Saturday, August 27, 2011

Owning It

I spent some time this month watching re-runs of RuPaul's Drag Race. You may not know, but I am Miss Gay East Coast 2nd Runner up. I have a plaque to prove it.
See, I am a fabulous drag queen. 

 My bachelorette party was at a drag show at Jacques. This was a few years ago and I was a much different person then. I was much heavier, more self conscious, so much MORE that I was not dealing with then. I felt everyone else was so much MORE than I was. I almost didn't even GO.  But I was dragged there (in overalls no less, what the HELL was I thinking?!) and had a front row seat to the madness and magic that is professional drag. 

I freakin' LOVED it. 

The ladies LOVED the fact that there was a table full of women in the front row. They pulled us up to dance with them. They bought us drinks. They heckled my outfit. They were having a pageant that night and one of the ladies had to drop out. We were the only bachelorette party there (and I think the only straight women there. This was before drag shows were popular for the bride to be) and the host came up to me and presented me with this plaque at the end of the evening. I thought it was hysterical and cheeky and so much fun.

Fast forward to 2011, where Nate is watching drag queens perform and transform in and out of drag. 
I am all for him seeing people in different facets of their personality.  I have no problem with him viewing this, as I am there to answer his questions and you know what, he may actually encounter a drag queen at some point in his life. There are straight and gay people in the world. Some gay people do drag. Some straight people do drag. And in this instance, I was exposing Nate to mostly gay men doing drag. 

He was confused at first. He said, "Mom they're women!" I said, "Yes, they are." He then asked, "But wait, who are those guys with them?"

The FABULOUS JuJubee marrying...himself!

I said, "Those men are what the ladies look like without their makeup on. They are performers and put on a show. And they dress up like women."

He asked, "A Costume like you do, Mom?"

I said, "Yes, but I'm still a woman when I take mine off. "

"Will I be a drag queen?" he asked. He smiled. 

"If you are, I will be the proudest mom ever." I said. 

"Why?" he questioned. 

"Because that is who you are. No matter who you are, or what you look like or how you dress, I will always love and support you."

As we watched, we turned into big fans of Jujubee, who is a Bostonian (WORD!)

Her beauty, grace, poise, humor (which is a hammy casserole chock full of vaudville-ian goodness) and style was what drew us in to keep watching. We were very SAD to find out she did not win! (We do feel she got robbed.)

Watching the show and seeing the ladies work, interact, solve problems, be creative with "What ya got" are skills everyone needs. We aren't always the same, we don't agree on all of the same ideas. We do need to connect and to work with people, even if we think they're complete morons.

Another gem we took from this is the concept of owning it. Owning yourself, your faults, strengths, emotions, looks, choices...all of it. One of my biggest struggles is being comfortable with who I am. Early in my childhood I felt it was not okay to be me. Like I didn't deserve to exist as I was because I was told it was wrong. I couldn't express myself in ways that I needed to and was significantly repressed and curbed to the point of being emotionally stunted. The actor in me was able to hide this behind many layers of happy looking drywall, but for many years, I spent that time not flourishing or growing. 

Only in the past year have I truly been able to deal with this issue. It's something that I have to work on every single solitary day. It may sound corny, but I spend my time reminding myself how incredibly awesome I am. 

I HAVE to. It's part of my daily work. I look at inspiring quotes, I read them and repost them on Facebook. I tell myself I can do anything that I put my mind to. I write in my journal about what is bothering me and try to find solutions to them.

I am owning it. I call it dealing with my shit. I am dealing with my shit every moment of every day, not just when it becomes a massive pile of unmanageable shit. I talk outloud and say, "Okay, calm down. How do we solve this? What can you do right NOW?" 

It's about the right now. It's about dealing with your shit. It's about being awesome and knowing that you're awesome. We're all awesome. It's 100 % true.  You have to TRULY believe it in yourself FIRST. THAT is the hardest, most difficult concept to wrap your head around. 

My shit consisted of getting therapy, daily self affirmations, working to be more accepting and loving of myself and of others and not being responsible for other people's emotions, actions or how they felt about me. I spent so much energy and time and tears on that one. 

You only own yourself. You own and are responsible for yourself, your choices, your emotions and your life. Only you can change you. It is a simple concept, but one many humans, including myself, wanted to not acknowledge. 

Now that I've done these changes, I see a monumental shift in my relationships. Nathan and I are in one of the greatest emotional spaces that we have had in a very long time. We're able to really talk to each other, be present in our conversations and be truly honest in expressing our needs. 

I am blessed, blessed, blessed in my personal life, too. 

I thank RuPaul, the Glamazon of Drag Queens and my new patron saint of inspiring quotes. She brings it to the table without throwing shade and with bucketloads of Southern Charm and grace. She tells it to you straight.

We all must walk through the fire. It will burn, but it will reveal who you truly are. No matter what that is, it is phenomenal because it is you. 

As RuPaul says, "“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

1 comment:

  1. I love that post because it spoke right to me
    I too use positive affirmations and have been walking through the fire for about 28 years now.
    I heard that positive affirmations are like bathing and shaving - they have to be done almost every day. For the sake of myself and everyone else!!
    Have a great day :-)