One Year/Year One

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My life started one year ago today.

That was the day I called M, my therapist, and said out loud what I've always known:

I'm a girl. And I want to transition.

And a year later, I'm on my way.

It simultaneously feels like it happened both moments ago and a lifetime ago. I guess both are true, depending on how you look at it. It's been a tumultuous year, even without such a life-altering decision overshadowing everything else. 

Besides starting HRT and beginning the long process of coming out to friends and family, I lost a job I really enjoyed. And after a frustrating six month stretch, I finally landed a new one in mid-March. 

Since then, I've moved 90 minutes north and spent every weekend since then driving back and forth to pack by myself. And since nothing encourages creativity like some self-imposed limitations, I managed to break two ribs and bruise a disk in my back when I fell outside my parents' house the day after I was offered the job. (As I noted before, my inherent klutziness is, alas, gender-neutral. And portable, as I've now broken bones in every state in which I've lived.)

I still have to find an apartment up here and take care of all of the various move-related chores (new license, registering my car, buying furniture, etc,). It's been exhausting; a friend once defined adulthood as the point when you can no longer convince people to help you move by offering them beer and free pizza, which is as good a description as any other I've heard. :c) I'm well beyond that point, a lesson I learned the hard way last weekend. 

I'll write a bit more about this in my next post - and now that I'm no longer spending every weekend driving three plus hours and packing/running errands for 12+ hours each day, I hope to post more regularly again - but suffice it to say that the mood swings I've been warned about by more than one person struck. At the worst possible time (of course) and with the one person I absolutely did NOT want it to happen with (of course). Spoiler alert: Everything is fine. :c) I can laugh about it now - but it most assuredly wasn't funny at the time!

So, the finish line for this particular life transition seems to be within sight. That means I can finally focus all of my attention on the most important transition of all: becoming me. Finally.

I'd like to end by expressing my gratitude to the friends who have offered their unqualified support as I undertake this journey. Some are old friends, who have proven how fortunate I am to have them in my life already. Others are new. 

Those friends chose to reach out to a total stranger, with absolutely nothing to gain, simply because they wanted to help. I can't tell you how much your support and kind words meant when I was dealing with something scary or difficult. Your assurances that you also felt the same way, and your encouragement that if you did it, so could I, helped immeasurably. Words can't adequately convey how I feel, but "thank you" will have to do. Even those of you who persist in mocking my longstanding appreciation for those of the bovine persuasion. (You know who you are.)

So… what do you say?

Same place, one year from today? ;c)

I almost literally cannot wait.

Hope to see you all there!


Since it's a happy day, I thought I'd post one of the most joyous songs I know. In the late Nineties, Nora Guthrie, Woody Guthrie's daughter, offered British folksinger Billy Bragg the opportunity to write music to accompany lyrics from her father's archives. Bragg, in turn, asked Wilco to collaborate with him. The result: two highly acclaimed albums, Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue II.

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy sings lead on this track, "Hesitating Beauty," written by Woody as he wooed Nora Lee, who eventually succumbed to his charms and married him. After listening to this, who could resist?

I never, ever tire of listening to that! And since you can never have too much Woody Guthrie, here are a few more Mermaid Avenue tunes. First up, "Airline to Heaven":

Here's "Walt Whitman's Niece," which still makes me laugh at Woody's wordplay all these years later:

And last but by no means least, the wondrous "California Stars":

Incidentally, both albums have just been remastered and issued as a box set, with a third disc of highly worthy additional tracks and an award-winning documentary about the making of the first album. It's as wonderful as you'd imagine!


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