Stopping to Smell the Roses: My Year in Review
By Summer Seasons, PQ Monthly
When I was little, I wanted to be famous. Gianni Versace was my idol, and I just knew that someday I could make it big in the fashion world. I took his death in 1997 very hard, and for some reason it triggered my old battle with self-sabotage. For whatever reason, I only ever dreamt of being in his fashion house, and even though his sister was rumored to take over at the time, I was forever stuck with the idea that because he was gone I could never make it either.
As I got into senior year of high school, I became increasingly bored with the curriculum so I just stopped doing it. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to do it, it just stopped challenging me altogether, I was in college level classes and I just gave up. When I started to fail my classes I sat down with the teachers and my parents and I couldn’t give them a valid excuse as to why I stopped trying, I just did.
I let a large part of my life after high school pass by in mostly a blur. I think in large part I don’t remember a lot of it because I don’t want to remember those times. A lot of things happened in that time, some of it is good, some really great, but there was a lot of bad too. And one day I woke up and was like what the hell am I doing?
I spent a large part of the years after trying to make up for lost time. Building relationships back with family, establishing myself a career and focusing on my drag, but my life can never be perfect. I ended up landing myself with a DUI and some subsequent charges for driving while suspended. I did it to myself, I have no excuses, and it became time for me to pick up the pieces and head into being an adult.
I never actually stopped to look back after that, I immersed myself in my work, building up my drag resume from just Embers and Darcelles, to hosting for CAP, Hamburger Mary’s, Scandals and CC’s with the Gay Pride Parade. I’d made a lot of accomplishments, worked my way to the fame that I so desperately wanted, but a large part of me was very lonely. I had great friends, best ones I’ve had in a long time, but somehow because of my career I felt I was missing out on everything. It began to take a big hold on me and my work, performances, sewing outfits all started to suffer. The only passion that ever seemed to drive a force in me was fundraising.
At the beginning of this year I decided I needed to let all that toxic energy go. It was time for me to start taking the time off I needed, and to do the things I needed to do and find who I was again.
The year began with a trip to NY with my brother, our first trip away from our homes in forever and an inspiring one at that. For him and me it was business as usual, drinks, shenanigans, fun, snow in the city, but my friend Darcy showed me the town and took me to Mood giving me the inspiration to create again. I didn’t realize how far away from inspired I had become until I was in a brand new place exploring the city and just living. Before I’d just set myself up to do projects and then wait until the last minute to do them. I could never give myself the time I needed. I was very much the queen of last minute.
As the summer months approached it became evident to myself and to a few around me that taking breaks from everything, even just to get away was going to be my new necessity. Going on the small weekend getaways with my friends or family helped me to solidify that strong bonds that I’d sought after for so long. My work drastically improved and the inspiration began to once again flood through me.
When Maria and Kimberley asked me to do Peacock in the Park was really when the fire was set inside me, however. My boys and Bekah got in on it and finally I’d found the balance between friends and work and fun. Those guys and I gave everything on that stage and as I looked over the audience screaming back at me, I’d finally found true happiness in myself. I could give myself the credit I’d sought from others for so long and allow myself to just be me. It took all of my friends believing in me to show me that love I’d really needed.
La Femme became the real game changer. It solidified the relationship between my mom and me immensely and got all my friends fired up for a new performance and allowed me to show the community who I’d finally become. It was pretty obvious most everyone was surprised by what I brought, but boy were they proud of me. Despite the outcome, I won that day because it was very clear the community really loved me.
As my birthday approaches and I’m ready to turn 36, I can’t help but be thankful for this last year. I’ve finally learned how to stop sabotaging myself and give myself the chances that I really deserve. I’m taking the time to stop and smell the roses because now I’m actually living. I still move at a pretty wild place, but I’m in the best place I’ve ever been. Whoever said you were dead after 30 hasn’t actually lived because these years I’m finally living!