Hi, I’m Akasha
When I was about 4, my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told her a cowboy outfit. I was certain that was what I wanted, because I could already see it in my mind and knew how I would feel when I wore it.
Christmas morning came, and I saw a large box for me under the tree. Tearing off the paper, I uncovered a shirt with little ponies on it and a tan skirt with fringe at the hem. I was horrified. “This is a cowGIRL outfit. I wanted a cowBOY outfit. I hate it!” “Go to your room until you can put a smile on your face,” my mother responded. I spent quite a bit of time in my room anyway, since I never seemed to do the right thing in my mother’s eyes, so this wasn’t as harsh as it sounds.
That box sat unclaimed for weeks after Christmas, until my mother gave in and took me to return it. We visited the boy’s department for my cowBOY outfit, and found most of what I had envisioned, except for pants. I was a bit chubby, so we settled on jeans with an elastic waist, rolled up. I do have to give credit to these jeans, because they introduced me to the comfort I have learned to expect from pants. Next, I asked for boots, but was met with a resounding “NO!” Seeing I probably wouldn’t make much progress here, I loudly demanded a holster AND a gun. By this time, my mother was anxious to exit the store, as I was being louder than she liked, so she acquiesced and I went home happy. I asked her to take a photo of me in my new outfit, and I have it still: Cowboy hat, wonderful flannel shirt with snap buttons, holster, gun, rolled up jeans. You can see my patent leather shoes and silk socks under the jeans, but I didn’t really care. I posed for my picture with a scowl on my face and a clenched fist, finally feeling that part of me that was rough, tough and ready for action.
That was a seminal moment in my childhood, where I knew exactly what was right for me and wasn’t going to be denied getting it. Over the years, I have tried not to settle, have repeatedly sought out what felt right for me. This has meant I looked for God in Nepal, lived on a spiritual commune in Oregon, and in my 50’s did my first one woman show. Always seeking my own path, following what called out to me. My podcast, Now That You Ask, explores these stories and what I learned from them. They touch on the questions we all have but not in the ways you expect.