Mythmaking.Posted: July 26, 2012
And here I mean the bad kind of myth.
Last night I was unpacking, finally, after a month of being on the road. I made myself a glass of rum punch using the Dominican rum my friend Allison gave me for my birthday. I added pineapple juice, mango juice, fresh lime, ginger, and cayenne. I tasted it and it was really good. It occurred to me then that, not only was it possible I wasn’t inherently “clueless with food,” as I’ve always said about myself and came to a head in the tortilla soup incident, but that I might even be inherently good with it—food is a creative medium like any other—and that cooking might be just another thing I’ve made up a myth about not being good at, in order to cover for something I was scared of or felt sad about.
Here are some myths I’ve held dear over the years:
(1) “I’m not good at acting. I’m only good at hamming.”
(2) “I value beauty in visual art too much. Therefore the stuff I make doesn’t qualify as art.”
(3) “I can’t write a play because my boyfriend wants to be a playwright. If I write a play, it’ll only be after he writes one so that he doesn’t feel threatened.”
(4) “I can’t travel by myself because I’ve heard it’s really dangerous for women.”
(5) “I can’t travel by myself because I’m just not ready and I need to wait until I feel ready.”
(6) “I can’t travel by myself because people I love at home will take the opportunity to hurt me while I’m gone.”
(7) “I can’t be in an open or polyamorous relationship because I’m a naturally jealous person. And anyway, I’m too damaged from previous attempts to ever try it again, even if it’s what I want.”
(8) “I can’t perform dance because I never trained as a dancer. And anyway, I don’t have a dancer’s body.”
…every one exploded after I realized they were bullshit. I’ve come to relish the slow dawning, the taking up of the pistol, and the firing straight into its lying heart.
The last one is still being worked on. I wrote my choreographer friend Leah Wilks and asked her if we could someday get alone in a room together, and put on some music, and I’d start dancing, and we’d see how I move in space and how she might-could use me someday.
And because she’s Leah Wilks, she said, Fuck yes, let’s do it.
I want to unmake all the myths that limit who and what I can be.