Tuesday, December 20, 2011


"It gets better" does not mean "it gets easier."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home Improvement

I'm prepared for this to be excruciating. My heart is heavy. My brain and body are equally troubled, tortured, and are becoming useless. No one ever wants this, of course, but I still feel the need to say that this is the last place I ever wanted to be, though I may have suspected it at various times in my life. Still, it's one of those things you never actually think will happen to you, like a heart attack or cancer.

I will interject with this random thought before continuing: I will never be normal. I just want to be capable. Regardless of success or failure, the latter is necessary for me to be (happy).

I don't know where to start, or how. I don't know why I am hurting so badly or why it happened at this particular time in my life. I am tortured by the fact that I need to know everything, all the time. That fact alone is not something a lot of people can quite comprehend. It's hard to understand pain you've never felt before. I suppose it's even harder to understand pain you've never let yourself feel before, for whatever reason. Maybe it was intentional or maybe it was self defense. I've been thinking a lot about last summer and how I could not see what was happening, and I have no idea how I am supposed to feel yet. There's a letter I never answered, and I am not sure I ever will, but the fact that I went back to refresh my memory should tell you something about the way your words have affected me and probably always will, whether I like it or not. Don't take that for any more than what it is.

For the record, "I told you so" is not an appropriate response.

I've slipped into something I haven't been able to control. I deleted the word "can't" from that sentence, so maybe even this is a start.

Transition does not automatically solve all of your problems, for those of you that seem to think unwavering happiness is the natural end to the course of events in the physical process. What I have come to find is that I am just now beginning to deal with problems I could not confront before. Your body tries to respond to the most pressing threat, and so does your mind. Transition was something that needed to happen in order to move forward with my life, and that means enjoying life as well as dealing with its unpleasantness.

It's become clear that I don't know how to do the latter very well. I ended up where I did because every coping skill that I have ever learned has recently failed me. Because I believed (and am still fighting against the belief) that my life--my job, my ability to deal with stress, my ability to be happy, my financial situation, etc--will never any better and that I will be stuck in this place of depression, anxiety, and limited capacity to function...forever.

I struggled to get myself out of bed every morning for weeks upon weeks, maybe even months. And that was until I just couldn't do it anymore. So I didn't. And I quit my job. But I had already checked out of doing things that make me happy because everything I love has now become everything I fear. I am stressed by everything, saddened all the time. Sometimes there is no reason, and this is something that I can't stand.

I spent three full days in the crisis center because I really didn't know if I could trust myself to be alone with me, and I really couldn't take another day of being home. I didn't move from my bed for almost two days, and I barely ate anything at all while I was there. I kept turning over the thought that this is how my brother might feel every day of his life, surrounded by people he cannot connect with and unable to do anything on his own. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and it's only going to get harder. But it might get better. I'm hanging everything on that one little word, and everything in the logical part of my brain is telling me that it's a really stupid way to go about living. But clearly that part of my head has been sucking lately. Or maybe logic just doesn't have anything to do with it.

It's obvious that I can't hold a job right now, no matter how much I want to and no matter how much I need to have money. Sometimes I still don't really believe that this is who I am and that this is what is happening to me. The fact that I can't have a job right now is just one more thing that makes me terrified that I will never get out.

But when you are isolated for three full days, you start thinking even more. And that really sucks if you already think in overdrive all the time. But it's not something I was able to avoid. So I barely slept and I didn't sleep at all during the night. But I thought, and something in my realized that I needed to stop waiting for the people there to make me better. I needed to make the first move or I wasn't going to get anything out of being there. And I wasn't going to get out of there period. I could barely speak when people tried to talk to me, and I couldn't breathe or look at them, but I did what I had to do during those last 36 hours or so. I did it all because I just wanted to go home. And maybe that sounds stupid because you would think that I would want to get better. But going home was part of that. The fact that I WANTED something...That meant everything. That I was doing something in order to achieve something I wanted, and that must have meant that I thought enough of myself. That I thought I was worth the effort. And no matter how miserable or useless I feel, I need to keep thinking about that. There's a part of me that does want to be here, and it's the same part of me that wanted to get out of that place so badly. It's that part of me that wants to want to do things that used to make me happy. It wants things. I want things. I don't always know what they are, but that's everybody, I suppose.

I am terrified about the decision I might be making. It's something I had in the back of my mind, and when someone else made the suggestion when I hadn't even mentioned it at all, I knew I had to think about it again. PA school. And I'm still thinking. But another thing that's really tough for me, which I learned or rather re-learned over this past week, is believing and trusting that I don't need to know everything or do everything or have everything today or even soon.

I am allowed to be unsure. I am allowed to be unfinished.

I am 23 years old, with two college degrees, a beautiful transgendered body, a boyfriend who loves me for who and what I am, a clean and well-organized bedroom (thanks to the boyfriend who loves me), who is going to nationals for drag in a few months, who is going to go back to school, who is going to make big things happen in this city I've learned to call home, who is not going to let depression, anxiety, fear, pain, or a different way of thinking stand in his way anymore.

Now all I have to do is believe this. I will make this real.
I am allowed to be unsure. I am allowed to be terrified. But I will not allow myself to lose this fight. If I can bring myself to think that my body deserves to live, then my soul should have that same chance. Obviously, it's going to be hard. Here it comes again, and I think it's fucking ridiculous how it appears again and again throughout my life. It's like it should be a tattoo or something.

Nothing worth having is ever easy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I have to be up in three hours or so, but I don't think I can sleep yet. Something's burning inside me, and I just want to be able to figure it out. I also just got my finger stuck to one of these keys because of an open wound. Lovely.
Argh. I hate this making decisions about my life thing because no matter what I choose, I'm going to be miserable. I just have to choose which kind of misery at this point. But maybe I'll be giving myself enough time to work it all out. I guess I can't be more specific right now, which isn't good either because I'm sure it'll be misconstrued by someone.
I'm getting frustrated with a lot of people. I can't tolerate it. I'm reaching my limits. Argh.

And some other words.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't want to see the atrocities
written on me
like streaks of tears
flowing from me.

Brown eyes. And I used to hide them.
Brown eyes underneath convex blue.
Brown hair growing into red. like blood.

I gave up hiding like I gave up my right to bear a child.

When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't want to see things I have lost.
But I do.
Eternity is keeping score
and I just feel like cheating.

When I look at myself in the mirror, I see the past standing behind me.
I remember how each one of them felt.
And how it felt Real each time.
When I turned around, I saw my future
running away from me.

But I heard her whisper
as she dashed ahead, full speed
like a thunderstorm trapped
in a tin can.

"It was never going to be
And so my chase began.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

At Least We Have Cute Puppies

I'm coming closer to figuring out the problem. Here's one more piece of it: I feel like everyone else I knew from college is starting that whole real life thing. I'm not moving forward at all, and when it comes down to it, I'm nothing more than a cashier. I don't want this to be my life story.

I want to go back to school because I am not happy.

I'm worried that I'll be wrong again. And I'm worried that I'll never be right.

If my body would allow me, I'd probably be crying every day.

At least some things can be constant, like the way it feels when I'm fighting against the weight. And I am in control. Maybe that's what's happening right now. I'm pushing and pulling and causing myself all this pain--deliberately breaking myself down so I can come back stronger the next time.

But I worry about there even being a next time. Fatigue is starting to overcome me. And it hasn't even been a year.

I can't imagine living the rest of my life like this. I'd rather die.
Something is wrong.

Now I'm going to go watch a cute puppy or two.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Still November, Right?

It's not depression unless you've got no reason to be upset. Over and over again, I am forced to face the fact that my life is and will probably never be what it was supposed to be. I'm already a failure. And now that this is where I am, it seems impossible to get out. My life isn't what I want it to be. No matter how happy I can be with the person I have become, the rest of my life has fallen to shit, and I'm going nowhere. And I'm not any closer to saving up enough money to change that. I'm banking on getting into graduate school because I know I won't have to worry about money during that time. I'm praying that I get that position because I'll make more money working 20 hours a week for four months than I will in an entire year at GNC. But if that doesn't work out, well, I don't know where I will be.

The credit card payment is supposed to come out of my account tomorrow, and I'm not going to have enough money to pay it. If it takes the money anyway and overdraws my account, that's the best thing that can happen right now. And I'll be slammed with fees until I can deposit my paycheck after work on Wednesday. If the money doesn't clear...I'm back up to paying 400 dollars a month with nearly 30 percent interest. If the latter situation plays out, I'll have to leave. I don't even know how I feel about it. There are things I don't want to deal with if I go home, but there is a part of me that misses being able to be closer to my family. I would miss everyone here, and Jon would break up with me, but I don't really feel like I have a lot of friends here. I don't even think I have a few, really. Knowing that living expenses would be taken care of at home is a plus, but should that be enough? Should I risk everything now in order to prevent having to risk it for the next ten years of my life?

You have no idea how many times I've considered selling drugs or sex for money. I have people telling me stories about how they used to have five cars and had so much money coming in that they could just give one away. Then I always have to stop and think about how ridiculous it is that I'm even at this point. This wasn't what was supposed to happen, and this isn't what they told me would happen. It almost makes me regret going to college at all...almost.

I could have been in medical school right now. Instead, I've been living on a little less than 2 dollars for about five days now, and I still have to wait until Wednesday night. I haven't actually gone grocery shopping in months. My bed is still just an old mattress on the floor. I'm still in the same place, barely scraping by, and I can't live like this any more. I've been trying to make the best of it, but the effort is just one more thing that takes its toll on me.

"Just get another job."
I already want to cry every single morning I have to wake up and go do this. I'd probably--definitely--want to put a bullet in my brain if I had to do it twice as much.

Yes, a lot of people have it a hell of a lot worse than I do, and maybe they are better people than I am for being able to handle more than I can. I won't argue with it. I just don't want to get to the point where I feel like it's not worth trying anymore, and I'm so close already. I can feel it creeping up on me, almost breathing on me. What is there to keep that feeling at bay? I have nothing tangible to help me through this, and every time I rely on hopes and dreams, I end up in a far worse position.

Moving home would be giving up. But I might have no other choice. I'm just another one of those people who got lost in everything I guess. And I have this terrible feeling that I'm never going to get out of this and that this really is as good as it gets. But maybe I do deserve it, with all that I could have and probably should have done. I'm afraid that it's already too late.

I'm just afraid.
And I'm worried that there's no point in even wanting anything now. I don't want to shut down again. I feel like things haven't been right in such a long time. It's hard to imagine that I could have felt fine a few days ago. Maybe I don't know how to live in what everyone calls the real world, but that's really funny to me.

I may not understand a lot of things about how this society works, but if it ever ceased to work, I'd be able to survive just fine. Most of the real world is absolutely fake, and I'm tired of dealing with it. I hate knowing that that's probably how I'm going to feel for the rest of my life. I just lost my train of thought completely.

I need a plan. I feel like I need help making one. But I don't know if I actually trust that many people for that kind of help. As usual, I'm my own worst enemy. Bleh. This ship is sinking for sure.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just Another Tuesday

There is value in writing something every day, no matter how insignificant your observations may seem. Those little details, like the fact that it rained today or that I actually took the time to talk to a girl I thought I wouldn't be able to stand. Let's just say I was wrong. I've learned over and over again that first impressions are almost always wrong, even if you're great at reading people. Anyway, one of these days, I'm not going to remember these details, and maybe having them in a little place like this or in a notebook stashed away in a green box in the corner of my room will be the most important thing in the world to me. Our memories really are our greatest treasures. We turn to them when we have lost loved ones--when we have lost anything, really. I strive to remember because forgetting means you have to start over.

And about the pageant. As I expected, I am completely over it and ready to take on the challenge of preparing for nationals in a few months. Bouncing back seems to be my specialty. In order to be a success, you've got to first be a failure. And sometimes, you're both at once. It depends on where you're standing.

It's one of those days where I'm not sure where I'm going but I don't mind at all.

I requested a day off next week to go get my fingerprints done. This is finally going to happen. It's funny that I don't feel more excited about it. It's been so long that it's not that big of a deal anymore. It's just something that needs to be done to avoid awkwardness and inconvenience. I don't need the validation. I think the most exciting part is that I will get to do this with at least one other trans person, and this is a big step for her. I want to see this happen for her more than anything, really. It's always exciting to talk to people who are about to embark on a journey similar to yours. And you want to tell them everything and prepare them for all the challenges they might face, but it's almost like being a parent in a way. You can't tell them everything. Some things they'll need to experience for themselves in order to really understand. I've come to accept this as part of my own life in general, another facet of growing up of which I was unaware several years ago.

There's no one else here right now, and I'm happy to sit in silence. It's something I don't get enough of these days.

I was supposed to be getting a puppy for Christmas, but that's not happening because the girl gave it away to someone else (a relative) after she had already promised it to Jon for me. Oh well. I'm a little sad because I was looking forward to having a cute little animal waiting for me every day. I squeal around tiny, cute things.

I need to design fliers, but I'm exhausted. I just want to sleep. Still feel like it's too early for that, though. Same old. I suppose if I pass out I can just wake up early and start on them.

This is getting silly, so I'm out until I have something slightly more interesting to say.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In Between

It's kind of ridiculous that it's all over now, and it's even more ridiculous because I don't even WANT to be sad. I just want to get over it and get on with things. I'm not mad. Maybe a little peeved about things here or there, but let's face it, Skyler had the better package tonight and was spot on. And I really am happy for him, and I'm happy for myself too because I'm still going to nationals, I still got to try out this idea (though perhaps it wasn't the best time for a test run...), and I still wound up learning a lot about myself. It's amazing how much you can learn about how you're presenting yourself to the rest of the world just by looking at the way you walk, the way you smile, etc.
And it's also incredibly frustrating.
I want to pick a place to start talking about all the things that happened tonight and the nights leading up to the pageant. I could say so much about how I didn't have enough time with working so much and how it was so difficult to get dancers, etc. But those are just excuses. And maybe I could also talk about how I should have switched my idea when I knew we would only have three days to practice a pretty complicated routine.
And perhaps it was a little TOO outside of the box. I'm not sure. But there are two things that piss me off. One of the comments on my sheet for presentation was "not good as a boy". On a similar note, there were comments in another category suggesting that I was not walking in a masculine way. Or not doing something in a masculine way. Oh, and did I mention I got knocked points for using the word queer? I guess that makes three things. Am I the only one that has an issue with the pageantry system deciding how to define masculinity? I mean, it is their pageant and they have enough crazy rules the way it is, but this just seems like something that's detrimental in general.
The whole thing's just got my head spinning tonight. And I'm just...sad. There's no way of getting around it. And it's more annoying than anything else because my brain is fully capable of moving past this and not dwelling on shit, but it refuses to. And even when I wanted to have a good cry a little earlier, I couldn't. It's almost impossible for me to cry when I need to, yet sometimes I find that tears well up in my eyes instantly depending on the trigger (usually something random and pointless).
I know what I can do well. And I know what I like to do. And tonight has me thinking that this pageant thing really isn't for me. I do get annoyed that I have to say words in a particular order and do this and that. It's a lot of jumping through hoops, and I hate feeling that winning a title like this is the only way to spread my name. I'm sure it's not true, but that's the way it seems to have been working.
Here's the problem I'm having. I'm a performer. That's clearly what I like to do, and it's what I do best. I know how to keep people entertained and push boundaries and keep coming up with new things. I'm also pretty good at designing outfits, apparently. But they don't like the way I walk. I just thought of something...
Maybe the modeling portions are so difficult for me because I honestly don't feel like I'm in character when I am doing it. I don't feel like I'm performing, and maybe if I did, I would do better. I just don't feel like I have the same confidence. There's also that part of me that keeps wondering how my walking in the shape of a T or a triangle is relevant to anything or how it can be construed as entertainment. And I know the answers to my own questions. It's not about that, not all of it. When I do stuff like this, I realize that I feel like I'm doing it for somebody else. With Mr. Cattivo, I felt like I was doing it for me. I did things how I wanted to, and I was allowed to be a lot more creative with it.
Maybe it's just learning that this isn't what I do. I can't sleep. It's almost five in the morning, and I'm already running on barely any sleep from the night before the pageant, but I can't get the thoughts out of my head. My brain always feels like it needs to resolve everything before it can move on, which is why I am so annoyed. I don't want to think about this right now. I honestly want to go upstairs, take a hot bath, read a book, come back down here and cuddle with my sleeping boyfriend.
I asked him if he thought I should keep doing this, and I could tell it was a difficult question for him to answer. There's no getting around the fact that I want to be great at what I do. I want people to know who I am. I want to perform in more places and all that jazz. And I sometimes feel like this is the only way to do it. Again, the brain knows that really isn't true, though it certainly doesn't hurt.
Maybe I'd rather spend my time, money, and energy working on something for me, and by that I mean something for the audience to really enjoy without having to worry about the minute details that usually escape them anyway. If this is how I feel, and I know this is what I do best, why am I still sad? It makes no sense to me.
I'm an entertainer. I'm more comfortable doing that than anything else. But that doesn't mean I don't want to get better at the other things, and maybe a lot of that right now is because it's a new challenge. The other things are hard for me, and ironically enough, I sucked the most on talent because I was so bent on sticking with this original idea I had in my head. I wasn't really on tonight at all, and pretty much everything that could go wrong...did. I knew what had happened as soon as I stepped off stage. But should the fact that it's a challenge matter that much if that's one of the only things keeping me in it?
It should be as easy as saying it's not for me. Kind of like basketball.
But why isn't it? Maybe I should start asking myself why I really wanted this in the first place. Did I really need the validation that badly? And did it backfire completely? Maybe. Not sure. My confidence is shot right now, but I've learned to bounce back. Maybe it's because I put so much time and energy into this, and I don't have much to show for it at the moment.
BUUUUT I still get to go to nationals. And I can change things up. I can learn how to model better, stop saying ummmm all the time, and figure out a way to make the lights work better for me instead of hurting me because you couldn't see my face. But how much more is that going to require from me, and can I even do that now knowing the way I feel.
I'm trying to think back to what I told them in the interview. They asked me how important it was for me to win the crown tonight. I told them that, although that would be nice and everyone enters with the goal of winning, it wasn't everything for me. I come out of each one better than the last, and maybe that's why I've stuck with doing it. I like pushing myself, but sometimes I can't stand not being able to do it my way. A lot of my life is based upon rules and rigid thinking and all that good stuff, and I don't want it to apply to my performance. Maybe I enjoy it so much because I can do whatever the hell I want.
It's a lot for me to think about right now, and I just want something else to go in its place. Again, I'm an annoying kind of sad that just won't leave.
I'm not going to think about drag for...I was going to say at least a week, but I have a show in two. It never stops.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh, and the tuxedo that I have isn't supposed to button, fyi. lol

The whole night has me thinking. There weren't too many people there, and it really didn't seem like people were having that great of a time. Do I really want to spend all of my energy doing this when I could be putting it towards making sure people do have a good time and actually want to come back and see me?

Random good thing: I look great in white. :)

Maybe I should start saying some positive things here. And maybe I should stop saying maybe. It must be getting pretty tiring about now.

EsQ wants me to make a pair of pants like mine, though. I mean, that's a positive thing, right?

I want to keep writing to bleed this issue dry, but I don't think that's going to be happening any time soon, or maybe I feel like it's close enough to say that I want to start that bath water.

I'm caught exactly in between "I give up" and "bring it on".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I'm starting to understand so many of the things that my parents used to talk about, and as much as I hate to admit that they were right...well, they were. I'm depressed about it, maybe for real this time, though the weather may have something to do with that as well. I absolutely hate my job, and every day that I wake up, I think about what would happen if I just decided not to show up. It's not that I mind the people I work with. No, I actually like them a lot, and I'd love to pursue friendships with them outside of our little store. But what I actually have to do is so unbelievably stressful that it feels like I have no time to do anything for myself when I leave work because I am too busy trying to cleanse myself of the frustration that's built up over the past eight hours. And this makes me feel even worse about myself, and it only adds to the stress that accumulates when I realize that everything is piling up again. I thought that feeling was supposed to go away after I graduated college. After four months of living like this, I realize just how much I'd rather be back in school. Maybe it's the desire to have that part of my youth returned to me, but I feel that it's more along the line that I have no patience for rude, ignorant, obnoxious, pretentious, insert-your-favorite-adjective-here people. If I'm not getting yelled at by someone who needs piss cleansers so he can pass a drug test, I'm being talked down to by some corporate moron who knows absolutely nothing about health or fitness. I wish I could tell these people like it is. And there are some people I wish I could throw in front of a bus, like the man who decided to make fun of one of the St. Jude's cancer kids whose pictures we have on the counter this month. I thought it would be fun to try to teach people about working out and staying healthy until I realized that I work downtown, and you don't get nice suburban families coming in to your store. You get real people. And maybe that's what scares me the most. Drug dealers, crazy people (like...REAL crazy people), homeless people, stuck up rich people...never any families. People don't want to listen to me. They could care less what I have to say. They want to be right. They want their QCarbo or their inositol. They want to show me in every way that they can that there is indeed a difference between us. They need so badly to believe that they are better than I am. I deal with it so much that I guess I'm starting to believe it.

I'm starting to get the feeling that I'll never have the kind of stable life that I've always wanted. Maybe that's what I'm just supposed to have wanted. Even so, I know I'd be less stressed out knowing that I'd have enough money and not having to scrape everything together at the last minute. I wonder if going back to school is even going to help me at all. It may not, but I KNOW that I can't get anywhere with what I have now, and that's depressing as hell. It makes me wonder why I even went to college. I went because I believed it's what I had to do. I wanted it, yes. But that's because I wanted to be smart and important and all of that. I'm neither right now, so a lot of good that did me, huh?

I hate being made to feel like a loser. I want a normal job. I want these next few months to be over. I want things to make even a little sense right now. I want them to be clear. And I can't even prioritize. That's how bad it's gotten. I have no idea what should be the most important thing.

This was a really circuitous way of coming to the conclusion that I can't do everything that I want to do for the rest of my life. Some things are going to have to stay memories, and that makes me really sad. I don't want to give things up. But I know that I have to. Over the years, more and more things have led me to believe that growing up is letting go. And you have to keep letting go of things the older you get. And then there's nothing left. It's pretty morbid, but it's fairly accurate, even in a purely physical sense.

I feel like I have so much more that I could give. I could be doing something more useful with my time. I want to do something better. I want to do something for people who will actually appreciate what it is that I am doing. I just wish I felt less alone in trying to figure out the next step. I am fairly certain that I want to go back to school. But how do I know that I'm not just saying that because things are so miserable right now? What if I am, but what if that's okay? What if that's the only reason anybody chooses to do anything? Not to attain happiness but to avoid misery?
It's something I haven't had to think about in a while.

Even though I feel like I have too much going on right now, I want something more. I want that stability. I want my own place and my puppy and my license. The latter is mainly because I'm tired of it taking 3 hours to do something that should take 40 minutes at most and because I absolutely hate being dependent on other people. I want to want people in my life because they make me happy and because I value their companionship, not because I need them.

Did I mention that I want November to be over?

I didn't even have a costume for Halloween this year. I didn't get to give out candy. I had to work, and the only children I saw in costume were the daycare kids we drove by as they were walking down the street in the morning. I'm losing the things that are important to me, and I hate the way that feels. Why is it always that my job destroys my life? Maybe that means I'm in the wrong job. How do I know what the right one is? I feel like I'm going to fuck up a hell of a lot more in the near future trying to figure that out. And then I won't be young anymore.

I must seem like a miserable fuck, but really I just need to get these things out because they are constantly on my mind. I'm generally a pretty chipper person, but that gets tiring when all of these other things are weighing on me. I don't want to put up with this shit at my job for much longer, but I need to find a better one first. And that hasn't happened. I keep applying and applying, but I get nothing. I may be made a manager soon, and that may make things a little better. If I got paid more than minimum wage to deal with these fuckers every day, maybe I'd be okay with it.

Agitated. Confused. Trying to get over it.

Friday, October 14, 2011


One phone call made all the difference today. I heard my parents' voices for the first time in over two months, and I nearly cried. Talking to them seemed to relieve me of all of the stress I've been accumulating over the last several weeks. And a short time ago, talking to my family was the most stress-inducing aspect of my life. I'll never be able to be one of those people who goes months without talking to his family. I can't be that disconnected. I'd been lonely for months, even around other people who love and care for me, and I was starting to get worried that I might be depressed again. But those feelings vanished. When I hung up, I was smiling and happy. And I felt like things were finally going right for me. I felt like I was headed in the right direction. Maybe it was good to hear all of those things from them too. My family is crazy. But I love them. And I'll never be able to stop, and I'll never be ungrateful for what they have been able to give me, even if there were some things I wish could have been different along the way.
I tried to be the kind of person who turned his back on his family when they did not show immediate acceptance, but I'm not capable of that. It tears me apart. On some level, I think this is true for me no matter what type of personal relationship I have with someone. I suppose I will always have some level of love and concern for those who are no longer in my life. At the very least, I'm not one to hold on to bitter feelings. I don't believe that this makes me a pushover, though it did before I learned more effective and more appropriate ways to manage my affairs. There is a part of me that believes that some doors never really close, but the rest of me seems to want to fight that. Two parts of my nature are in conflict with one another, and I figure that it's better to let the fight play out than to interfere by trying to rationalize my emotional behavior. Everything is going to be okay.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Before Bed

I started off this post by saying I was in a much different mood than I was yesterday, but I'm not so sure how true that is. I had my highs and lows today, and I decided to seclude myself upstairs because things were becoming overwhelming, and even though this room itself is frustrating and overwhelming right now, I'm doing better than I would be if I were in the middle of everyone.

Once I start thinking about something, I have to see that thought through to the end. And sometimes I wish I didn't have to because I often end up thinking the worst of the worst. I end up in places I don't want to be. I started thinking about how stupid the new woman at our store is (and how we are moving her to another store because she is incapable of completing any task on her own and refuses to listen), but I ended up thinking about how sad it must be to be a 49-year-old woman with a college degree working a minimum wage job under a 28-year-old manager. I started to think about the fact that I was right in thinking that my life is never going to be what I thought it was going to be. Those dreams I had about doing this or being this are getting further and further away from me, and now I see exactly how it happens. I see exactly how my father went from studying to be a meteorologist to working as a claims adjuster. I know what it's like to have something like that slip away from you. And it happens so slowly and so smoothly. It's like you never even wanted it in the first place.
I'm barely getting by. I never know if I'm going to have enough money to keep up with all of my bills, and that one meal could be the difference between overdrawing my account and having to pay a thirty-six dollar fee. I hate this feeling. I didn't even notice the people (snobby downtown customers) looking down on me or acting like they were better until someone pointed it out to me. Maybe that's because I've been experiencing that sort of thing my whole life. I'm used to being treated like shit and get overly excited any time someone does anything even remotely nice for me. It's kind of screwed up, but at least I'm appreciative.
I know what I want. I know that I want to go back to school next fall, and I know the programs to which I am applying. But it's not what I thought I would be doing five or six years ago. A part of me thinks I was more concerned with being a doctor because I needed to prove that I could do it. But I know that I could, and now I need to figure out if it's what I want at all. But I can't just sit around and fuck around with a minimum wage job for ten years trying to figure that out. So I'll do something I love to do. And maybe that's where I'll find myself years from now and maybe not. But I have reached the point where I need to pick a direction. I'm not going to get anywhere by standing still.
The idea of LA isn't so scary to me anymore. A few months ago, I was terrified of leaving everyone and everything. But I feel confident that my roots here are strong. And maybe I won't be ready to leave this year or the next. Maybe not even in five years. But someday, I may be ready to leave Pittsburgh and add another place I can call home.
I feel like my job has taken over my life. It's stressful, and I hate downtown people. If this were an ordinary GNC out in a mall somewhere, things would be so much better. And it'd be easier to sell what you need to. But at least the guys I work with are cool. They're really cool, actually. You'd be really surprised.

I forgot to say something about the show last weekend. My band played at the Rock United festival, which benefited disabled veterans this year. It was amazing. We sounded great, and people want to book us for future shows. It was the first time I've ever been miked. And boy does that feel amazing. It was over so quickly, though. I love the rush of performing in front of people. I used to be terrified of it and would only dream of being able to enjoy it like I knew I could. And I'm finally there. Everything comes in time. I'm really proud of myself. And that whole experience makes me think I'm going to be okay. I turned myself around in that aspect of my life, so why can't I apply that same thing to other aspects? I guess it's not as simple as it sounds. Sometimes I wish I were different. But overall, I'd never trade myself in for someone else.

I find myself thinking about having a family a lot lately. For the past two years or so, I've been trying to push the thoughts out of my head every time they surface because I don't want to think about the possibility of not having a child that is biologically connected to me. Yet I still don't want one coming out of me. And maybe my eggs won't even be good enough for someone else to take in a few years. And that whole process is extremely expensive. So I just tuck that issue aside until I'm ready to deal with it. But as things get more and more serious, and I as I keep figuring out what I want my life to be, it's going to get harder and harder to avoid. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of everything about it. And I was especially afraid to talk to my therapist about it when I was first talking with her about getting hormones, etc. I didn't want to say anything that would make them question my decision. But I'm a lot smarter now.

My thoughts are traveling in so many different directions now. I almost forgot what I was doing. I feel like I'm on the edge of having everything in my life organized just the way I need it to be. But everything is just off enough to make it feel like nothing is organized at all and that I'm just flailing about waiting for the next big thing to come my way.

Time for some music before bed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reflections on Coming Out

I vividly remember being angry this time last year because so many people, both gay and straight, had failed to understand the importance of coming out. Indifference is one thing. Outright condemnation is another, and trying to convince someone that "acting like everyone else" is the only way that queer folk can attain equality is equivalent to saying this: "We can't accept you for who you are, and we aren't comfortable giving equal treatment to people like you, so you should be like us. Then you'll deserve it. Problem solved." And if we don't feel comfortable pretending to be like everyone else, then we deserve to be treated as inferior. You can't ensure equality by attempting to eliminate difference. Do this, and you perpetuate the inequality. And it makes it that much harder for the next kid to come out and face a world of people telling him that the only way he can have the same rights as straight people is to act just like them, whatever that means anyway.
I could go on and on about this type of backwards thinking in the world of straight white males, but the truth is that my own community still has a long way to go in terms of treating its own members as equal. Think about how LOGO portrays the LGBTQ community. I don't see much of anything but cisgendered gay men. Let's make it a little more personal, though.
Coming out as trans opened me up to a whole new world of prejudices, and they came at me from both sides of this mythical line. Suddenly everyone thinks that I have to be straight. Suddenly I am called out for not acting enough like a man. Suddenly, I am treated differently in conversations with strangers and friends alike. I can understand people with no exposure to the queer community making such assumptions, but the difference between one's gender and one's sexuality is still perceived through a heteronormative lens, regardless of the onlooker. Are we still telling gay men that they should become women? No. Why shouldn't it work that way for me? I have so much more to say, but I feel very uncomfortable because I am not alone right now and feel like the only reason this other person is awkwardly sitting here is because I am here. And I don't know how to say what I need to say to make him understand that I need to be as far away from other people as possible right now. I can't write when there are other people around. I can't tune out the discomfort enough in order to do it well, so I'm feeling like things are very disconnected right now because I am constantly worrying about this situation. And now I don't even know what I was saying anymore.
Coming out keeps getting easier for me. Liking myself for my queerness keeps getting easier too. I am not shy about this part of myself. I am quite proud of it, and maybe that's because I'm making up for all the time I spent being ashamed of who I was for over twenty years. Maybe ashamed isn't the right word. I was...disconnected. And I guess I really didn't care. I could be proud of my accomplishments or skills that I had mastered, but never of myself. I was never proud to just BE, and I guess I felt like I needed all of those things to fill that space. Coming out as trans felt like coming into the world and being allowed to be a part of it. Even before I started hormones, I began to feel more real because I was the person who chose that. I allowed myself to participate. I allowed myself to experience the world. I became exposed. And things began to change.
There are other kinds of coming out that aren't as easy. It's still not easy for me to accept that my brain works differently. It's not easy to accept that this comes with limitations. And it's not easy to accept that there is a good chance that this is as good as it gets in terms of how I react to things.
How many other kinds of coming out do people face every day? Everyone does it, and I think we'd all be a lot better off if we had an entire community behind us.
Feeling disconnected again. But I need to get it all out. Coming out is important, you young gay people. Staying in the closet is staying invisible, and that's exactly what a lot of anti-gay individuals want. It's a way to keep us divided and to fool the masses into thinking that we are a freakish minority. On a more personal level, coming out is important because you can finally stop being afraid. You don't have to worry about being discovered. And people won't be able to hurt you with your own identity if you truly love and accept yourself. But that's not easy. I know.
I want to connect this with an experience I had earlier today at work. A rather rude customer said something to the effect that I have no business working in a GNC because of how small I am. I was just stunned because he also wouldn't drop the subject. Before I continue, I'd like to point out that I've never had any of the really big dudes talk to me like that. It's only people who are smaller--often smaller than I am--who feel the need to prove something. But even knowing this, I had a hard time. I started to feel like shit about myself. I started to wonder if that's what other people see when they look at me. I started to feel like everything I am doing is a waste of time. And that's when it hit me that I've begun to experience a whole new kind of inadequacy based upon physical appearance. Standards for men really are just as unrealistic as those for women, but it definitely depends on the environment. I feel like I could explain that better at another time.
I felt inadequate for a little bit. But that went away. I love my body. I love that I am in control of it. I needed to remember something that I tell people all the time when it comes to working out. Well, a few things. (1) Know your own body type, and use that knowledge to make it the best it can be instead of trying to be something you are not. (2) Never compare yourself to anyone else. It doesn't matter how much the girl over there can lift or how far this guy over there can run. Concentrate on what you are doing and making yourself better. If you let what someone else can do discourage you or make you feel inadequate, you have already lost. You have defeated yourself, and you'll end up denying yourself what you are depressed about not having been able to do in the first place.
The same philosophy can be applied to anything at all, not just working out. And that's what is extremely difficult for most people to understand. You need to concentrate on making yourself better instead of trying to make yourself as good as someone else. Being proud of your own identity is far more effective than comparing who you are to someone else. Don't try to be that other person. These points do connect rather nicely, don't they? lol

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dinosaur Brains?

I just looked over at the TV, and I'm pretty sure that's an alligator head going through a table saw. Interesting.

Holy shit. It's been almost a week, but it seems like it just happened. Maybe that's because I've been kind of sick for the past few days. No. I've been terribly sick. Jon took me to the ER last night (two nights ago?) because he was worried that my throat was going to close, but he took me somewhere new, so I wasn't exactly talking very much, which is good since that would have hurt anyway. I didn't go to work that day, and any normal human being would have taken the next day off as well, but I'm terrified of getting fired. As much as the job kind of sucks because of insane and/or insanely stupid customers, I really need it right now. I keep checking for new jobs every day, but I do pretty well in commission almost every day.
I won. I can't freaking believe it. I'm actually proud of myself. This time, I did things the way I wanted to do them. I had enough time to do everything I needed to do. I was still stressed out beyond belief, but I'm much calmer when I'm on stage. The waiting is the most stressful part. I could hear my own heart beating just waiting for those names to be read. And then it seemed like everyone in the bar was chanting my name. I couldn't stop smiling. Now I have a little bit of a break before I have to do it all over again come November. I know I've already committed myself to too many different things in the coming months, but I'll make it through.
It hurts a little to be doing this, but I can't just sit here anymore. The fever seems to be getting worse. Still watching alligators.
There is an advertisement for a show called "Rocket City Rednecks" in the top corner of my screen. Only in America.
But, don't get me wrong, I do like explosions.
Not getting anywhere today. Ugh.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I tried to write something for my "About Me" section, but I got stuck. I didn't know what to put at all. I'm not sure what that says about me. I used to be pretty confident in who I was, and I would be able to describe myself perfectly in just a few words, or so I thought. Maybe it's getting more difficult because I think I'm starting to realize that who I am keeps changing as my life changes. I mean, I'm going to have the same core tendencies, of course, but even some characteristic traits might change as I learn to control my response in any given situation. And I know that I'm a very different kind of person to different people in my life. There are things I enjoy doing that I just can't do right now, for whatever reason. I don't really have a career.

There are a few words that come to mind when I say that. I'm fighting them all the time. I don't want to believe what my entire upbringing has taught me about people like me. I'm not a failure. I'm not useless or lazy.

My writing seems weird today. Maybe this wasn't the right time to start this. After all, I'm only waiting for my phone to charge.

I reached a breaking point yesterday. But I feel good about my decision. I feel bad because my phone died and I slept for 18 hours. But I don't feel sick anymore. And I'm glad I finally decided to take care of myself first. But it doesn't mean that I don't feel guilty.

I' m going on adventures by myself today. I hope this works out well.

I need to clean this place. It's a disaster.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Where would I go if I were to run away right now? I knew this would happen. I knew this feeling would start to take over when things became serious with another person. When I am with someone, I feel stronger. I feel more capable of doing things, more adventurous. The explorer in me comes out. The side of me that wants to see the world and leave a little piece of myself in various places along the way...well, that part has returned as well. I suppose that's not really running away. I wonder if I feel this way for a different reason, though. I wonder if I just want a chance to get a new job in a new place and start all over. I'm not good at leaving things behind, and moving away would probably be the only way for me to make that happen. And even that would take time. Anyway, as exciting and terrifying as it is to think about life outside of Pittsburgh--a life for me outside of Pittsburgh--I'm not ready for that. I could be, maybe. But for now, I think I have more work to do here.

Sometimes pictures make me cry when I know they shouldn't. Nostalgia can be dangerous. I'm not quite far enough away for it to be as simple as that, though. There are fibers here and there connecting me to my old life. And that sounds really stupid considering I'm talking about a year or two ago. But I can feel the fray in the fabric like a tear in my skin. And it's just not going to heal until it finally stops pulling open.
I do miss people. But I miss them as they were, not as they are. And as far as I can tell, there is no going back. Sometimes I just want to be done learning lessons about life.
I don't want this to be as good as it gets for me. I think that's one of my greatest fears.

This is not the kind of quiet that I wanted. It's a loud quiet where I can still hear everything in my head trying to get my attention at the same time. I'm losing it. I know what I need to do as the next step. But I have no way to make that happen. And I'm scared to let anyone know that I'm scared and that I don't think I can do it.

I spent most of my day sleeping. I woke up around two in the afternoon but lay in bed until almost four. And then when Jon left around 930, I fell asleep again. I woke up about an hour ago, wishing I could have just slept a few more hours to make it seem like I had planned to get up early. And now I have a morning full of worry ahead because I don't think I'm going to get everything done. I need to stop saying that I can take care of everything when it's pretty clear that I can't. What would happen if I just let the ball drop this one time? What would happen if I just stopped doing what I always do? That's an experiment for a later date.

I really need a better job.
I need to go back to school. And I hope I'm not just saying that because I feel safe there.
I need to be in control of my space again.

There's never not going to be something wrong with me. I'm not that upset about it anymore, though I still worry about driving people away.

"I want to feel weightless because that would be enough."


For a few weeks, I thought that working at GNC had taught me that I would never be able to stand working in such a heteronormative environment for an extended period of time. But I started to think about how people within my own community respond to the idea of being transgendered, and I'm not actually sure which group I've found to be more accepting. Maybe the people I work with don't have a clue what really goes on with being trans, but they're always respectful when they want to know something, and sometimes you can tell that they really think about how their questions will affect you. I see genuine curiosity in these people and in a lot of the straight people that have interviewed me for whatever reason. Most of the bullshit that I've had to deal with has come from within the gay community. I feel that young gay men in particular are the most problematic. The way the questions are phrased, the way I am seen as an object, etc. I know that this is not a complete picture, and there have been other times in my life where the majority of my frustration came from having to deal with ignorant straight people, but I think the present situation is very interesting.

Topic shift. I'm working on my outfits for Mr. Cattivo. I'm getting excited about it. I feel pretty proud of the one that's almost done, and I've been really excited to do this number for a while now. I can say that I don't care if I win and that I just want to do the number, but I would definitely be lying. I always want to win. I don't know who doesn't. And I have to go through all of the motions with the idea in my head that I am doing this to win. Is that complicated since I am good friends with and live with someone against whom I am competing? Eh, not really. I'm mature about it. I'm competitive, yes. But I'm not an asshole. I'm down to the wire here, and I know it, but I've got a handle on it this time around. I'm in such a different place than I was a year ago (in some ways). And in some ways, that's entirely a lie.

The TV is making it hard for me to write. I have a lot of distractions coming up. That'll be good for me. They make me less likely to worry about making meaning out of my life.

I need to work on music and costumes and my bio tonight. I need to get those things for the bags for Friday. And it's almost 7:30. This isn't looking good right now. I also have to work until 6:30 tomorrow. Ugh. I need to tell people something tomorrow, and I don't know if they are going to like it. But this is something that I have to say because I don't want to explode.

Time Out.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Non-Back-to-School Blues

I realized today just how quickly a place can lose that feeling of home. I had to go to Oakland today for a job interview, which actually went so poorly that I don't even want to mention it right now, and I spent a fair amount of time sitting in the Rainbow office with the new president and vice president and running various errands. I kept looking at the guys playing football on the lawn, the girls walking around in flip flops and carrying purses full of books, the confused freshmen, and everyone else who had that feeling of security because they knew they were in a place that was entirely theirs. I don't have that anymore, and I already miss it. The place still belongs to me in a way, since I did spend so much time there and have known the feeling. But it's not the same. For a split second, I wanted to run back to the bus. I wanted to get away because I didn't want to confront those feelings. In a way, I don't belong there anymore. My time is over. Forever. And that's just one of those words that you never really understand the meaning of until you have to live it.

I'm becoming a shadow. I keep thinking of Dead Poets' Society and how I'm going to be just like the boys in those old photographs in the beginning of the movie. And I'm in between the point of recognition and the point of deciding not to be terribly depressed about the transience of my existence.

I'm on the road to seizing the day, but I'm not prepared for it just yet. But maybe that doesn't matter so much. Maybe I'll never figure out where I'm supposed to be going, but I should probably keep trying because maybe that's all there is.

I'm worried about the same things that everyone else is. I'm worried I'll never really be happy, but am I happy knowing that I'm doing everything I can to try to make myself happy? Does that even make sense? If it does, then I don't think I am because I don't know if I am doing everything I can. What am I missing? This is the question I've been trying to figure out for the last five months.

I'm worried that I'm not good enough or capable enough to do anything. I'm worried that I'm not stable enough to do many of the things that I am interested in doing. I'm worried that this will last forever. I'm worried about everyone else continuing to move forward while I stay exactly where I am. I'm worried that I made the wrong choice. I worry a lot. In fact, I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't worry. I've been anxious, neurotic, twitchy, nervous, etc. my whole life. It's helped me get a lot done over the years, but lately, it's been more of a burden than anything. I find myself worrying so much that I can't even begin to focus on completing a task. I become non-functional. And then because of my anxiety, I am less able to tolerate frustration, and because of my frustration and inability to deal with my own emotions like a normal person, I shut down or freak out. While things haven't been making me go absolutely off the wall lately, I worry that I am hiding myself away. I worry that I'm just avoiding the situations that even might make me a little anxious. And that's starting to catch up to me. I feel like I've put myself up against a wall and everything I've got going on in my life is charging right toward me.

It's roughly three in the morning. I'm still hungry. I'm almost tired. I read an interesting quote on DeJuan Blair's twitter this afternoon: "Just because you miss somebody doesn't mean that they should be in your life." And there's just way too much to say about that, for better or worse.

I'm starting to just feel sad a lot of the time. Summer is almost over. Those things are connected in more ways than one.

I wish I had enough money to just pick a direction and go with it. I have an idea. I think I know what I want to do, at least for now, and that's good enough for me. There's only one problem: I need a little bit of money to do it. I want to take my ACSM CPT exam, but I would need to get the books to prepare for it. And the test itself costs almost 300 dollars to take. This would cost me more than I make in an entire month.

I can't sleep because I think too much. And because I'm hungry. I'm starting to feel disconnected again. But it's strange that there are so many things that do make me happy in my life. I'm just having a hard time really digging my feet into that happiness. I think of happiness like grains of sand, and right now, something is making it feel like solid stone. I'm just not able to penetrate the surface, even though I know it's there.

I was in an office for the second portion of my interview today. I did much better on that than the first, and the one thing that I noticed was that it was quiet. I haven't been in a room that quiet for a very, very long time. And I hadn't realized it until just then. It made me want to stay, which is probably why I did better on that part of the interview. I know I'm not going to get the job because I'm sure I seemed completely incompetent. Maybe it's a sign. Or maybe it means absolutely nothing.

I might be ready to try to sleep again. I need to find time to make a fuckload of lists tomorrow.

The first Pitt game is this Saturday, and I probably won't be able to afford the tickets. I'm hoping some band friends can score me some tickets for the next game, but I really wanted to go to the first one. I've been struggling with a lot of feelings in this area lately. I thought everything had come to a nice point of resolution until I heard some news about band camp this year. I'm going back and forth on what I need to do and what my role should be. It's something I think about a lot. I wish I could be there on Monday as well, but I know better. It's just not the right time.

Maybe I feel guilty about so many things that I am thinking about because I don't like when things are left unresolved.

Maybe I should just go back upstairs and watch Ducktales.

Happy September

Monday, August 29, 2011


My college friends are back in school, and I suppose my own reality is finally starting to catch up to me. It really makes me want to cry, along with a few other things at the moment, but that's the main focus of my frustration these days. I am becoming further and further removed from the only thing I've ever known how to do well. I hate my job, and I suck at it, and I'm constantly worried about getting fired. This isn't where I thought I would be. And I know this isn't where I want to be. But the scariest part of it is now I'm not sure how to get back to a place where I DO want to be, especially since I have no idea where that place is. I'm worried that I will be lost forever. I'm worried that this is what my whole life will be. I'm worried about never making it. I don't know if I have long term goals anymore, and I feel like I have very little motivation because of it. I don't know what I'm doing. And I wish someone could help me. But now there's no one. It's all up to me and has been since the day I graduated, and we can all see what a wonderful mess I've made of my life. I seriously feel like a failure, and I'm not entirely sure why. I don't think it's because of any outside pressure to be or do anything, not anymore. Maybe it's because I'm just not happy. I want something more. I want stability that I may never have. I'm struggling to see the point in anything I'm doing, and it shows in everything that I'm doing.

I want to feel caught up. I want to feel like I'm in control of everything, even for just a little. I think I know why today might have been particularly terrible for me. I was washing the outside of the windows today, soap dripping in my eyes, when I realized how fucking pathetic I turned out to be. Later on, I found out that I actually fucked up washing the windows and left grotesque streak marks on almost every one, and my manager had to wash all of the windows again. The most menial, mindless task you can do...and I still manage to get it wrong.

I have a job interview on Thursday, and I already feel like I am going to fail. And that means I probably will. And I'll be stuck at GNC until they have no choice but to fire me because I'm a terrible salesperson. If you want me to explain something to you, I'm pretty good at that. But I'm not good at selling things because I'm not good at lying. I'm not good at all of the pointless formalities that go along with being a salesperson, and I really do have a lot of respect for people that understand all of that. I knew this job was going to be difficult because of that. I'm never sure how or when to approach a person, how long I have to wait before saying something else, where I should stand in relation to them, what tone of voice or posture I should use. I face similar problems when meeting and talking to new people outside of work, but I feel like that's alright. Maybe it's more acceptable for me to be awkward than it is for me to suck at what I do for a living. I suppose I worry that I'll suck at whatever I try to do next. And I am so drained from constantly thinking about interacting with people while at work that there really isn't time for me anymore. I can't do the things I want to do or have committed myself to doing, and that's really stressing me out too.

I don't know how to make things change anymore. I wasn't prepared for this. I keep thinking that college really was a waste of my time because I can't even get a job doing what I spent five years preparing to do. And in two months, I'll have to start paying off my loans. Add that to my credit card bill, and that's already going to be more than I make in one month. I thought I would be able to start paying rent again. Not being able to pay that or get my own place is one of the worst things for me. It makes me feel so helpless. It makes me feel like I'm just mooching off of people. I wonder what I would do if I weren't here. Where would I be? I'm starting to think that all of those people who told me I couldn't take care of myself are right. I suppose when it rains, it pours.

I haven't talked to my parents in so long, and I feel so disconnected. I feel terrible about it. I need help. I wish I could just take out a loan and get a place to live already. But no one would give me one, and I wouldn't be able to make the payments anyway. What the hell can I do? I really need money. I really need my life to not suck so much.

I started thinking about my number for Mr. Cattivo last night and got really depressed afterwards. I'm freaking out about not having what I need. I need to sit down one of these days and write everything out again. I seemed to do much better when I did that. But I can't stay focused. I'm having the same problems I did last fall. Is this shit ever going to stop? What can I do to make it stop?

I'm going to be stuck for a long time, and I don't know if I can survive it. I need to mail and write letters that I should have mailed and written a long time ago. I feel like I'm losing touch with a lot of people, even people I see all the time. And I know it's me. I'm retreating again. I'm running away without going anywhere. And sometimes I don't even realize it. I'm not freaking out as much. But it's not like anything good has been put in its place. Sometimes I feel like there's nothing. And I don't want to strain what seems like it is the one good thing I have going for me.

I don't know what else to write about but I'm having another one of those days where I feel like I should just keep going. I need to clean my room. That's a simple task with a clearly defined goal, and it's going to make me feel better after I do it. Maybe that's a start.

I don't know if I need to be by myself right now. I wish I were better at figuring that out and communicating it to others. And I wish it wouldn't happen so inconveniently.

I don't want to be a loser for the rest of my life. But I feel like I am just going to be another one of those statistics about trans people.

I need direction. I need to be in purposeful motion. I've been in this rut for almost a year now. I felt so close to getting out, but now I might be worse off than I was before. If nothing else, I'm realizing that it's just going to get more and more difficult to get out of it the longer I wait. And that just makes me feel like I'm being forced into making a decision about what I want to do for the rest of my life because I just don't have the luxury of taking the time I need to figure it out. That whole last part makes me want to cry. I know how people get into this shit now. I'm beginning to understand what it means to never be able to have what you always dreamed of having--never be able to do what you dreamed of doing. I'm beginning to understand why people give in and give up. I've never been one to just give up. But it's like any other bad habit: The more you do it, the easier it gets. I gave up on myself last October. I just couldn't take it anymore. And I've never just given up like that before. But it was easier than letting myself get hurt every single day. And maybe it was the right thing to do. I've met people I never would have otherwise. But maybe it hurt me as well. And maybe there's no point in saying if it was the right thing or not because good and bad things would have happened either way. And that's the way everything goes, I guess.

I don't feel like I'm ever going to be able to wrap my head around my own existence. That sounds fun in some ways, but I'd at least like to know I've got a handle on myself. For some reason, my brain started singing "I'm a Little Teapot."

It's so hard to work in a place where I really don't know if I can talk about my life without feeling like a freak show. It's not that I'm certain that I'm being perceived that way, but I fear that's all that people in the straight world are going to see. That's a pretty common fear, yes. I almost said that I wish it didn't bother me, but fuck that. It does bother me. It should bother me. It bothers me as much as the principal who told me it was my fault that other kids treated me the way they did because of the way I looked and acted. It's not my fault that other people are closed-minded. It's not my fault that they can't see what I have seen. And that's not a bad thing. Nobody else has the experience that I have. Sometimes, people just don't know. But it just gets so tiring after a while. I understand what you meant about feeling burnt out with activism. But I can still feel that in me. I get fired up when I hear about certain injustices. And I don't know what that means for what I'll be doing for the rest of my life, but I suspect that it will play a very large role whether I plan on it or not.

If I'm an asshole, it's not because I'm trans. It's because I'm an asshole. Don't make it about anything that it's not. My failures are not related to my trans identity. And many of my successes aren't. I guess that depends on what successes we're talking about, but I think you get the point. This fact of my life is not relevant when talking about sucking at my job or being late, etc, etc.

Maybe I'll start feeling connected now that all of my younger friends are back in town. Maybe that will help. I'm going to start repeating myself soon. Or maybe I can at least find something else to talk about. I just started thinking about how my contacts are in the case with the solution that requires you to wait six hours before putting your lenses back in your eyes. It hasn't been six hours. This really frustrates me right now.

I just remembered that I'm going to have to start paying for a bus pass. That's another 90 dollars a month. I'm going to be working at this fucking job that I can't even stand, and I won't have a fucking penny to show for it. I really can't take this. Not at all.

Monday, August 22, 2011


A few minutes ago, I was leaning over my bed (which is actually just a few inches above the floor anyway) and spitting blood into the lid of an empty Chinese food container. Remembering a conversation I had with a friend a week or so ago, I started to concentrate on the pattern created by the flow of blood around and through the stack of tissues in the middle of the container. This seemed to ease the pain a little...or at least make me forget about it for a little while.

The searing pain itself brought back vivid memories of living at Bates--of the last time a problem with one of my wisdom teeth sent me to the emergency room. I remember clutching the edge of the chair in the room they stuck me in because they couldn't leave me screaming in the waiting room for two hours. I leaned over the left edge of the chair, and as I screamed, a mixture of blood and saliva shot towards the floor.

Tooth pain is probably the worst physical pain I have experienced, though the menstrual cramps I experienced in my early teens are a very close second to that. Earlier this morning, I took eight Excedrin, and it made me absolutely ill. I don't think I've fully recovered from it either. I was sick to my stomach, dizzy, feverish, and a little out of it. But it was still better than having to deal with the feeling of having a hammer smashed straight down into your tooth, that feeling radiating out to your ears and right through your skull. When you're in that kind of pain, it's the only thing you can think about.

Jon is coming up the stairs. Done for now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Now it's August

I seemed to be doing well with writing all the time until real life started to take its toll on me. I'm once again finding that this is just something that I need to do, and even if I don't have time for it, I need to make time. I've been moving a lot lately. I haven't really had time to process everything that's been happening, and I need to do that in order to make sure I am ready for some big things that are on the way. I'm trying to piece together how I feel about things, but that's really tough when thoughts of all the things that I have to do start to invade the space that is meant just for me.

A customer came in today to buy a bag of ostrich meat chews (yes, they are gross...and mostly made of beef anyway), but I ended up talking with her for a little while about Pittsburgh in general, and then it turned into a conversation about school and what I studied. At the end of the conversation, she gave me a suggestion about going to PA school. And now I'm seriously considering it. To be fair, I've seriously considered quite a few career options over the past six months. I'm at least going to look into it and talk to some people who've been down that road already.

I work at GNC. I've been there for about a month now. It's not an absolutely terrible job, but I don't like being afraid of losing my job because I'm not a pushy salesperson. I don't like how I sometimes don't know my schedule until two days beforehand, and I don't like being faulted for not being able to make a last-minute change to a schedule I had already been given. Mostly, I don't like putting up with all of that in addition to extremely rude downtown customers for a mere $7.25 an hour. I honestly feel that I am too old for this kind of work environment, which doesn't make much sense since we are all in our twenties there. I did this sort of job in high school, and I vowed that I would never do it again because of how drained I felt from dealing with people all day. But I am much more capable of handling that stress and frustration these days. I've noticed an improvement in myself in the past month. Dealing with customers all day is really, really hard for me, but it makes me better at dealing with people in general. I keep finding out that I can handle much more than I think I can.

I can feel so much negativity just leaving my life. Following through with that decision was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It was harder than coming out to my family, both times. It was harder than opening myself up to be vulnerable all over again. It's still hard sometimes. But I know I am doing the right thing. How do I know this? I can feel the difference in my life. Things aren't perfect, but I stopped expecting them to be a long time ago.

I think I'm okay with not writing anymore today.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunset in July

I just opened my old journal, which I had found while visiting my parents but haven't had a chance to sit down with until now. It was from when I was twelve years old, and I am pretty amazed at how far I have come in the last ten years. I guess it's that whole growing up thing. My obsessions were pretty apparent, as I referenced them in almost every single entry. My handwriting was even more atrocious than it is now, and I really didn't seem to talk about anything other than facts and very basic statements of the emotions I was feeling. Learning how to turn even those basic feelings into words took me until high school, it seems.

I haven't taken my shot yet, and I was supposed to do that last night. I just completely forgot about it with starting my new job and being mentally prepared to convince people to buy shit, which means being mentally prepared to have conversations for eight hours a day. That's the part that makes me nervous. The other stuff is easy. I actually reorganized the entire stock room today, and my co-worker for the day is pretty sure that our manager is going to piss himself when he sees it. I think they were expecting me to just leave the place a mountain of cardboard boxes and crap thrown wherever it would fit while placing even more items in what little space was available. It was actually easier for me to just overhaul the entire room. Then I could know exactly where everything needed to go.

There are quite a few things building up inside of me right now. I'm at a very strange point of being in between caring and not caring about feeling attacked. I'm naturally pretty combative. When I feel that I am being attacked or that my friends are being attacked, I get intensely protective of them, meaning I will do and say things that exist ordinarily as passing thoughts. I also need to be sure that I'm not feeling attacked because of a combination of small things that have happened over the years. I want to try to separate those instances from the current situation. As I do this, I'm seeing that this in itself really isn't something I should worry about either. People are going to say what they have to say. They're going to say what they need to say in order to find happiness. The human brain is partly so fascinating because of its ability to rationalize irrational thoughts and behaviors so that it can continue functioning properly. It prevents errors from occurring by fudging the numbers. Your brain is 1984, basically. You don't even know what's real anymore, do you? And you might even be clever enough to come up with an argument about what constitutes reality in order to distract yourself from the terrifying possibility that your consciousness is built upon a rather shaky foundation of falsities.

I am angry. I am hurt. I feel a sense of betrayal unlike anything I have known previously...And I've been betrayed more times than I would like to admit. But temperance is the virtue around which I aim to center myself. I will let my anger dissipate. I will express what I need to express. Only then will I be able to forgive. But I honestly may fail this time. And I don't think that's ever happened before. I do not like what you have tried to turn me into. I will not be bitter. I will be free from this sinkhole and all its negativity. There is no blood on my hands. This is my return to purity. I will not run.

Envision my eyes, harboring depths so great that they seem almost black. But they are not cold, even to you. I am fire, while you are ice. I may melt you down, layer by microscopic layer, warming all those around with my presence. But this is always at a cost to myself. I will burn out. And you will be a puddle on the floor. We are elements that have been thrown out of balance, not meant to exist in the same circle in this age.

My sadness for what has been lost is slowly dissipating as well. The happiness of the memories that remain has begun to fill me up again. My brain will remember things as it needs to in order to progress along this journey, as will yours. But I still acknowledge the point at which happiness left this relationship, leaving behind a much more sinister core. And the fight against reality was causing the pain. I'm allowing myself the chance to be real now, and this upsets you. Your words will never bounce off of me but always flow through me, penetrate me. It is a connection I cannot sever, no matter how hard I may try. Even now, I spare your feelings by saying these things alone. You must realize--see it in my deep brown eyes--that I know exactly how to make you hurt from within. This is my last act of unselfishness--that bit of holding back. That not giving in to the anger and pain you have made me (and others) feel.

I am not immature. I am not inadequate. I define my own manhood, as always. I will not be brought down into that again. And I am guilt-free in saying what I must, as are you, obviously. There is no reason to hide these feelings now, and I'm not sure there ever was. My brain and heart have found a way to protect themselves: You're already gone to me. You've been gone. And shortly after I allowed myself to discover that, my life improved. And I began to feel happiness again. Real happiness.

I am real. I am not the source of your ultimate frustration. I am only a target, and I can only hope that that hasn't always been the case. You will need to find a new soul towards which you can project this negativity, if you cannot allow it to simply yet painfully pass through you. Choose wisely.

I don't expect I'll hear from you or see you again, and I'm working on how that makes me feel. I don't think I'm feeling anything either way right now. And I think I'm happy about that. That doesn't make me a terrible person. It just means that all of my feelings, positive and negative, about this entire situation have been exhausted. Now the healing can begin, and the truth will flow freely and unfiltered by such intense emotions.

I can only be a little sad that there are still some truths you (and all of us) are not ready to hear. Give it time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Something Like Home

I've cleaned up most of the drag-vomit nightmare that happened on Friday when we needed to find another outfit for a last-minute second performance. Unfortunately, the portion that covered my bed has yet to be organized. More important things have been happening over the past week. I've only slept in this room one night since coming home on Wednesday evening, and even that was only for a few hours. My back ended up aching madly throughout the next day. I suppose I had gotten that used to the comforts of sleeping in a real bed.

Home is not something to come back to. It's someone to come back to. I always feel my most adventurous when I have a companion. Why didn't I want to leave Pittsburgh just yet? I was going to be alone in a new place, and that was going to be terrifying. It's actually much more complicated than that, but I don't know if I have words for how I feel about eventually leaving the city. I don't think I want to do that just yet, as I've said in the past. I may want to make this place my home for the next several years. It may be my home forever. I'm certainly not even in the financial position to leave. But why in the world would I want to? Everyone is here, at least for now. I can feel what I have done resonating through the city, and though it's a small ripple in the ocean, that makes me feel like I have roots, ties, influence, or whatever you want to call it here. I feel like I am as much a part of the city as it is a part of me. I'm kind of a nobody, and I'm kind of a somebody. And the view is nice. I like going to places where almost everyone knows who I am, even if they don't talk to me. I like that feeling of being surrounded by the people who care about you. Those last two aren't always the same, obviously, but I have both of those things here.

I don't feel the need to run away from anything. Not anymore. In order to be free to wander, I need to have stability. Part of that is establishing this place as my real home. I'm going to get a place here, and I'm going to make it mine. I'm going to have a puppy and nice things. I'm going to write my shopping list on a little piece of paper and hang it on the fridge. I'm going to have my mail sitting in a neat little pile next to my keys on the kitchen table. I'm going to have a couch that's always open. I'm going to have candles. I'm going to have a big boy bed with lots of pillows and some magazines on a nightstand with a clock and a little lamp that gives off just the right amount of light for bedtime reading.

I wanted to write a little more tonight, but I kept getting distracted with that whole actually-living-my-life thing. I suppose I do have a few minutes, though. I feel so sorry for angry people. Anger is normal and healthy, and sometimes it is a very good response to have. But anger as a state of existence must be full of sadness and resentment. It's one of those things I'll never really understand. I can only be angry for a brief period. I found out that that period is a little longer than I had originally thought, but I cannot stay angry. I cannot stay bitter. I can be sad. I can be happy. But I really, really can't be angry. And I like this about me. Sometimes it makes me too nice of a person, though. But I've learned a few lessons about dealing with people.

I'm allowing myself to be a less nice person to those who are less than nice to me. And I'm finding that slightly comforting. I'm not going out of my way to be mean, but I'm also not going out of my way to be nice. I'm freaking out much less in recent weeks, and I know that my decisions have had a lot to do with that.

Speaking of meltdowns or unpleasant reactions to things, I almost had a situation last night. But it was over in probably five minutes or less. I thought I had done something to upset him. I thought for sure he was very hurt by something I had done the night before. I know I ended up face down and stretched out, stiff as a board. But there was silence. He just sat there and waited. He just knew what to do without ever having had this conversation with me. And things were fine. I sat up, put my glasses back on, and slowly looked him in the eye and told him I was fine. It was comparatively...easy. It's amazing how comfortable I've gotten in such a short amount of time. I've been able to do things with him I wasn't able to do with others until several months to a year into the relationship. It's just that easy to be myself. And I still find it hard to believe that I'm having trouble sleeping without him next to me. It just seems like it's the right thing. I've never been able to be this open about myself so quickly. That alone makes me insanely happy.

We played in the park last night. We lay on the ground looking at stars and just talked. I didn't want to be anywhere else. I don't worry about things when I'm with him. Stupid shit just doesn't bother me or stress me out like it usually does or maybe should. I just need to find that balance now because I haven't really gotten a lot of work done since I've been back. I think tomorrow is going to be that day.

I brought back a lot of shit with me from the Valley. There aren't places to put things. And there's still even more crap at my parents' house. I used to have more stuff than this, but then I kept moving around so much that I needed to leave so many things behind each time.

My thoughts are starting to go in different directions, which means I'm almost done. There's crazy lightning happening now. I love storms...except when gunshot-like thunder wakes me up and scares the shit out of me. That happened this afternoon for the first time in my life, and I can now understand why some people don't enjoy storms.


Monday, July 11, 2011

This is Your Forever

Think about that. The next step you are taking. The older you are, the more likely it is that it will be. This is your forever. Remember that when making decisions about your future. End unsolicited advice.

A few days ago, I received an email I had long been awaiting. I didn't get a chance to read it until today, mostly because I've been avoiding my email since it contains a lot of business-related things, and I'm on vacation. The response I got was neither the best nor the worst it could have been, and I appreciate the honesty with which he confronted my seemingly random initial message. There are some points I'm definitely going to address when I find my own right words because I still need to explain a lot of what was going on for me at the time and why I didn't pursue other options. All of those feelings I began to have out of nowhere were not just my imagination. I was sensing something. I knew that there was pain on both sides of this relationship, and I could feel BOTH sides of it. And I knew that the next move had to be mine. I realize now that I skipped a few steps in the beginning, and I could have avoided all of this, potentially. But I also realize that I am where I need to be now. And what happened in the fall needed to happen one way or another, and maybe it needed to happen the exact way that it did, regardless of how ugly or painful. You're never done learning how to be a man. Lesson learned, again. Some wounds do take longer to heal, and that's something I respect more now than ever. It's something I haven't always understood. I don't think I really understood until I had to go through that process myself. I had to be ready to let some people back into my life, and I was still being rather cautious about it. I can only respond and allow the time to pass. I will be ready now. I can only hope that he reaches that point.

I want to say more. I want to pour everything into this and get feedback on what I'm saying, but he deserves more than that now. This is a mostly private matter for the time being. I'm sure when the final resolution occurs I'll have more to say, but for now, you'll have to be curious.

It's almost 8:30 in the morning, and I haven't slept. I was avoiding a situation earlier by wandering around Edwardsville at 2 in the morning. I talked with Jon on the phone until it died sometime after four. I came home and tried to sleep, but that was no use. I can only blame so much of it on the raspberry lemonade and Life Savers. My sleep schedule has been pretty terrible for...my entire life. Maybe I'll figure it out one day.

I got an email about a research technician position at Children's Hospital. I will most likely be doing a phone interview tomorrow or the next day. I'm scared that this will indeed be my forever because what if it's not what I want? I am interested in doing the work, yes. And I do need a job. But what if it IS my forever? Forever is just a concept that seems so permanent and terrifying. It's so terrifying that I can barely move in any direction these days. I'm being pulled in so many that I'm just staying still.

I'm trying to regain a friend--a person I once considered family and still do in many ways. And I'm also coming to the realization that I've lost a friend, probably forever. Some people do leave your life as quickly as they came, and it is true that I will never be the same because of this person, both directly and indirectly. And I'm mostly okay with that, at least in this case. It does suck, and I wish it didn't have to work out this way, but again, when something causes you more pain and frustration than happiness, you have to ask yourself if it's worth it anymore. And I didn't feel that it was. I might be wrong. I'm always open to that idea. I'm still a pretty stubborn asshole. I mean, I operate under the assumption that I am right. I think we all do.

In reading this email, I realize how much the last year has changed me, socially. I do feel like the shy, awkward person he was referencing was a completely different person. Because that person wasn't all that real. And I think that was the point. No one could get to that. I couldn't even get to that. I'm still somewhat shy (but not in the ways that he was referencing), and I'm terribly awkward, although that's more of a fun game to play with my nerdiness than anything. But I feel that most people would say that I love to have all eyes on me when I'm doing my thing, whatever that thing may be. I used to freeze a lot. A lot lot. That never happens when I perform now. Never.

My life is different. I'm still not normal. I can never be normal, for various reasons, and I'm okay with that. My abnormality may prevent me from ever being able to drive a car (or it may not...I've just been too terrified of finding out that that is the case to do anything about it), from holding down the kind of job I want, etc, etc. I was never meant to be normal. Maybe people expected that I'd be a "normal" guy when I decided to transition. I didn't meet people's expectations. Maybe people thought all of my problems would go away and I'd be easier to deal with, but the first thing they tell you when you go in for hormones is that this isn't going to cure you of the issues you may or may not be dealing with. Everything else is still going to be there. I was still depressed. I was still trying to figure out how to deal with society (and still am). Maybe that's something I need to explain better. Maybe that's one for the book too.

I wonder if I was hoping that someone would say something. I skipped topics a bit on this one, but I know what I mean, and that's all that matters. I kept going. I kept waiting for a phone call that never happened or a meeting that never happened. And no one came to me. I figured all was lost. Miscommunication perhaps? I've learned over the last several months of being involved in HMH that miscommunication can cause irreparable damage. I don't want that to be the story of my life anymore because I have a long history of issues with that particular area. I'm not blaming myself for all of them. But I want to be able to handle things in the best way that I can.

It's still hard to deal with the fact that sometimes there just is no right answer.

I still have those fears about being too fucked up for anyone to want to be with me. I need to make sure I don't sabotage this relationship. How do I know if I'm doing it? I'm afraid of so many things. You'd be amazed.

I want to get my football tickets. I want to go to the games. I want to see my line play and not feel like shit about it anymore. I know that I need to keep going with this whole healing process thing. I shouldn't deny myself the thing that I'm so upset about having lost in the first place. I wish I could say that that bit of phrasing was original, but I stole it from a Christmas episode of The Real Ghostbusters. Yes, the nerd inside of me is still alive. Don't let the gold booty shorts fool you.

One of my goals in life is to try not to be evil. I have to work at that sometimes. I will admit that I have mean thoughts about others. We all do. But I monitor them. I analyze them. I need to figure out why I'm thinking what I'm thinking, and I need to plan out an appropriate course of action. There are some cases where this is easy. In other cases, I'm really struggling. There is a little bit of ruthless asshole in me. You can only push me so far before he comes out. And then we're all in trouble. Fortunately, I've only been pushed to this point two or three times in my life. And I don't see that point occurring again any time soon. I feel like I'm slowly losing a grip on what I'm saying.

Almost nine now. I'm sure my mother has already left for work. My father will be working from home today. I'm hidden away in my room, which actually used to be my father's office about fifteen years ago. I remember loving this room because of its location (downstairs next to the garage, quite separate from all the other bedrooms upstairs) and because of the ridiculous lamp that stems from floor to ceiling. I don't think it works anymore, but if someone could make it work again, I would really owe them. Well, when my dad got a job working from home, he needed a bigger office, so he took over the entire downstairs living area, which is two thirds of this floor. And I got this room. It's my sanctuary, even now, when most of my shit is gone and my mother's craft supplies have invaded my desk and shelves. It's a cave. I needed that growing up. I spent a lot of time down here and in the garage. I spent a lot of time by myself, really. I don't regret it. I was telling someone earlier that that time alone made me very good at a lot of things. I practiced a lot of skills that are now quite useful to me. I still enjoy my alone time, but I now realize that you can indeed have alone time when another person is there. It just has to be the right person. And THAT is a sign of love to me.

My nephew came over yesterday (still feels like today). I was so nervous about talking to him that my heart was pounding. He didn't recognize me at first because he asked my name. I told him. I'm Dylan. I'm your uncle. Do you remember me? He paused for a minute and said yes. Then, that was that. We just played for three hours. He didn't care, and it was just that simple. I really don't think he has any concept of gender, though. It's kind of awesome. I was the same way. It didn't hit me until much later. I should explain a bit. My nephew has Asperger's as well. He is six, but his social skills are probably those of three year old, maybe. And there are some things he just doesn't understand yet. However, he can tell you all of the NASCAR drivers' names, numbers, sponsors, etc. Spell anything. Tell you where which president was born. It's really adorable. Just don't expect him to really initiate a conversation with you unless he wants something. There are moments when he does, though. Just rarely. He's so adorable. I wish I could see him more often.

I'm going to be a great dad. I know this now. I would have been a shitty mom, but I'm going to be a wonderful father.

Devon (still deciding on spelling) and Jordan
gender-neutral children's names. enough said

My life is a fucking roller coaster. And I doubt it will ever change. That's unsettling in a lot of ways. I'm just saying things now. Maybe it's time to stop.