This is the Beginning of the Rest of Your Life

By Luis H. Garay

Supermodel Glamazon of the World and global drag queen superstar, RuPaul, has for the last several years held a special place in my heart. Through a little show called “RuPaul’s Drag Race” I found out about RuPaul and week after week, season after season, I was entranced by the wisdom RuPaul would dole out to the drag queens on the show competing for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. Soon after, I found that RuPual was a recording artist with quite a catalogue stemming from the 1990s. Through RuPaul, the show, and her music, I found myself taking nuggets of wisdom and sayings which I have adopted into somewhat mantras for myself. These include: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love someone else?”, listening to the stage directions of the Universe, and getting rid of our own saboteurs.
I never miss a moment to incorporate RuPaul and thei teachings into my daily life. So it’s no surprise that a few ago I found that opportunity.
A few weeks ago I had my first one-on-one with my current supervisor. As I was talking about my first couple weeks at SLU (Saint Louis University), I had the opportunity to discuss how I perceived everything as a new professional: balancing being in a new city, a new institution, a new professional in the student affairs field, a young adult in their first professional job, understanding all aspects of my role, developing community within the office, making connections and friendships both within the institution and outside of it, and, managing other roles in my personal life, it can get to be quite a lot. This is when my supervisor said, “This really sounds like it’s the beginning of the rest of your life”.
Cue my RuPaul tie-in.
RuPaul on their “Champion” album has a song called “The Beginning”, which you can listen to/watch the music video here on YouTube or listen to the track on Spotify. After the meeting, I went back to my office and began to listen to the track. I’ve listened to the song countless times before but after what my supervisor said, I started to listen through this whole “new professional” lens.
Listening to the track, I started to think of the power of this transition, this new beginning. As a new professional in this field, this really is the beginning. Emerging from the cocoon of graduate school, I am exploring this field as newly-hatched butterfly, spreading my wings, and really taking in all my surroundings.
There is a power to new beginnings: the ability to reinvent one’s self, leave the past behind, or build something new. For me in this new beginning, I want to consistently work on shaping and forming my #sapro identity, not settling for complacency, establishing good habits, recognizing bad habits, and empower students so they may find their own destiny.
Where are my fellow RuPaul and/or RuPaul’s Drag Race fans at? Any other folks out there going through a transition where you feel it marks the beginning of the rest of your life? Comment below or tweet me at @LuisHGaray. As always, thanks for reading!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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