Thursday, May 26, 2016

5-27-2016 Entry: New and Wonderful Things are Happening

Hello my darlings. I have a lot of good news for you all! I guess the benefit to not writing as often is that when I do write I have opportunity to share a larger number of good things that have changed since I last checked in. To put it simply, sobriety seems to suit me. I know that is no great revelation but since I’ve made the decision to live a sober life my circumstances have only gotten better and better.

Sure, there have been many opportunities to break my sobriety and plenty of reasons to accompany them, but not having done that has led me towards the things I’ve been searching for for quite some time. The first of these things has been a job, which was really just the tip of the iceberg of my desire to switch career paths. As many of you have known for quite some time now, I am going to school to become a therapist. Since I last checked in with you I have also made the decision to pursue an additional specialization in addictions studies. When I complete my schooling I will not only be on my way to becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist, but I will also be a licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. With that being said my previous work in the legal field was hardly preparing me for the rewarding and grueling work in the mental health field, and as such I was rather eager to leave that legal career behind. Ceasing to work at my previous law firm provided an excellent opportunity to make such a switch, but it was an opportunity squandered quite a bit in my struggles.

I’m happy to report that while my previous opportunities to switch career fields were either missed or unsuccessful I have been in the hiring process for a job opportunity that is so good it is very hard to believe it is true. While the paperwork is not final, I am a hop, skip, and a jump away from beginning my mental health career at the PRIDE institute here in Minnesota. For those who do not know what the PRIDE institute is, it is an inpatient treatment facility working with LGBTQ+ individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. I will most likely be working in a dual role as a Chemical Dependency Technician and an Admissions counselor (that may not be the official title). I will basically have various roles working with various parts of the addictions recovery process, including leading groups for the clients to participate in.

I do not know exactly when I will be starting but it could be as early as next week, although probably not until the week afterwards. I cannot express enough of the excitement I feel at this chance to work with the exact population of individuals I’ve been hoping to do therapy with in a specialized field of treatment that I have had a great deal of interest in since my own struggles with alcohol. In many ways this opportunity, which practically fell into my lap, feels almost like a bit of divine intervention. While I do not believe in anything that resembles the Christian god, I do believe that this opportunity was sent to me at the perfect time for me to actually be in a good enough place to receive it. Had I been given this chance a few months ago, I likely would have squandered it or self-sabotaged it in a fit of drunken depression. I do believe, whether you choose to as well or not, that my work on my sobriety is the reason I was given this magnificent opportunity to do exactly the work I want to do in one of the, hands-down, best places to do it.

Imagine if you will, going into a job interview as a transgender individual who is mostly passable as female (whether she accepts the notion that she has to be or not) and not having a single ounce of anxiety that you will be discriminated against, either subtly or overtly because of that gender identity. That is an entirely new experience for me… well sort of. Sure, when I was presenting as a white, straight, cisman I never had to worry about being discriminated against. Since my transition, however, I have had nearly a dozen job interviews of varying sorts. Whether they be in person or over the phone, every one of those interviews has been tinged with an overarching fear that I will be discriminated against because I’m transgender. Even if they do not know it for sure, what happens if my voice drops too low, or I make some movement that betrays my assigned-male-at-birth self? And if I manage to get the job without them realizing I am anything but a cisfemale, what happens when they eventually find out? I don’t exactly hide it. Will they suddenly change their minds? Will their transphobia cause them to do something foolish like fire me or push me out with a hostile work environment?

These are the questions I would normally enter an interview with, but when I met the three lovely women with whom I interviewed today, I didn’t have to worry at all. I even specifically said something to one of them near the beginning that it was an immeasurable relief to know they wouldn’t think less of me for it. I could breathe easy. I could be me, Emma the transfem extraordinaire and not worry that they wouldn’t take me seriously or that they would feel wierded out in some way. In many ways, I was likely given extra credence in my interview because of my background and decision to transition. It was the piece I wrote on transgender bathroom bills that actually got my foot in the door with the HR lady to initiated this process. Who would have known that the piece I wrote and specifically sat on for a week or two until Dara Hoffman-Fox decided to publish it on her website would be the thing that led me to this job? I knew when I wrote that entry that I shouldn’t publish it here. I knew that it was special, not just because of the subject matter, but because it felt like it was meant for bigger things than my blog could accomplish. I thought at first that it would be read a great deal by others looking into the subject, and it was to a degree, but I believe I was prompted by my emotions to take a different route because it was meant to lead me here.

Again, you can choose to believe along with me or think me silly, but this feels like the workings of a power greater than myself. Never in a million years could I have planted the seed of that blog with the expectation that it would bloom into this amazing job opportunity. Something told me to send it to Dara, and something told me to apply to PRIDE despite having failed to get even so much as an email back from the other Tech Positions I’d applied for previously. Countless small decision were made that led me to this place and I refuse to take credit for even half of them. I follow my intuition on things and I’m often delightfully surprised by what results from that.

But the good news doesn’t stop there! No, no! In addition to my new exciting job opportunity I am also pleased to say that I think I’ve met someone. I know, Emma is always meeting someone new, and she is always excited about it in the beginning until it all falls apart and she’s left depressed and alone. While it is true that that could still be the case, my intuition tells me it isn’t.

No my darling friends, I have met a beautiful and amazing person. She is actually quite a bit like me. Like it’s almost spooky how many things we have in common. I cannot recall if I spoke of this much before now but I took a burlesque dancing class this past spring, and while I ultimately struggled too much with body dysphoria to participate in the final performance I ended up meeting a lot of great people, one of which was this person. I met her on the last night of practice for the performance and we chatted for a few minutes. I really enjoyed the short conversation we had and we parted ways thinking nothing of it. Well, the very next day I was on OKCupid surfing around when I came across her profile. I laughed, sent her a message, and decided to give her my phone number. I figured we’d already spoken in person and I knew she wasn’t likely to murder me, so where was the harm in giving her my number and maybe meeting up again?

We did just that. We had a lunch/coffee date that lasted a couple hours. We chatted a lot, found out we had an uncanny number of similarities and interests, and I ran her birth chart. To my astonishment, every single planet of any consequence was in either a sextile position (best friends dynamic) or a trine (kindred spirits dynamic) to my own. I’m sure that might be gibberish to most of you but suffice it to say that this kind of chart matchup is improbable to the point of being nearly impossible. The sheer number mathematical calculations that you’d have to do to predict when something like this might happen again are staggering to consider. I knew then that this would be no ordinary relationship, friend or otherwise.

As I suspected she and I have found that our attraction to one another is rather strong. The craziest piece of all of this is that she, like me, is a transfeminine person. I am not always attracted to transfeminine people or transwomen, and that doesn’t have anything to do with the somewhat confusing aspects of sex with such people. With her, however, I find myself drawn like a cat to an empty box on the ground (and her to me, consequently). We’ve only been on a handful of dates so far but barring any significant departure from our current state of interactions, I suspect she and I will be seeing one another for some time to come. Perhaps not forever as neither of us are going into this thinking about that as a direction we’d like to take, and definitely not exclusively as she is already dating one other person and I am setting up dates with two other people (all of this has been discussed openly in a true ethically non-monogamous fashion). But even still, I get the feeling this relationship, new as it is, will leave a lasting impact on me and my life.

Well, my darlings, I know this post was somewhat short and to the point but it is rather late and I have a lot to do tomorrow beginning rather early. I want to say that I’ve been considering a few things about this blog. I have noticed in my reading of other transgender blogs that there is almost always a point at which the author decides to wind down. They no longer feel the need to write about their transition because their life has normalized in their new gender presentation. I can truly empathize with that position. While I would never claim that my life has normalized (I’d be a pretty bad queer if I proclaimed normativity the ruler of the day, wouldn’t I?), I will say that I have found my life feels more authentic than it ever has before. In about two weeks I will hit one year living fulltime as Emma, I have already changed my name/gender, I’ve been on HRT for going on 15 months (I’ll do a picture entry soon), and I’m more or less “finished” transitioning from male to female (or something like female) with the exception of SRS, so what is there left to really talk about?

Fear not, my lovely readers! I’m not about to tell you that Trans-Advent is at an end. Far from it, actually. What I’m about to tell you is that I’ve been kicking around some ideas of how I could progress further with this blog. I certainly have a lot of things I could talk about as I live a rather eventful life, but I don’t want this to always be about me alone. True, I know I can hold the spotlight well enough, but I don’t want you all to get bored, and more to the point I don’t want to get bored myself. Most of my writing energy has been going towards completing the novel I’ve been working on for quite some time but that doesn’t really help me here. I started with less than 10k words (maybe like 6k? I can’t remember) and now I’m closing in on 40k words, so I’ve been a busy little creative bee, but I’ve been struggling to know what to write here.

I suspect my work with the PRIDE institute will allow me to expand my topics of discussion as that work eventually inspires ideas and commentary, but I don’t want to rely on that alone. I want to bring more content that not only gives you something entertaining or thought provoking to read, but also drives me to actually do the writing itself. Sure, I could keep pounding away at my novel, which is amazingly rewarding to do, but that book won’t be ready for anyone to read for quite some time. Whatever will you do, darling reader? Abandon me and my words for some upstart transgender blogger? Well, you should be reading their work too, but I say NAY!!! The show must go on!

Given the permission of those who would be contributing to the creative process, I’m actually thinking about adding a bit of that fiction writing to this blog. Well, it would be pseudo fiction. My best friend and I have come up with an idea for an amazing sitcom premise about a queer family and all the many dramas and comedies they live out in their day-to-day lives, based loosely on our own lives. It might be a total dud and never go anywhere, but it has captured my interest and I think I’m going to start working on it. It would basically be a periodical pseudo-fiction addition to our regularly scheduled programming of Emma’s very queer life. How would it work exactly? Well, I guess you’ll just have to tune in next time to find out.

Okay, my lovely readers. I bid you farewell and I hope to post that picture entry within the next few days. I have a busy weekend coming up so we will see how soon I can bring it together. Until next time, break the rules, reject the norms, queer it up everywhere you go, and stay fabulous.

With love,

-Emmz

3 comments:

  1. I love reading your blog but was disappointed to read you don't believe in the Christian God. You also haven't filled us in on how your parents and extended family are coming along with your transition.

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  2. I love reading your blog but was disappointed to read you don't believe in the Christian God. You also haven't filled us in on how your parents and extended family are coming along with your transition.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment. I'm happy to hear you love reading the blog and I will be sure to try to mention them in upcoming entries.
      As for the Christian god piece, I once considered myself a Christian but have lost my faith in that religion or their concept of God. I definitely believe in an infinite and eternal source of intelligence and love from which all life and all matter come. I just happen to believe that we are children of that source or God in the way leaves are the children of a tree; unique yet not separate from the whole. I also believe on reincarnation and the evolution of the soul, but that's more Hindu/Buddhist than Christian.
      As the Dalai Lama says, love is my religion.
      Hopefully that lessens your disappointment.

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