Christina is not your usual blogger, but then, who is? She grew up on Disney, literally. Being from a small town outside of Orlando, Florida, her mom was one of the first 50 people employed by the soon-to-become giant and has the remarkable milestone of being the first woman to don a character costume. Christina had the childhood that most kids dream of, with Disney World as her home away from home. Years later, Christina followed in her mom's footsteps and also became a character at Disney World. She remembers it as the 'best job ever' and credits it for teaching her many of life's lessons, one important one stemming from the fact that what can become mundane in such a situation (such as putting on her full costume every day and waving at, hugging, or posing for pictures with visitors to the park) was exciting and new to the patrons at Disney who had potentially saved up for years for this vacation of a lifetime ('Goofy, you're so goofy!' being an exclamation that she heard several times a day but something that the person saying it had waited perhaps their whole lifetime to exclaim to the character himself) so she allowed their excitement to infect her and made sure to appreciate their point of view.
She still even has some of the cards and letters from people whose lives were touched by her mere presence at what was a very important and exciting time for them. It really showed her that everything a person does, no matter how small, has an impact on another person's life. As Christina herself says, Disney taught her to “respect the thoughts and requests of others and respond to them with kindness and joy. No matter how mundane it seems, it's important”. A tool and a lesson that would serve her later in her political analysis and blogging, as well as in her personal life.
Christina feels that among the other things that she learned during her time at Disney, the company's ideals may have helped pave the way for her future as a political blogger by encouraging the 'joyful pursuit of perfection' and in the way that the company went “out of their way to bring the ideals of America into the real world”. Their unique philosophy of taking the concept of role-playing beyond the costumes and to the actual day-to-day running of this major operation was Christina's first glimpse of real Americana. Christina recalls how every employee at Disney was encouraged to fully adopt the role that they were hired for, whether it was a manager who may never have had such a position previously and was now called upon to respond to situations as a manager would, or a person in an actual costume who must take on the persona and vitality of that character, an employee’s job was their role and their position wasn't important, what was important was fulfilling that role as adequately as possible during their time there.
Aside from working in such a microcosm of government in its own way, Christina was raised in a home with both a Democrat and a Republican for parents. Christina says that both her mother and father took special care to keep their political opinions to themselves. They both wanted their children to be free-thinking individuals who could decide for themselves what made the most sense to them as Americans. And Christina also credits her parents with instilling in her a great sense of pride in America as a country that is full of freedom where anything is possible. This coupled with the values that Disney taught her of accountability and responsibility seem to have helped paved the way for her current passionate pursuits in the blogging world.
“Christina had the childhood that most kids dream of, with Disney World as her home away from home. Years later, Christina followed in her mom's footsteps and also became a character at Disney World. She remembers it as the 'best job ever' and credits it for teaching her many of life's lessons.”
Christina has been blogging for 11 years now. It all began with her desire to teach herself to code HTML, which she did. This enabled her to begin her first project, a photodiary of her daily life [an early version of Story of My Life!] to keep her parents current on what she was doing since many miles now separated them, with her being in California and them in Chicago, where they moved when Christina was 11. Christina credits the Lewinsky scandal and the 2000 election as being her main motivators to begin blogging about politics. “I was chagrined and then angry at the way people behaved. I believe the process that played out hurt America in the end.” This has led Christina down quite an interesting path voicing her beliefs among the online community. Christina says that the micro-blogging that she does online with the Twitter community has enabled her to engage in discussions with some of the 'brightest, kindest, most wonderful people I have ever met'. She finds blogging to be a great stress reliever with the side benefit of enabling her to meet some amazing people that she otherwise may never have had the opportunity to know in her daily life offline.
Right around November, 2008, the groups Smart Girl Politics and Top Conservatives of Twitter began and Christina has been very involved with both. With no funding and no professional organization, they were able to begin a national series of demonstrations which 30,000 people attended, given only 1 week to prepare. After the success of this last project Christina has joined the effort again, asking people who agree that the spending in Washington must stop to join them on April 15, 2009 for a nationwide tax day tea party. Sean Hannity has even committed to broadcasting live from the Atlanta Tea Party, a huge success for Smart Girl Politics. This is the next wave of community involvement and it begins online with blogging. Christina has been a part of what makes this country so special, a few like-minded people getting together and organizing themselves around a common cause to create change and express what they believe in. She has learned many things throughout her life, such as when her high school threatened to expel her for missing 3 months because of mononucleosis despite her good grades and her being a national class athlete in track and field, when it really hit home for her that administrators too have agendas that aren't always in the best interest of the parties involved. Christina has incorporated all of this into her discussions online. She is well-informed and intelligent and has found a way to use modern technology to connect with other people to express ideas freely and constructively. As is evidenced by the results of her November demonstration, Americans like Christina are at the forefront of the new era of political expression and perhaps reform. To ensure that people don't become quiet and complacent, the voice of Americans will definitely be heard, and much of it is heard online with bloggers like Christina.
Thank you Christina, for sharing your Story with us.
~~~Our Stories and pictures are the sole copyright of their Authors and may not be reprinted or used without their permission.
(c) 2009 by Cara Moorehead and Story of My Life®