I’m relieved that Barack Obama has won the election. However, I am not delusional enough to think that the simple act of him winning an election will fix the mess in which the US finds itself mired ass-crack deep. I doubt that things will actually get better for a long time. If McPalin had won I would be devastated because I would have lost all faith in my fellow citizens. Luckily, I don’t have to think about that anymore. Believe it or not, the Mia of 2004 would feel much differently. I have done a lot of growing up politically in the last 5 years. Here’s my story.

I grew up in ultra-conservative North Dakota. (FYI to those of you who need it: No, ND is not the state with the heads in the mountains….there are ZERO mountains in ND…..the movie Fargo took place in Minnesota and yes, they do speak like that in some places of MINNESOTA…..ND is on the Canadian border directly north of SD which is north of Nebraska which is north of Kansas, which is north of Oklahoma which is north of Texas…..NEVER refer to North and South Dakota as “the Dakotas.” It’s offensive to us…..yes there are only 10 people in ND…there were 11, but I escaped.) I was a good little christian girl who never got in trouble in school. I only tried alcohol once before I graduated from HS, and I thought it was disgusting. I loved jesus, and god and all that crap. I really did believe it all. Religion was a way of life in my household. My parents forced us to go to church every Saturday night and Sunday morning. I was on the board of my youth group. I went to church camp….I even became a counselor once I was too old to be a camper. So there I was, turning 18 in my own sequestered little world. What could I do for fun? I was feeling rebellious and since I was now a legal adult I decided to exercise my new found rights. I went to the convenience store on the corner and decided I would do one of two things….buy porn or cigarettes. I chose cigarettes because I was far too embarrassed to buy porn. Since I become addicted to anything after trying it just once I started smoking regularly. I hid it from my parents until the summer, but I still smoked every day. This was the beginning of my slow departure from my conservative up-bringing.

I started hanging out with my brother and his friends because they all of a sudden thought I was the coolest friend on earth. Actually, I was simply the only one who was 18 and had a car. I was a senior and my brother was a junior and I’d buy cigarettes for him and his friends after school. I ended up going out on weekends with the whole group, too. That’s how I met my first (non-junior high or future gay) boyfriend, X. He was 15 and living at a group home for delinquent children. He got weekend passes to go home and see his family, but he eventually ended up spending all his time with me. Looking back I must have been so desperate to be accepted and loved to have dated someone three years younger than me who was on anti-psychotic drugs and had been in trouble with the law. Not the smartest of moves. Luckily, nothing bad happened to me. X did teach me a lot of things…like how to kiss and give head. We basically spent hours alone in my car parked in secluded areas smoking and making out. Eventually, X dumped me because I got mono and had to stop going out for a month….he ended up asking out one of my friends. I was kind of hurt, but then again it was all about the making out for me. I had discovered that I was ALWAYS horny. I almost had sex with X….I probably would have, too except the timing was never right. It was hard to be alone somewhere other than a car, and we were always afraid of being caught.

The internet was emerging right around that time. I got my first email address the next fall when I started college, and it was all over from there. I spent more and more time online and found more and more dirty things. I was still the perfect little church girl on the outside, but I had started to think about sex constantly. I was still determined to wait until I was married to have sex. A war had started in my head regarding sex and religion. A war that wouldn’t be completely resolved until very recently (two years ago or so). After the decision on whether to wait until I was married to have sex was taken away from me at age 19, I went a little sex crazy. I started chatting with men sometimes all night long. It was always about sex. We would masturbate together. I liked how they made me feel. I moved into having phone sex with them. There was one guy I liked in particular. He and I started talking on the phone every night. The connection with him was just spectacular…..if you haven’t guessed it yet….that guy is Jack. I think I’ve written about how that all happened somewhere on the blog before. If not you can ask me questions if you want to know more.

So I started having sex with Jack. We got engaged, married, and I moved several states away for one year by myself for graduate school. Jack joined me after the first year. I moved far enough away to distance myself from the religion of my parents, and the conservative nature of ND. My colleagues in graduate school were confused as to why I was so conservative. I remember telling someone about the bumper stickers I had on my car in high school. One said, “Had enough? Vote Republican,” and the other said, “She’s a child not a choice.” (I graduated from HS in ’96) Now, I’m embarrassed to admit that I was once a republican, but I was.

Graduate school was one reason I moved away from my conservative roots, but there was a much bigger reason. My sexual metamorphosis is the main reason I changed. Once Jack and I started experimenting with other people I started to see the world in a different way. I realized that there was certainly no place in christianity for people like us. Sexual deviance is frowned upon by all sects of the church. The more people in the lifestyle I met the more I believed in humans rather than a religion. Sex is fun. It feels good, and it’s a necessity for life – why is that bad? It’s not. Once I had no reason to hold on to the religious beliefs, I started seeing politics differently, too. One of my main reasons for being a conservative was abortion. Take away religion and the argument for pro life evaporates. That opened the door for me to actually listen to the other side of the political table. It was a long process, but I eventually lost all faith in W and the rest of them.

The last straw was the way the world sees the US. I was embarrassed to go to Canada and admit I was American. I can’t stand the way the government handled Iraq and Afghanistan. After the attacks on September 11, 2001 it turned my stomach to see the rednecks of the country get all patriotic. It was good that people came together, but it seemed like the wrong time to get so incredibly patriotic. It felt like if you didn’t put a flag on your car or sing god bless america every day that someone would come take you away to jail because you didn’t love American enough. The ignorance of the American public was revealed during those days – an ignorance exacerbated by W.

So, that’s how I got where I am today. I was still technically registered as a republican until I got it changed this fall. I voted for W twice….something I’m now ashamed of. I voted for Obama yesterday, and I’ve never felt better in my life.

Let’s hope the change works…….