Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be RuPaul- A free-verse poem

In Mrs. Reese's third grade class we were asked to write down on yellow construction paper
"When I grow up, I want to be _________"
(Fill in the blank and draw a picture.)

Have you ever been asked a question that you felt you'd waited your entire life to answer?
Well, I have.

It happened in Sally Reese's third grade class at Springdale Elementary School
"When I grow up, I want to be _________"
(Fill in the blank and draw a picture)

Of course, I couldn't write down what I really wanted to be
I glanced around me
My heart beating wildly;
My answer rolling around in my brain
I glanced to my left
To see red strokes of a fire engine on Andrew's paper
I glanced to my right
The girl with a birthmark on her face wrote the word, "Pretty"
I sighed,  picked up my pencil and wrote, "archaeologist"

It was a lie
A good lie, but a lie nonetheless

The fact is, when I was a little girl
I wanted to be RuPaul
I was blithely unaware that "she" was a "he"
And in spite of the fact that I was
a skinny, toe-headed white girl
I felt like in my heart it could happen

I could be an African American Glamazon!

There was something mesmerizing about RuPaul
I think it was mostly how happy she seemed
And how when she smiled, she smiled with her whole face
The way she would lift her arms in the air, spin in a circle and say, "I feel FABULOUS!"

She seemed so...free
Looking back, it's clear that I didn't want to grow up and actually become a drag queen
I just wanted to be that... free

The kind of freedom that knows, despite the looks of:

Discouragement from others

the key to being happy, is being yourself.

To be free...
Free from fear
Free from worry that others would laugh at my ideas an opinions
Free from my self deprecating habits
Free from the whispers delivered through cupped hands into waiting ears
Free from being poor
Free from always grasping at the illusive strands of normality
Free to be myself

It's a nice thought, you know?
When I look back, it is nice to know that all I wanted at the age of 9
was for my older self:

To be happy
To experience happiness without boundaries
To be able to throw my arms high in the air and shout, "I feel FABULOUS!"

I am happy to report
I did it
I have found my freedom
I have discovered my voice
I am learning each day to do things that make me happy
To worry less about the

Discouragement from others

My yellow construction paper had the word "archaeologist" scrawled across the top
If do-overs were a thing
I would go back, and with as many colors and as much glitter as possible, I would answer the one question I'd waited my whole life for:

I would write:

Because it makes me happy...and is sort of the new soundtrack to my life...this song

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