, even thinking about voting from the Right, which was I was told to do as a child.

So I just didn’t vote.

As I grew into my 30s, I educated myself on the issues. I left the stripping life behind, and entered the corporate world, striving to stay afloat between paychecks. I began to learn about both parties and decided to claim myself as an Independent. The wheels were definitely turning, but I still lived with a sense that my opinions didn’t matter – that my one voice wouldn’t make a difference.

So I just didn’t vote.

I was close to voting in 2008 – even registering. I wrapped myself in the social issues, standing up for my LGBT friends and even rallied in their honor. So why didn’t I vote? It’s shameful, really. All I can say is that again – I didn’t think my ticket would make a difference.

This election, I decided to dig deep. I watched both Fox News and MSNBC, listened carefully to all the debates, and read countless articles from both sides. I’m sure it’s a mix of maturity and that my self-worth is finally catching up, but this time around – I am running to the polls.

As a woman who feels passionately about her fertility rights, and is aware of the fact that there was a time women weren’t even allowed to vote – I’m taking a great sense of pride and honor in heading to the polls, wondering what the hell I was thinking, not exercising this fundamental right.

Of course my one voice matters. So does yours. That is what voting is all about, right? Our voices, joining together?

I’ll be glued to the television election night, feeling connected to society, in a way I’ve never experienced. No matter what the outcome, I know my vote made a difference – and that alone, is what this country is all about.

Here’s the part where you tell me: How old were you when you voted? Have you ever voted? How does it make you feel?

20 comments

  1. I’m really happy that you will be voting this year…I’ve always believed it is a right and a privilege that so many in this world have always wanted, died for, or are just not getting the right to do. I voted as soon as I was able, when I turned 18, in an off-year election. My first presidential election was 1980…Carter vs. Reagan. However, being at college and wanting to show my independent spirit, and because there was a very cute girl doing the asking, I went for the 3rd party candidate, John Anderson. In retrospect, probably not the best use of my vote. ah well. But I have never missed a Presidential election and only 2 off-year elections due to moving and not getting my registration changed. Enjoy the process, Christine.

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    1. Thanks Kevin. It feels awewsome. It’s been said that the age you start using (drugs), is where you mentally stop growing. I started using at 13. It makes sense I’m just coming around to voting now. And I’m a loud bitch, so watch out world!

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  2. Welcome the club!! I have been voting since the 1988 Bush v. Dukakkis run off… I try to keep up with local politics as well. Good for you and be well..!

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  3. Go you!
    Two things:
    -No drop of rain thinks it’s responsible for the flood. (Of course your vote matters!)
    -The only people that can bitch about the govt are those that vote. That’s the rule.

    I’ve voted since I was first eligible, in federal, state and city elections.

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  4. I’m so happy to read this post! Something tells me that your vote was just what I would have done, if I could. I’m Canadian, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to re-elect the president. If you’re a woman, voting Republican is like punching yourself in the vagina, and then in the face.

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  5. Honestly, Christine, I am sooooo tired of hearing and reading about politics! I just wanted to write a comment to say how extremely sexy the woman’s legs are on the picture above and I WANT THOSE SHOES!!! 🙂

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  6. When I was working with an architect and was agonizing over some decisions, she gave me the best advice: design for the 95% not the 5%. I have taken that advice with me everywhere, including voting. So while I am a an avid pro-choicer, a) that law will never change. Woman would riot in the streets and the world may come to an end…and b) I’m not in the market for an abortion…so that issue is not on my radar screen. I do, however, have a small family owned business that is getting slaughtered by the economy and new government regulations. I do have four young kids I worry about having a bright future without the weight of massive government debt and entitlements it can’t keep up with. And I do have a child mentor who’s mother called me so excited her permanent disability (diet and lifestyle infuced) just got approved by the government! Yippee! So for me, HOW the government is run affects 95% of my life. The chances some old white fart is going to take away my right to make a decision about my body (a decision I’m not even in the market to make anyway) affects my life so minusculey, I can’t even give it 5%.

    It is so nice to hear people engaged. Everyone has a reason for their vote, but it has been decided, and now we have to send strength and wisdom for OUR president. I didn’t vote for him, but he is still my President and I will support him and the entire system to guide us through these crazy times!!! Xo Lina

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    1. Thanks for the comment, DL. I’m elated with the outcome, for many reasons. And stand by my choice from my gut, which is voting for a honest man, who, although isn’t perfect – is a man of integtiry and honor (Romney was caught in so many lies, it’s mind-blowing). There are a TON of facts about how Romney’s math (5 point plan) doesn’t add up, and frankly, I’m not in the market for abortion either! 🙂

      But – I know that being a woman is NOT a pre-exsisting condition, the war was costing us lives and waaaayyyy too much money, everyone should be able to afford to pay off their student loans, and women and men SHOULD be able to make equal pay (Lilly Ledbetter act).

      I’ve been studiying both sides for almost a year reading everything I could, watching the debates, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC – and, for the first time, voted. I feel like such an American!

      I love that you call him OUR president. Let’s hope to God The House and Obama can end this gridlock and start REALLY getting shit done.

      xxoo

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  7. What WAS it about this year’s election? I’m 36 and voted for the first time in my life this year as well. Having not voted before for exactly the same reason. What difference would it make? I’m only one person. The suffragettes would be ashamed of me.

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