One of my final projects in graduate school was to capture the evolution of my identity throughout the program. I chose to create an album – 11 songs that could map out a life that intersected my research papers & chapters-to-be-read. Though deeply inspired by my year in 2006, it’s not a bad playlist if you need car-ride company.
On the inside cover of the album, I wrote the following…
I recently dusted off this lyrical map in search of a spot marked “YOU ARE HERE”. This time, my mixed tape clarity showed up in one freeing form…
I am funny
and the one liners I dropped last week
in boomerang giggles right now.
I am smart
and I should already believe this
by the sheer number of times
Jon Locker tells me
alongside his ‘you are beautifuls’.
I ugly cry
as much as I smile
and I have accepted that life
is never going to gift it to me
any other way.
I am confused by commas,
exclamation points steal my joy
and I am currently
I have a heart that shines
when I read the headline
“World’s Kindest Person Gets Pissed Off”
and I ride open-eyed and screaming
because “Subtle & Quiet Doesn’t Mean Unexcited”.
I runway jumpsuits, stocking hats and heels
and trust the spirited stylist
who once told me
I look good despite
all my coffee-spilled fumbles.
I shut down alilocker.com to create space for allynlocker.com. Folding the map back up, I have realized that I don’t have to be Ali or Allyn. I get to be both and everything in between. Ponytail, curls or straightened. They are all me because my names are the bookends of my soul.
I found the X – I AM HERE.