My family has a running joke about me. When I am interested in something I not only dive in head first but I also enthusiastically discuss every detail of my love for that particular topic and invite them to love it just as much as me. Whatever it is it will CHANGE THEIR LIVES.
Yogurt. This was the first grownup topic I remember discussing to no end with my family. I got a yogurt maker and I was not only cutting costs making my own but it tasted so much better than store bought! I mean how amazing to have homemade yogurt with homemade granola. I was a culinary goddess.
Here’s the thing though, I’m a rule follower. If it said it was a seven hour cycle I needed to be there when it was over. If it said not to let it move then within those seven hours you better not even FATHOM going near the counter I was incubating my dairy products. This was a process written in the instruction manual and, while yogurt has been successfully made for many years without a yogurt maker, I was sure that disaster would ensue if I didn’t follow the directions exactly. It would be a $6 mistake. Could we handle such a financial sacrifice? (Insert eye roll here.)
I was insufferable. I even irritated myself with my nonsense but gosh darn it I WAS MAKING YOGURT. I would call my parents and they would patiently listen to my boring tales of yogurt that didn’t quite set properly or batches that didn’t taste quite right. Shockingly this didn’t last. The stress of making yogurt got to the best of me and I turned to shhhhhh store bought.
My interests have run the gamut. They range from water kefir to knitting to bedside tea kettle options. I have an in depth knowledge of topics you might never think of which I acquired during the wee hours of the night when I should be sleeping. Some of the topics have served me well, such as my Teasmade tea kettle and my knitting, but my in depth knowledge of how to make water kefir might be less useful on a daily basis.
Why do I tell you this? If this blog continues you may see waves of topics discussed. I might be really into finding the perfect tunic on Amazon only to decide I’m going to make all my clothes myself. I’m unpredictable like that. One topic I have already discussed is my costuming side gig. Let me tell you why this “yogurt” is different.
Back up to 2001. My friend, Erez, is so freaking cool. He and I were fake roommates in college; we had single rooms that were at the end of a hallway behind a fire door. Our rooms were never locked and we would share the huge container of Jelly Bellies my Mom got me at the beginning of every school year and discuss everything. Now he runs The Shek Check, vlogs and podcasts on mental health and has some extremely inspiring quotes he posts on his facebook page. Go “Shek” it out! (Yes, I’m totally laughing at that joke, Erez said it first!)
During one podcast the topic of “breaking the cycle” was brought up. Suddenly things fell into place. What makes my interest in Drag different than my other interests is that it helped me break a pattern of thinking. Tiptoeing through the Drag world I have learned how to become my authentic self and begin walking confidently through life. It has not just entertained me but shifted the way I see my world.
I’ve always been a pretty happy person. I’ve certainly had my ups and downs but I’ve been satisfied with the life that I have led and the choices I have made. Sometimes though, I would be envious that others could do things that I somehow felt that I shouldn’t. Not big things like careers but little things like wearing a sparkly headband or dying my hair purple.
Here is where the shift happened: I went to Drag shows with my friends and took my kids to Drag brunches. One day we were dropping off eye glitter to our drag queen friend Onyx on our way home from Philly and he was dressed as Kesha. My kids saw him and said, “Oh, hi Onyx!” (They don’t actually call him that but it’s easier for continuity!)
This made me think. They could very easily accept that our male friend was dressed as a woman. They didn’t care, they were just excited to see our friend! So if my family and I could easily accept a man dressed as a woman than why couldn’t I wear a sparkly headband? So I made one. I started with a black sparkly headband. Then I got more daring. I have progressed to a point where I went to the Drag Awards solo in a sequin dress and, gasp, fake eyelashes. This may not sound like a huge shift but I was the kid who was kicked out of gifted and talented in third grade for being too quiet.
Through this past year I have shifted my thinking. I’m trying really hard not to limit myself to what I think I should do or should be. I’m appreciating the ability others have to be their authentic selves and I’m using their stories to inspire the same in myself.
I will never stop finding my next “yogurt” but I’d say that Drag has been taken to the next level and is now a part of my life and not a passing phase. Just know it’s something I might discuss; it’s a big inspiration for authentic me.
PS I cannot find pictures of me and Erez eating jelly bellies in our dorm room! 😦
PPS This post contains affiliate links!