THH: Dragoness | Teen Ink

THH: Dragoness

December 10, 2016
By AlaNova ELITE, Naperville, Illinois
AlaNova ELITE, Naperville, Illinois
257 articles 0 photos 328 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dalai Lama said, "There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called YESTERDAY and the other is called TOMORROW, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live..."


I used to tell myself, Ala Nova, you can’t ever ever write about race. You’re the most awkwardly Asian Asian person ever. You can’t, not unless you want to lose your dignity and then your pride at the same time.

I have written about race several times. It’s quite impressive. I’ve managed to sound everything except reasonable, relatable, and culturally relevant, which didn’t seem too hard to begin with. But if there was one thing I can write about, it’s the Chinese zodiac, since it has very little to do with being Chinese.

I’ve always been a dragon. Being a dragon has been a gross source of pride, in addition to being born exactly in the year 2000. Half of my passwords include some variation of the word dragon. Red is my favorite color. I used to have a paper dragon hanging menacingly over my bed before we moved. 2012 was my year. My golden year. 2012 was also the year I got 12 red underwears for my birthday. Dragons have always been the coolest thing to read about, and that was before Daenerys Targaryen made them cool cool.

The dragon also symbolizes pride, dignity, courage, magnificence, values I guard fiercely myself. You don’t see the dragon on earth, unless it’s wreaking havoc defrosting realms of the next dimension. They’re up in the sky, something of another world, something higher and more spectacular.

Not to forget the other animals on the zodiac. After the dragon, going clockwise, is the snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, and rabbit. Each year is given an animal, and the year you were born gives you that animal. Twelve years, and the cycle repeats. Part of my family managed to land itself exactly two years apart from each other, where my dad is a tiger, I am the dragon, my sister the horse, my mom a monkey. We all represent our animal in some way, too, which raises a few eyebrows.

But the dragon has always been very, very special. I like being a dragon, because I didn’t grow up with a loud voice, or big personality. But I imagine flames flashing where my words make actions, and passion is tempered with grace. Like the long, scaly body of a dragon, swerving silently through the air, in the sweet spot between the earthen and heavenly. The traditional Chinese version is more snake than wings, but I try to be considerate of all dragons’ feelings, so I’ve adopted the tremendous bat wings as well. Being the only zodiac animal who can fly is a critical bonus. And being a dragon has put me one step closer to the magnificent Maleficent Angelina Jolie, whose dear and personal connection to me merits its own conversation.

But being a dragon--and having that all to myself, in the most selfish way possible--has given me more than bragging rights or neon red underwear. I’ve never been Asian enough for the average Asian conversation, which has led to a few quiet crises, but the dragon has always felt like something within reach. You rise to the challenge. It's something to become.

For me, a dragoness.


The author's comments:

What does "THH" stand for? Good question! It's THE HOLY HITCHHIKE... The name is Ala Nova, and you have entered the domain of my discussion, thought, and paraphernalia. Enjoy, and let loose your commentary and suggestions below. A new column every Friday!


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