I started 2023 with a social media video and a message to everyone through my company's IG. I did it as Miss Now. It was a fight that I had been fighting for a very long time and an assertion of sorts regarding my identity, which has felt severely attacked, over and over again. I was saying enough is enough. This is me, this is my art, this is my art and me, and who I am, and I am not trying to pick a fight with you - whoever you are. I am really not.
What I've come to understand is simple. I'm 30 today and my race with time is up. I will die one day, and that's okay. I wanted to achieve everything before I knew what life was and I thought being younger when I do it means something special so I overworked myself and got five degrees and wanted to have a thousand different variations of careers I thought would give me the greatest joy and recognition - that would make the world a better place. That was not okay. I went so far away from everyone in my life, everything in my life, and I don't actually regret it at all - I have tasted sweet, blissful, ecstasy. I know what it's like to chase your dreams even when they turn into nightmares.
And I have created Miss Now.
Miss Now is a caricature of my obsession with and lack of relief from time - how it moves backwards and forwards - how I know we change with it, how the time that went by a long time ago shapes the time none of us can predict. I used to be and still am terrified of time. So much so that I've spent it recklessly to assure myself that I won't lose it - it is there - but the truth is any day it could also go. Who knows?
Miss Now pokes fun at how I am here, today, in this moment - writing this a day after my 30th birthday, though I started writing it on my birthday - and I have no idea what any of it means to me, whether or not it means something, and if it does - what is it that I really want from this new name? An assertion of my identity? Sure. Although, really, I'm just making fun of the fact that I have trouble staying in the now - I don't really like the word so much, I do believe we are all products of our past, present, and future, and it's not so easy to separate that reality from the reality that constantly begs us to focus on today. On now. People use the word to suggest we can just let go of everything instantly. Whilst I agree that in many situations that is probably more desirable and productive, it also makes no sense. You don't wake up a clean slate, you are who you are because of all your yesterdays - even as an artist who creates themselves over and over again - you have a foundation you draw from.
Today means nothing if you don't know where it came from. There's nothing to seize when you don't know what is you're seizing. Life? What is it if we do not care about who we are and why we are and when we are and how we are and what we are?
And of course, the cherry on the cake is, Miss Now is a personal joke regarding my effervescent love life - the polyamory, the romance, the heartbreak, the silliness, the violence - all of it, resulting in this woman who is deeply fragile and sensitive, and also has a badass, no bullshit attitude - who will demand respect above everything else and walk away when it is not given. I'm telling you, I wasn't born this way - like everything else in life, I became.
This is me just saying I'm here Now, as myself, Miss Now, and no one else is there and I am alive. Wiser, stronger, more self-aware, even more fearless, and of course, even more certain that come what may, I will survive this. Every day I carry on I know I have won the battle. I will keep living. I will break a million times more, and I will put myself back together a million times after that.
And it will be beautiful.