But turning 40 has also put me in a place of saying, "Why not?" Pursuing ideas and interests that have been following me for years, and ones that I'm finally getting around to doing.
Three days before the actual birthday, I gave myself an early present: a tattoo of a dolphin leaping over my anklebone. I've been talking about this particular idea for fifteen years. The dolphin is my totem animal, my spirit guide since I was about 19 and had a spiritual awakening watching a school of dolphin at sunrise. I've never had any doubt that it was a perfect match, nor did I ever doubt that I wanted for formalize it in artwork. Now, I'm a redhead, and like many redheads have a very low tolerance for pain. So, naturally, I wanted to put it on my anklebone, one of the places I was warned about as being a very high pain area for a tattoo. No one mentioned that having it stretch back toward my Achilles tendon would be even worse! But once the process began, I had to finish it: only way out of a tattoo is through. And I did. And I love it. Surprisingly, I'd never connected that with the fact that my drag sister Sissy St. Clair ALSO has a dolphin tattoo on her ankle. I'm not sure I'd ever seen it before, but there you go. Now, we just have to get Ajax, ShotZ, Trinity, Kari and Ashley tattooed...what do you say, girls?
A couple weeks later, I got to play out another longtime fantasy: I performed a full out (if not quite full Monty) striptease in a burlesque show. Now, I've already written about that experience, so I don't need to go into it again, but I'm working on my next number already.
Last night, I faced every gay middle-schooler's worst nightmare and joined a gay dodgeball league. Yes, dodgeball. I spent more than two hours throwing, dodging, catching and having a blast. Last night was "newbies" night, the actual league play starts in a couple of weeks. I went in fearing that I'd be the oldest and the fattest person playing. I was half right, but you know, 40 makes you fearless. I've got an amazing fiance and other friends to love, I've been Empress of New York, I've accomplished a lot more than I had at 15, and I'm not afraid to throw myself out there and catch. (Yeah, shush, you.) I think I'm going to really enjoy this experience: I'm not trying to prove anything anymore, I'm just trying to live fully.
And that, kittens, is probably the message today. You don't need to wait until you're 40 to start checking things off a bucket list (because frankly, I don't intend that there is a lot left undone 40 years from now), but go with your impulse, get out from behind your inhibitions and mix it up!!