A story about finding joy, and once you’ve found it, running towards it at every chance you get.
It is a running gag between Andrew & I, that in every podcast I talk at least once about RuPaul’s Drag Race and all things drag queen.
And I’ll tell you again: Drag is fabulous, and makes me happy.
When drag queen Trixie Mattel first entered my life, incredibly snarky, witty and painted “not for the back row but for the cashing place down the street” I had no idea that in a few years time, I would fly to Manchester, stand in line for hours and meet the drag queen that unbeknownst to her has changed my life.
I’m not joking. I credit Trixie Mattel for making me the happiest version of myself through nothing else than the fact that I so thoroughly enjoy her.
After season 7 (where twice, I was royally miffed she was eliminated to someone clearly inferior to her), there was Unhhh. Which makes NO sense, but makes me laugh like nothing else in the entire world. Trixie’s outrageous look and incredibly dry sense of humour just clicked for me.
So when I found out she was coming to the UK with her show ‘Ages 3 And Up’, I knew I had to go. I picked Manchester, and asked my friend Anoesjka to join me. And I’m so glad she did.
Because I remember that feeling I had, sitting there in that pub watching her show. I felt so happy it nearly made me cry. For something as simple as a man in a dress tapdancing and telling jokes on a little stage.
I felt so, so happy.
…And that, that crystal clear pure joy in my system, that had been a while.
And ever since then, I have been nurturing and growing that feeling.
And ever since then, I consider drag queen shows and RuPaul’s Drag Race a hobby. I watch the show, follow and support local queens (love Licka Lolly for example, a queen from the House of Holographich Hoes in Rotterdam) and go to drag queen shows in Amsterdam. I’ve seen Trixie perform twice, and will go to her show in Amsterdam upcoming March.
Because it gives me joy. And that is enough of a reason to do something.
HIPHOP DANCE CLASS
I have had a Onefit subscription for two years now, and I love it. It allows me to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and yet commits me to actually going because you can’t cancel 2 or 8-hours before class. It’s perfect.
At one point I was at a fitness class in a community centre I went to from time to time. A bit of an old lady class, with a lot of stretching and sit ups, but nice enough. But this time we were in a different room for it, and across from ours was a hiphop dance class. Music blaring, girls shaking their hips and their butts, whipping their hair.
And all I wanted to do was walk out of my Onefit class and join.
I kept on looking over, and all I could think was how badly I wanted to go dance. It looked SO FUN.
I decided to pursue it. After Googling the dance company that also rents rooms in that community centre, I booked classes for 6 months and asked a friend to join me. “Just FYI, I’m going either way,” I told her, “but I know you love to dance and I would love for you to go with me.” She joined and for 6 months in 2018 I shook my ass to Ronnie Flex and Cardi B on Monday nights.
It was glorious, for no other reason than that it WAS JUST SO FUN. We goofed around all the time, we shook our asses, we whipped our hair and I was filled with happy energy every time I left there.
I am never going to be an amazing dancer but dammit I’m gonna have fun while I do it.
I plan to join again in the fall; now is not a good time as I have snowboard classes on Monday nights and I’ll have wine courses on Wednesday for a big part of spring and summer. Fun is a priority.
(I also really enjoyed dressing up as Ellen Ripley for my office party – I think cosplay is neat.)
Go forth and be joyous
These days, I do whatever makes me happy. I spent hours and hours listening to podcasts that make me laugh: My Dad Wrote A Porno and Race Chasers. Brooklyn Nine Nine is on ON LOOP in the background of my life because it is exactly my brand of comedy. When in the mood, I run around making jokes and doing weird dances. I don’t do it to be quirky or as some sort of personality trait, but I do it because I think it’s fun(ny).
I find joy as often as I can.
We’re not always in the position to embrace joy, or we’re not always in a place where we can even access it. But if we are, and when we can, we should. For no other purpose than the pleasure of doing the things that you think are fun.
Whatever it is, do the thing that gives you the most joy. Fully embrace it, however weird or irregular…or normal or boring!
D&D, reading fashion magazines, playing video games, slam poetry, knitting, watching movies, cooking, crocheting, fixing up old radios, go to dog shows, take pictures of trains, anything.
Have lovely, FUN Sunday.