In my last post, I spoke about dysphoria – how bad life is. It's dangerous to do that. Sometimes people think that's what your life is, and when you recount your problems, it can look pretty bad. Kinda like when you look at a rose. If all you focus on is the aphids, you can miss the blossoms altogether.
This is a post about blossoms.
For starters, my job is fun and challenging, and I'm valued and supported in it, not only by management and co-workers, but by my union. I work with interesting and diverse people. My pay is fair and adequate (barely) to support my family on one income. And I get to make a positive contribution to the well-being of my community. Yep, you guessed it – I'm a bureaucrat!
I live in a place that is incredibly blessed by nature. It is so beautiful here – mountains rising high to snow-capped peaks in the east, lush forested hills to the west and south, the ocean just a couple of hours away. Even in winter, when the rains pour down day after day, the world looks green. Mushrooms grow profusely in the fall (did I tell you I love hunting mushrooms?). My own backyard is filled with fruit trees and wildflowers, and sometimes we hear raccoons walk across the roof at night, or see them in the early morning, picking snails off the greens, smacking them on the deck to break the shells, then delicately gobbling them up with both hands.
And my neighborhood is a delight. There are lots of kids, next door and down the block, to play with mine. When I came out to them, everyone embraced me, and everyone supports me. My next door neighbors are from Silverton, Oregon, where they just elected the first openly transgendered mayor in the nation. If we run out of eggs or ace bandages, a quick walk up the block gives us a choice of half a dozen or more families who will be glad to share – and they know they're welcome to come to us when they need something.
Last post I talked about what's wrong with my body, but there's probably more right about it than wrong. I'm healthy. My mind is healthy, and I can't tell you how good that feels! I can walk and run and grasp and see and hear and taste and smell and feel – both pain and pleasure. I ride my bike to work nearly every day, and I have a pretty awesome health insurance package (except it doesn't include full transgender care).
Then there are my friends. Oh, joyous, wondrous friends! How grateful I am for you all. Incredibly – or perhaps naturally – my friendships have blossomed and deepened and multiplied since coming out and living as I am, as a woman. How delicious, to share support with you, to learn and teach, to grow, to connect, to dream, to share. Oh, yes, I am blessed.
Even better, my family. Kristin, my best friend and co-parent, and my boys. How rich is the love in which I reside. How varied and interesting and connected my life is because of them.
Best of all, my life is rich with meaning and purpose. Participation in a citizen's committee that works to make our city a better place. Letters to my sister that buoy her in her challenge, which is far more difficult than mine. Connection and sharing with friends and family. My novel, a work eight years in the process, still growing and getting better. All the skills and knowledge I've acquired in my life, and all I'm still learning and have yet to begin. This blog, where I reach out to people, friends, family, and total strangers, across our nation and the world, and the blogs of others, where I try to create peace and to support and defend my LGBT people. And nature, that wondrous web of life that fills every corner, that intricate, delicate, and persistent web of Life that is Mother Earth, that nurtures and embraces us all as close and loving as a mother the baby in her womb.
Don't get me wrong. Gender dysphoria sucks, and it hurts. It has stolen many experiences and relationships that I miss deeply. But bridging the gap between male and female has its blessings. It is precious in its own right, a creation of Universal Love as real and rich as twilight, which bridges the gap between day and night. Even that – my biggest challenge, my greatest pain, my nemesis – bears surprising insights, experiences, and relationships that form and enrich my life.
Yes, I'll be back, bitching about my body again. You can bet on it. But keep it in perspective. I certainly intend to.