Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Changeable Changeness of Change

The last three weeks have been bizarre. Nothing in particular has happened, nothing too shocking or surprising, but I can't help feeling that my world is moving pretty rapidly into a new place. What's surprising about this is that I'm pretty comfortable with the idea.

I've never really understood before the Tarot idea where the "Death" card actually means "change." I figured it was just a conceit to keep suburban housewives from screaming when they get their cards read. But when things are changing -- both your environment and you -- it really DOES feel a bit like death: a little bit scary and exciting and a whole lot of wondering.

Some things are going on that I'm not going to talk about here, and they're all interrelated so I can't give a full sense of what's happening on this end, but one of the cruxes involved is: how long am I going to continue doing drag? I've always known that there'd be a time when I'd want to stop, and I figured I'd just wake up one morning and say "No more!", but instead it's been a series of gradual waves of thought during the last few years. Every year I give the idea of quitting more serious consideration, and this year I'm really on the cusp of saying "Yeah, that's it."

Why? One reason is vanity. Each year it gets harder and harder to look good, and the failures are more and more apparent. The pictures of me which look attractive are taken from increasing distances. I keep thinking about the song that goes: "Nice legs, shame about the face," and all it takes is one terrible batch of photos to make me go "Ugh! No more!"

Another reason is reward versus effort, and the rewards are getting smaller. It's not that the WORLD has stopped rewarding me, it's just that those rewards mean less and less to me, and as the effort increases, doing drag starts to lose its point.

A third reason is the sheer pain of doing it. My shoulder isn't getting better and there's a possibility that it never actually will (I'm going to a shoulder specialist soon and will probably be scheduled for surgery). The ability to "look good" in drag involves having access to all those parts of your body that you need to modify, and I don't have access to some of those parts anymore. It's depressing and causes me a lot of anguish.

And finally, I've realized over the years that I'm GOOD at a large number of things, but I'm not GREAT at any of them (except for my job), and the reason is because I haven't focused all my money and energy on a single activity. "Doing drag" competes with all the other interests I have in my life.

But the thing is, drag is such a part of my identity that I've always been TERRIFIED of losing it. Who would I BE? This year, however, I can actually see myself doing without it, and I realize that my life would be a hell of a lot simpler and easier without it.

I'm not going to be one of those people who throws out all their drag stuff on a whim. If I do decide to stop doing drag, it'll be a gradual process, a "letting go." I'm still performing at next week's "OK2BME" Pride Prom, and today we were going to do a Daily Muffy (but it was canceled). What happens will depend entirely on where my life goes from here.

In any case, all this stuff is the major reason why I haven't been blogging lately. When my life becomes unsettled I tend to withdraw from creative pursuits (such as this one) and just do a lot of reading and game-playing (yes, The Sims 2).


Gary said...

Instead of reminding you that the only constant is change (oops, I've done it anyway!), I'd like to share a quote from the great American president and adventurer Teddy Roosevelt:

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

It's a good guide to here-and-now problems, as well as facing the realities to come.

I posted it on the wall across from my desk at work, and it has soothed me more than once.

If that's not enough, here's a line from a traditional message praise for women, found in Proverbs, the "Eishet Chayil" (woman of valor):

"...She is robed in strength and dignity, and she smiles at the future..."

You have done some amazing things, so don't fret about the time to come - smile at the future!

Kimber said...

I will still love reading about your pursuits, whatever they may be, with or without draggy Muffy. Good luck getting things sorted out. No growth comes without change, or so they say...