August 15, 2013

Me, Myself, and I

My id. I tried for many years to silence it, to make myself be things I wasn't. To do things I wasn't suited for. Hangout with people that didn't get me. But one day, you have to face the fact that your id won't go away. Once I learned to embrace my id, things sort of fell into place. Failed relationships, awkward social interactions, and much anxiety over the course of those years were all the tools that I needed to figure my business out. That and the birth of my skater identity, Mollytov Maguire.

During my earliest fresh meat moments I used to wonder how I was going to do this. It's a struggle. Lory vs. Molly was an epic battle, a knockdown, drag-out, street-fight. Lory fights pretty cheap. Using shame and guilt, she's managed to not do a lot of things in the past. She is a girl who had years of practice with "can't" and "shouldn't" or just plain "won't" but fortunately for Lory, Molly is a real badass. She is a woman who knows how to say what she wants confidently and go after it. She will chase the jammer. She will take the hit when she needs to.

After Molly won the battle in 2012, there was a long period of time when I identified more as Molly. Unfortunately, that got me into some trouble (what a pushy-ass broad!) and I spent most of 2013 learning to navigate between the two. From the pleasing and polite Lory to the intense and unforgiving Molly where was the middle ground? What to do? I had just gotten down the ability/lady balls to say "no" when it was appropriate (probably a more than it was appropriate, actually) when a fresh meat friend named this new identity for me, L'Molly.  She knew me from outside derby and, to her, I was Lory. She had a hard time at first calling me Molly at practice and events because she knew the other part of my personality. She would say "Hey, Luuuh-MOLLY!" and we would look at each other and giggle. Well, here was a brand new opportunity. I have re-branded my identity into what is probably the best of both Lory and Molly. At the tender age of 30, I am finally figuring out how to use both "no" and "yes" to my best advantage. This is the difference between knowing when to break the wall to help my jammer and knowing when to guard my position.

Now we're almost through my first full season as a veteran skater, and I think "Damn, it's been a long road, but I am getting there." I still have practices where I think I am actually getting worse at derby (see the last 3 practices) but I am getting better at life. I was recently interviewed by a local magazine and the interviewer quoted me as saying "It’s allowed me to be more me – brought out the form I was always meant to be." Derby has brought out the best version of me that I have yet to experience. Continually. Continual growth and development on and off the track in almost every area of my life. Those long repressed parts of my personality were finally able to surface. Just like a tiger can't change it's stripes, a derby girl can't be held down. Not for long any way!

The problem with having that sort of duality of identity was that I wasn't able to compartmentalize the two. I am still not. I needed to embrace both parts. Molly isn't Lory's "alter-ego" and Lory isn't the vanilla version of Molly. I am both parts at all times. I am a whole person. Molly isn't a dirty little secret that I hide in the closet, only to be trotted out at game time. She's bold and wonderful and charming. Women of the derby world don't need to hide the glitter at the office, we need to splash it on everything we touch (which, if you've spent much time with glitter, this isn't hard to do. Right Flaco?) and make it big, beautiful and wholly ours! But we also can't walk around booty blocking people in the breakfast burrito line either. So from one derby girl to many; be the powerhouse of womanhood you're meant to be on and off the track!

Derby Love,
Mollytov Maguire


  1. The same thing happened to me. I felt like derby gave me the ability to finally stand up for myself and not take crap from people who freely dish it out. My husband said, "I never want you to quit derby. As stressful and as time consuming as it is, I love the person it has helped you become." Score one for Skank!

    1. It is amazing for that. My best friend is always telling me how happy she is that I have found this because she can see the difference in me. Mr. Maguire has only known me since derby, so it's a little different with him!

    2. I may not have known you prior to derby but I can't imagine you without it. I see you breathe the love and joy you experience through derby and your constant dedication is so inspiring, especially at times of writers block with my art. I am witness to your relentless dedication and the struggles you overcome in derby and remind myself that perseverance always pays off.

      I can see it in everything you do!

      Keep doing what you love!

      Mr. Maguire