for walt, for robin, for kermit, for me

I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 

I don’t hate myself today, and that is a big deal. Self-hatred is such a constant of my being that my therapist has to often remind me that it isn’t a normal thing. Going back to bed after an hour of activity just because I can’t deal with myself isn’t unheard of for me, and it’s the hugest of bummers.

But today I feel okay. I feel cute in my yellow jumpsuit. I don’t feel guilty about having doughnuts for breakfast or about spending the morning watching Muppet Show documentaries on YouTube. The Muppets usually make me feel better, so now I’m listening to the soundtrack from The Muppet MovieThe first blog post I ever wrote was inspired by those songs. I kind of get to be Kermit this summer when I direct my play, and maybe that is actually my dream come true. Not to be famous or perfect, but just to be a little like Kermit. I bought this silly hat at Disney World: a green ball cap that says “WWKD?” What Would Kermit Do?

I’m thinking about three of my guys this morning, including Kermit. I think it’s because it’s close to my birthday, and it’s a “big one,” as they say. I turn 30 on Friday. I always think about Walt Whitman when my birthday’s coming up, because we have the same birthday: May 31.

And Walt Whitman makes me think of Dead Poets’ Society and DPS makes me think about Robin Williams. I’ve been thinking about Robin Williams a lot lately. All of the press for the live-action Aladdin remake just makes me want to watch Williams’ “Friend Like Me” over and over. It’s still so good.

“Genie, you’re free.”

When I think of freedom, I wonder what it would be like to escape the clutches of my own brain. There are times when I think, “Oh, it will always be like this.” And I don’t think I can hang like that forever, you know? But then there are days like this, when I am cute in my yellow jumpsuit and comfortable with my doughnut-belly and content to be thinking about the Muppets, and I can hang like this. I can hang with the positive memories of things I’ve done in my 20’s instead of beating myself up about all the things I haven’t.

I’ve run 13.1 miles, I’ve met a whale, I’ve been to London. I did okay.

I always come back to “O Me! O Life!” by Mr. Whitman. Always always always. And I hear it in Mr. Keating’s voice, and I worry about it for hours.

That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. 

“What will your verse be?”

I don’t know yet. I used to think that my verse had to be big and loud and heard by many to count. To matter. But my verse can be a quiet little thing about a person in a yellow jumpsuit who ate doughnuts and cried during “The Rainbow Connection” because she thought it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever heard.

Have you been half asleep?

And have you heard voices?

I’ve heard them calling my name

Walt, Robin, Kermit… these are some of the voices that I hear the most persistently. These are the voices that have shaped me. These are the voices that I don’t want to let down. If I could make a wish for my 30’s, it would be, in no particular order:

  1. To sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
  2. To keep believing, keep pretending.
  3. To be free.



Published by Dani

I like breakfast, marine mammals, Star Wars, comedy, the song "Dead Man's Party," and Halloween musical revues at theme parks. Let's be friends!

One thought on “for walt, for robin, for kermit, for me

  1. I keep that Whitman poem around so I can look at it when I need. I was in my 30s before I really understood and connected with it, but now it’s a big part of me.

    I’m also happy (or maybe content) with myself and my choices today, and I’m glad we’re both in that place. 💜 Even for just a while.


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