By Summer Seasons, PQ Monthly
Almost anyone who’s known me since I was tiny knows that I’m extremely clumsy. For some reason, tennis shoes are like Kryptonite to me and I always end up falling over. Most people know that it’s likely I inherited this trait from my Mother, but she also gave me plenty of good ones. However, from the first time I put on a pair of heels I was a natural, mind you I was six years old and they were my mom’s, so they were bigger than my tiny feet, but I was a pro. For some reason, a wedge, boot, stiletto or any heel gave me the balance that I needed to keep me from falling over. I quickly learned that I could do round-offs in heels and my drag act was born!
About a month ago I fell for the first time in I can’t remember while wearing said heels and fractured my ankle. I was going to be out of commission from drag for a while, and somehow it made me realize my own weaknesses. I never really realized how much doing my weekly shows provided me with fun and stability, and how much the girls I work with are my family. Sure we fight and bicker, but we also have each other’s back every damn time. I started missing my weekly interactions with them immensely.
Once my doctor gave me the clearance to move about regularly, I decided that I’d rest as much as he asked me to, but also go on living my life. It was at this pivotal moment that I realized, I’m not weak at all, I’ve overcome some pretty heavy stuff, and come out stronger in the long run for it. That’s when I knew that all my life I’ve just learned to roll with the punches, because no matter what life throws at you, I’ve successfully survived 100% of my hardest days so far.
Most of these go with the flow moments ended up happening to me on vacations, the first being my summer trip to Costa Rica when I was 16. I caught an unknown virus while vacationing there and ended up having to be sent to the hospital. I had an emergency appendectomy and ended up being hospitalized for a week afterward. Looking back on that trip, the end was pretty hard, but luckily for me, I mostly only remember the wonder and the beauty of what the country had to offer. It filled me with a love for rainforests and butterfly’s that still exists today.
My second vacation accident happened in Japan when I was 17, I won a scholarship through my Dad’s work Mazda and got to go spend the whole summer there. While I was there, I was running down a hall after my host cousin and tripped on a pillow and ended up fracturing my foot. I got put in a cast and on crutches. My host family was so concerned that it was going to ruin the rest of my vacation that they were afraid to do some excursions. I ended up convincing them it was okay and soon we were traveling to Buddhist Temples, Japanese Castles and where the Bomb exploded in Hiroshima. I became an expert at hiding my legs and my crutches but I never let that stop me. I had the best time AFTER all that had happened to me.
My third vacation incident happened at 27 when I was traveling to Jamaica. I was offered a free trip by a friend who had won it in a raffle, all I had to do was pay for my airfare. I should’ve seen the red flags that since he was twice my age, perhaps we weren’t going to be the best travel companions, but we waterskied on Lake Oswego every weekend, it couldn’t be that bad right? Within 2 days I’d made great friends with many people and even won a booty shake contest and he seemed alone and distant. He started talking to some people that I’d become friends with and told them some very personal secrets about me. When they told me, I confronted him and he went absolutely insane on me. We had to end up getting separate rooms and when we landed we parted ways and he never spoke to me again. I never let that ruin it for me, I went waterskiing on the ocean, climbed Ocho Rios Falls while holding a 75 grandma hand who was also vacationing single, and partied at MargaritaVille.
Through all of these experiences I’ve learned a few key things. Whenever I travel it is very key for me to have International health insurance, because well let’s face it, I’m going to find the way to get injured. Not EVERY International vacation has an incident, I had a successful trip to Mexico, South Africa, and Canada, without any harm or drama. Last but not least what I learned about them recently, is that I’ve just gotta roll with the punches. I’m in charge of my own success and happiness and I’m not gonna let any of it get me down. If I can survive some of the hardest and scariest times of my life, then I’m prepared for whatever is coming my way now. I’m no longer afraid that I might have weaknesses, I find joy in learning how to make them my strengths. Nothing can stand in my way now.