Life has fallen into a state of repetitiveness. Wake up, walk dogs, go to work, take lunch, finish work, go home for an hour, go to group, come home, watch TV, sleep. Day after day, week after week. Someone mentioned to me that perhaps this is serenity due to lack of calamity, but I truly hope this isn’t what my life settles into. I want more for myself. I want to see incredible things, meet amazing people, try things I’ve never tried before. I hope that this is not serenity.
While I appreciate that time slips by quickly sometimes bringing me closer to the moment I’m able to start my medical transition, I realize the last 174 days have blurred past in a series of wash, rinse, repeat. I don’t like that I’m not appreciating each day as it is, focusing on the negative rather than the moments of beauty that I would see if I would only stop for a moment and seek them out.
I live for the two day weekends each week then end up sleeping them away, exhausted from I don’t even know what. I’m not taking seriously the time that’s been given to me, the life that has been saved by half an inch. I’m wasting away not working on the things that are important to me because I won’t take the time to sit down and figure out what those things are.
I know that I’m here to help people. I know that I’m a transgender alcoholic. I know that I’ve been given the gift of writing, however rusted it may be, but as I begin to spin the gears again the rust will flake off and the shininess will show again. I’ve got a small platform to discuss the things that are important to me and I want to assure that I utilize that platform to its full potential. I don’t want to live for two days of sleeping when there’s so much to be seen and appreciated around me.
I’ve made a list of goals I would like to accomplish.
1. Make an active effort on this blog.
While I know that I can’t post every day because I have a variety of responsibilities to attend to, posting at least once a week while aiming for twice is an achievable goal. Often I feel as though I don’t have anything to say; however, when I sit at the computer to write I find there are more words inside than there appear to be. If I can find a way to coax them out the way I used to in college, I can create a nice little project here to look back on in times to come, to see how I’ve changed as both a person and a writer. One to two times a week gives me a few days to notice the things worth noticing and then capture them here as I see fit.
I continue to believe that I’ll be able to sit down and write as well as I used to, when in fact writing is like any other art: it takes practice to be good. Just because I was somewhat well-written before doesn’t mean the talent didn’t disappear; it’s going to take work for me to return to the place I once was. I can’t command my vocabulary the way I used to and I use too many commas now, but I’m trying to put words down and get used to the action of it again, and it will come back in time.
2. Half-hour walks, four times a week.
My original goal was to run a 5k, but I realized I had no true interest in being able to do this. Running has never been an enjoyable activity for me no matter how much I try, and trying to force myself to be something I’m not hasn’t worked well for me in the past. I only want to run a 5k to say I can run a 5k, but I wasn’t enjoying the process of getting there at all. I dreaded the days I came home to run, and the Couch to 5k app dings plagued my dreams.
Instead, I’ve realized I love to take my dogs on long walks and look around me to see what is taking place in my bustling suburb; I don’t want to remain in California forever but I can appreciate my surroundings in the meantime. There are beautiful things to see but because they aren’t snow-capped mountians and endless blue skies I deem them unworthy. The freeway near my house passes traffic constantly and the mossy creekbed smells of rot, but the clouds still trail across the skies creating paintings at dusk that rival those of past greats.
3. Start rock climbing.
I believe that things come in threes and my friend was recently the third person to suggest rock climbing to me. I’ve been a few times and always enjoyed it but it was never something I got “into.” However, I’m looking for more interactive forms of exercise and it may not stick, but it’s something I want to do when I move to Colorado so I might as well start now and see if it’s something I truly enjoy. There is an indoor bouldering gym nearby that I’d like to try out and the memberships are the same price as a gym pass and, I imagine, twice the fun.
I want to try it out before I commit to a monthly pass so that’s another goal of mine. Go climbing. See how I like it. See if it’s something I can see myself sticking to. There seems to be a community among rock climbers that I’d like to be a part of, so we’ll see how I like it. I’ll let you know when I end up going.
4. Learn to code.
This is a difficult one because it is such an open goal. There is so much to learn in the world of coding, from HTML 5/CSS to Java, from Python to C++. It’s not something that I can just “learn,” but it’s something that I can take a bite out of and attempt to work on it a piece at a time. I can pick one language and begin to learn it until I understand it and then move onto the next. I was originally taking a computer science course that is due December 31st, but I ended up too far behind due to outside circumstances so I will attempt it again come the new year when it’s reuploaded.
From what I’ve read, you don’t just go in to “learn to code.” You go in to create a project. That’s where the real desire to learn comes from, from a passion project that you want to put into life. I’ve got some ideas but they’re not nearly fleshed out, so I have some things to consider as I go about selecting my first language and taking those initial steps to get started.
5. Continue my transition.
This is another open-ended goal as there are myriad things I’d like to accomplish within this umbrella. I’d like to start my medical transition, to begin hormone replacement therapy, but before that I have to get enrolled with insurance. My three months at this job is tomorrow so I’ll be eligible but I’d like to talk with the insurance agent before I sign up to assure that gender identity disorder is covered within the plan my employer has selected. I don’t want to sign up for something I won’t be able to use. There’s a small sub-goal: talk to the insurance agent.
I’d also like to get started on my legal name and gender marker change. From what I’ve learned it’s a more expensive process than I originally imagined, but I’m saving up money right now (currently $250 a month) and I’ll be able to apply some of that to the process. I’ve got the forms printed and I need to fill them out, and I’ll go from there and document the experience here.
The two main aspects of my life I want to document in this blog are my transition and my journey in sobriety, in the hopes that some other transgender alcoholic will be able to benefit from where I saw a lack of information. While I’m not going to be any sort of concrete evidence of how to do things, I hope that my experience will help someone else. I’m still very new to all of this so it’s all going to be from the beginning which, I believe, will be interesting to follow. But of course I believe myself to be interesting. I could merely be rambling to an empty cyberspace, but I’ll look back on this project in a year or two and see evidence of the changes I’m working so hard to make.
I believe that having goals will make it easier to remain present while I slowly get things ready to move. While it’s still around a year away, I’m starting to see it becoming a reality. I’ve established both these short-term goals and some long-term goals that perhaps I’ll write about another time and I intend to see them through. I have things I want to accomplish with my life and I don’t want it to become an endless cycle of sleep, work, eat, rinse, repeat. I was made for more than this and I want to see the things I can accomplish. I won’t be able to see those things, though, if I don’t take the first step.