How Mad Men Galvanized Me to Start my Blog

October 22, 2010

“You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Our own life has to be our message.” Thich Nhat Hanh

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a long time, but never did because I wanted to really pin down my subject before starting.  After all, no one wants to read a blow-by-blow account of someone else’s day; this project was not to be a journal. The trouble was, though, that I was having a hard time pinning down a topic to write about.  For those who already know me well, this will come as no surprise, as I am usually interested in too many things for my own good.  For those who don’t know me well, know this: I am usually interested in too many things for my own good.

My interests are varied, and I love to experiment and try out new things, new approaches, new philosophies, though it should be noted that when I say “new,” I usually mean “old.”  New to me, at any rate.

So how to create a blog about a topic when so many different areas present themselves?  What is the throughline?  Having spread myself so thin, is there anything I actually know enough about to write on it in depth?  The answer came to me while watching Mad Men a few weeks ago: Don was leaving his apartment, late for work, leaving at his home a woman who had stayed over.  Surprised that he should be so cavalier about leaving her alone in his apartment with his things, she asks “Are you sure you want to just leave me here?” and he replies “I’m taking everything interesting with me.”

There it was, staring me in the face, my blog topic.  The one thing all my interests, lifestyle, and experiments really have in common: choosing who you are, creating yourself, and being invested in the process of your own life.  For me, this process has a specific focus – living as simply, fully and naturally as possible.  The blog was born.


Feedback: If you had to pick one topic to write about or discuss forever, what would it be?  Or, to put it another way, if you had to make a living teaching something, what would it be, and to what audience?


15 Responses to “How Mad Men Galvanized Me to Start my Blog”

  1. Karen Says:

    Yes, an hour after you post your blog, I’m on it. I swear, I’m busy, but it’s my 2 hour break for the day. Now, what was the feedback you asked for?

    Ah yes, one topic to write about or discuss forever,or, if you had to make a living teaching something, what would it be, and to what audience?

    You may have figured this out already, but I’m all about love. I could discuss it forever, write about it forever, sing about it forever. Not just the mushy, sappy romance that some people call love, but all different aspects of it. Love of one’s self, one’s possession, love for others, God’s love. (Even if you don’t know for sure if God exists, the concept of his love has shaped history whether he exists or not.)

    I wish I could teach love. I’ve tried before. I believe the ultimate form of love is probably selflessness. If I could teach everyone in my life that the important thing is not the “me, me, me” that society throws at us everyday; teach them to consider the thoughts and feelings of others before they act or speak for their own interests; maybe I could even get them to HELP others and show them love. For now, I’d be satisfied to convince them to stop hurting each other.

    Was that tangent relevant?

    You want to make this blog about choosing who you are… I chose who I was a long time ago, though I’m sure I’m not done changing. I’m having trouble with the “being invested” part at this point. I look forward to more posts. 🙂

    • What do you feel is the role of the self in decision-making? Isn’t making decisions to support what you love to do, though a self-directed endeavor, a good way to bring joy to others?

      • Karen Says:

        Depends on the decision. I mean, if doing what I love to do CAN bring joy to others, that would be amazing! As a matter of fact, that’s WHY I love to do things!

        I love to write music, but it’s only fulfilling if someone else enjoys it. I love to bake, but it’s better with help and WAY better if I give what I bake to someone and it makes them happy.

  2. Samantha Says:

    For me, I’m already blogging/ranting about my obsession on Eurovision, but that’s really just one single facet of my interest in multicultural understanding. It’s just that via a pop culture touchstone like the ESC, an entire continent finds common ground and interacts with itself. The fact that a seemingly superficial musical festival taps into deep sociopolitical, linguistic, historical and cultural questions just gets my gears going in the best possible way. It’s tons of fun to dissect, and there’s over 50 years of history and music to poke through. The fact that I’m able to share my obsession with readers from all over the world who share my interest…it’s a lot of fun, and I relish each new flag that pops up on my hit counter. (I got Malta, Saudi Arabia, Greenland, and the Philippines this week alone! If that’s not multicultural, I don’t know what is…)

    So yeah…in a nutshell, that’s my answer! 😉 I can’t wait to see what you have to say here in this blog. We are all constantly evolving as individuals, and you are one of the most interesting people I know…I’d love to see what your journey has been, and where it leads.

  3. Dave Says:

    First off, from one noble savage to another, this blog seems to have a great topic idea.

    Now, to the point. I have to say that I’m not much of a writer. I have trouble communicating thoughts through text, and am much more suited to verbal/physical connection to get my ideas across. Teaching something, however, I already want to do someday. I’d want to teach theatre at the college level. If one were to insist that that’s too broad a topic, they can shove it.

    On another note, since you told me about it, I started implementing more Paleo diet ideas into what I eat. No real difference in how I feel yet, but we’ll see.

    • Thanks about the blog topic; it’s something near and dear to my heart, and I’m a little surprised, actually, that it’s taken me so long to start writing about it. What is it about theater that calls you specifically to teach, rather than just to be a performer?

      • Dave Says:

        I think most of it comes from a “sharing” perspective. I almost wonder that those who never share what they learn and discover are cheating the future in some way. Also, I have had such great connections with teachers in my life, so I know how influential that teacher-student relationship can be.

  4. kymber Says:

    This will be an interesting blog to follow. I’m looking forward to it.

    What would I want to talk about forever and/ or teach forever? No brainer for me. Art. It’s what I live for. It makes a huge difference in my life everyday and I’ve seen what a difference it can make in other people’s lives. And I’m happy to teach it to anyone who’s interested. Art rocks my world!

  5. I guess it says something about the closeness of my beta audience that I kind of knew ahead of time the answer to this question, though I’m really enjoying reading everyone’s replies.

  6. Jessie Says:

    I love to teach. Big surprise, I know, but for a nerd like me sharing my nerdiness is a very satisfying feeling. It would make sense that I could just whip out an answer to this post in no time. But it’s been a couple of days since I saw it and I am still mulling over my answer. The thing is, I have so many interests that picking one and sticking to it for a lifetime would be really difficult for me. My dream would be to have ‘Jessie teaches things that she thinks are awesome’ classes, but that really does not answer the question. I would love to teach art or art history, Shakespeare/Classics, history, ancient mythologies and cultures, European (especially English) literature, costume/make-up design (for extreme and outlandish characters, not ‘kid-next-door’ stuff)… being able to teach any one or combination of these topics would make me one happy camper. I don’t know which I would pick as my favorite and to be quite honest I don’t want to know. I am quite happy to be in love with a variety of subjects, and I don’t want to put myself in a situation in which I would have to pick amongst my favorite things for one topic to which I would be forever restricted. I know that doesn’t exactly answer the question, but it’s the best that I can do for now.

    • I know the feeling of being spread thin in the interests department, obviously. I guess…what is it about these things that draws you? What is the commonality? As for me, with this blog, intentional/designed living and personality is a very broad topic. It covers a lot of ground, but is the underlying foundation that speaks to all my varied interests. Bottom line: don’t feel that you have to narrow the topic to answer the question. I’m interested in what makes people tick, what their priorities are, more than in arbitrary boundaries separating one field from another.

      • Jessie Says:

        I suppose when you look at it that way, my interest is really in people — how they express themselves, share information, view the world around them and how they have lived and reacted to life for millennia. Language is something else which I find fascinating, so I suppose that you could say that it’s the Humanities that have really captured my heart.

    • Karen Says:


      I wish every teacher that gets paid to teach started the way you did. Just loving teaching. I wish that teaching was a hobby, that way there would only be people who loved to teach doing it. Obviously, that would never work, because people gotta eat, but still, sometimes I feel like asking my teachers, “Are you trying to teach, or get paid for teaching?”

      I hope that made sense, and I hope you get paid to teach someday! 😀

  7. Ghost Hero (andy) Says:

    Music. I’ve often thought of going into some form of teaching in the field of recording engineering or recording technology.

    I will be interested to see what you post in this blog as it grows. You are a fine writer and an intelligent conversationalist. You express yourself very clearly in written text and the topic is one which interests me greatly.

    Feedback: I could discuss music all the days of my life until the end. The history of rock n roll, the impact of music upon culture, various music scenes as culture, music theory, guitar technique, bass technique, song ideas, suggestions in the creative process, and recording technology.

    This is the majority of what I talk about anyway. If I started a blog it would probably be all music related. If I were to teach it would be in the recording technology field.

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