I’m just over five feet tall, and my pants-size is usually in the single digits. (Then again, it’s been awhile since I’ve–you know–worn actual pants. I jumped on the legging bandwagon in an effort to avoid overbuying maternity clothes, and it’s pretty much been the best decision of my life. Who knows if I’ll ever go back?)
My entire life I’ve been mistaken for a much younger girl. I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been less than ideal at times. (e.g., teaching high school)
And it’s not because I begrudge my short stature. It’s not because I ever wanted to sneak into the clubs. (Hell, I still don’t.)
It’s because ageism is a very real thing.
Because somehow youth is synonymous with stupidity.
And that just ain’t fair.
In our world we are quick to challenge sexism; racism; classism; homophobia; xenophobia–and rightfully so!
So why not add ageism to the list of social diseases to eradicate?
Because it seems to me that we’re all in this thing together.
Ignorance can impede anyone, from anywhere, at anytime.
And the goodness? The wisdom? The beauty, intelligence, and empathy we long for?
It can emerge from even the tiniest bubbling spring.
Whether you’re new to Snippets of SnapDragon, or one of my faithful readers (I think I’m up to 8?) welcome back to another day in the Blogisphere.
Several years ago I wrote a piece about the many facets of my personality, or the handful of alter egos that make me me. I actually shared it with my high school students as a beginning-of-the-school-year exercise. I thought about digging it out of my files and uploading it today, but then thought, Nope. It’s always better to start fresh.
So here we are.
The painting you see above is the first “real” piece in my artistic catalog (as an adult, that is). It’s hung on our dining room wall, perfectly placed so that when I am curled up on the love seat in the adjacent living room, I can see it clearly.
At first I didn’t know what to think of it. Is it finished? Is it too cartoony? Too colorful? Too bizarre?
It doesn’t matter. Because it’s me.
All three pieces.
So travel with me as I define each woman you see. Consider it the unholy trinity of SnapDragon X.
Call me Charlotte. I’m the library-loving soul who wears colorful high-top sneakers and gets excited about fruit-flavored lipgloss. I decorate the walls with an array of magazine clippings, ranging from photographs of potted plants to headshots of famous people I do not know. I’m a teacher. I love routine. My classroom chalkboards are pristine and filled with color-coded journal prompts. My eyes are missing because I only come to life by interacting with others.
Call me Rita. I’m the whisky-drinking, foul-mouthed redhead who wants to keep the party pumping. I sing, I dance. I take a chance by telling the truth and encourage everyone present to do the same. We’re on the same side.There’s nothing to be afraid of. I tell myself that I’m allowed to be me, and people can take it or fucking leave it. Then when I’m alone I spiral into an abyss of self-doubt and delusion.
Call me Heather. I’m the empath of the group. No matter your story, I feel a connection to you because we are both human. I rejoice in your success. I cry for the loss of your father, though we never met. There is a cavern of emotion inside me, one that drains me and makes me want to hide in the bathtub for hours on end. I love me, I love you. I want us to forgive.