Truth Time

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

So the truth is, I’m struggling. ūüôā

I’ve had an ongoing lawsuit against the insurance company of the man who caused my motorcycle accident two years ago. My physical recovery was flawless, with one glaring exception: my thumbs¬†are¬†slightly¬†crippled. They are weak and clumsy. I find myself using other fingers in their place, but there are some things only thumbs can do.

I visited my hand doctor last week, probably for the last time. He was so kind and thorough! He has done all sorts of tests and exercises, but there is no medical explanation for the loss of functionality in my thumbs; meaning, there is no course of treatment, and they will probably be like this forever.

What does this mean for me? A bunch of stuff. First and foremost, it means that everyday¬†tasks will always frustrate me. Buttons, keys, tools, shoelaces, pickle jars, picking things up, hundreds of things I interact with on a daily basis…the interaction will always be different, difficult.

It also means that¬†I’ve wasted thousands of dollars trying to cure my thumbs, and complicates the possibility of being compensated for my expenditure. I’ll certainly break even, thanks to the fact that I have an good¬†lawyer (who has the best assistant on the planet — she’s AMAZING!!), but in the end it’s difficult to quantify this change of life monetarily. Given the option, they could¬†keep the money, I’d take my old thumbs back, thanks. I would go into debt for the rest of my life to have my old thumbs back.

Most of all…I miss my music. I miss it so much. I can’t play bass at all anymore, and even my guitar is difficult to play for more than five minutes. I’m realizing that the loss of my most personal creative outlet is having a significant impact on my life in general.

So yeah…I’m pretty down. More than I’ve been in a long time. But c’mon, you know me, I can’t stop there…

There are definitely some upsides to note. First: the amazing lawyer and his assistant. Without them I’d be lost. Second, thanks to the amazing lawyer and his assistant, I got to see one of the best hand surgeons in SoCal. So whatever happens, at least I know we did everything possible to try to fix my hands. Third, even though all of this sucks, majorly — I’m still ok! Sure, I’m bummed. Devastated is not too strong a word.

But…I’m alive. I’ve got a good job that I can do, despite my handicap; I’ve got great friends, fun hobbies, and in the end, I still have the possibility of being a positive influence in the world.

Am I majorly bummed? Yeah. Is that gonna stop me? No.

Pshhh. It’s gonna take more than this to take me down!

Cheers always,

TTG

Thankful

Posted: November 28, 2014 in Life, Musings
Tags: , , , , , ,

It seems a little cheesy to go with the “flavor-of-the-day” being thankful thing, but since I have so much to be grateful for, I’ll go with it.

I’m thankful for¬†friends and family who accept me for exactly who and what I am, and encourage me in my endeavors.

I’m thankful that my mother, father, and three sisters are all alive.

I’m thankful that my mom is my best friend.

I’m thankful for my “made-up” families — my urban family here in Pasadena, and my online gaming family, both of whom feel like real family to me.

I’m thankful¬†for a place to work where I am not persecuted.

I’m thankful that I do not have to worry about food to eat and clothes to wear.

I’m thankful for my apartment, which suits me just perfectly.

I’m thankful for the oodles of books on my bookcase.

I’m thankful that I’m almost out of debt.

I’m thankful for the fact that my 15-year-old-car is running.

I’m thankful that I am in good health.

I’m thankful that I live in California where it is warm. (slightly evil grin)

I’m thankful (again!!) that I survived¬†my motorcycle accident.

I could go on…but mostly I’m thankful that I’m once again being presented with opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others, and hesitantly¬†hopeful for the outcome. It’s on me, now; to act, or to fade away, to hide. No — no. I won’t hide.

I’m absolutely sure that I was made this way for a reason. That’s what I’m most thankful for.

Cheers,

TTG

Why Should I Cry?

Posted: November 11, 2014 in Musings
Tags: , , , , ,

Disclaimer: “us” in this post means transgender folks. =D

Confession: I am a closet Sting fan. My favorite album has always been “The Soul Cages.” There is one track that I absolutely love and the reason has always eluded me. The track is entitled “Why Should I Cry For You.”

Sting wrote this entire album following the death of his father; the tribute is clear. In this song, Sting apparently grieves his father’s death, and wonders why, but grieves nonetheless.

Why does it resonate with me? My father is very much alive, and we have a great relationship. When he dies, I will be devastated, but I will not question the reason. So what is it that makes this song stir my soul so? I think I finally figured it out.

When I hear this song, I imagine myself singing it — not to my father, nor to anyone I know that is alive, or dead. I could never figure out who I was singing it to. I only knew that whomever it was, I loved them and I missed them, and I didn’t understand why.

Many of us have read about how our loved ones go through a grieving process when we transition. For them, the old “us” is dead. They experience sadness because someone they know and love is gone.

I know! I know! For us, it’s great, because we’ve been reborn as new people, and it seems selfish and silly that they are upset. Ideally, we walk through the process together, and they come to love our new “self” as much as they did the old, and everyone is happy.

So — what about US and our old selves? Do we love them? Do we hate them? Do we resent them? Are we grateful to them, for hanging in there until¬†we were able¬†to step out into the world reborn?

Tonight, when I listened to this song for the 12-millionth time, I finally got it. The reason it resonates with me: This is the song I sing to my old “self.” It’s confusing; it’s complicated. I love her; I hate her; I wish she had never been, but if she had never been, I never would have been. Why should I cry for her? Because she is a huge part of who¬†I am now. In the end, I am grateful to her, and I think I can finally accept all of her memories — joys, sorrows, failures and triumphs — and tip my hat, and say “You were me. Thank you for being brave. I love you.”

She lived most of my life, and now she’s gone. She gave it all she had, and for that I am grateful.¬†Now her time has passed, and for that I am SO GLAD!! — and yet, for some unfathomable reason, I am sad.

Ok, reality check — like, second-thoughts-going-back-sad? NO FUCKING WAY!!!! But it seems foolish¬†to ignore what has gone before, and it now seems natural to appreciate it, and to grieve its passing.

If this makes any sense to anyone, then you may be crazier than me. In any case — the song is linked below! Listen and enjoy.

Sting: “Why Should I Cry?”

Love always,

TTG

Recently, I shared some thoughts on failure…now, I find that I have one regarding¬†success.

What is success, anyhow? Obtaining the outcome one desires? Sometimes, I suppose. Obtaining the possessions¬†one desires? Depends on who you are, I guess…but not for me. Freedom from hardship? Hardly, in my experience — any success seems to bring about more “problems” than ever. (I am not saying this is a bad thing!)

I don’t know how to define success succinctly, but I saw it this morning.

I saw a man teaching a boy.

This man, I trained at his trade. This man, I spent years believing in, investing in, and yet learning from; this man, I deeply respect and now I call him my best friend.

This man was teaching a boy how to run a sound board. The same thing that happened between myself and this man seven years ago.

Watching it took my breath away. This man is a teacher!

This success — it’s his and his alone. He worked hard for it. That’s an enormous understatement; he put everything on the line to become the powerful and empathetic¬†person that he is today. He took the risks, did the work, acknowledged his weaknesses and created ways to be more effective. He has wisdom far beyond his years. This man:¬†I am SO INCREDIBLY¬†PROUD of him.¬†I love¬†him, and I’m grateful for his friendship.

Being present for him coming into his own…this feels like success to me. Like, times a million. ^_^

Many, many cheers, and I encourage you all, don’t ignore these moments when you see them — I believe that these moments are where life happens. ūüôā

Peace and love always,

TTG

Disclaimer: this is more of a ramble/stub of a thought than anything else. It’s been tumbling around my head for a few hours and I want to see it in reality so that I can understand it better.

I was thinking on the subject of “students.” Most of us, if we are middle-aged, have probably had at least one person come into our lives who could be thought of as a student. Be it a child, mentee, a younger relative who looks to us for advice or comfort, or something else; it seems to me that it’s inherent to human nature that such bonds be formed. I’ve had a few in my time and it has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life.

Our students will fail. They will fail spectacularly. In fact, at times it will seem that they are hell-bent on inventing new ways of failing, beyond anything we could imagine or predict. They will agonize us with nonsensical behavior and terrorize us with wildly illogical choices.

They will fail. Indeed; they MUST fail!! This should not be discouraged, prevented, or frowned upon. For in their failure, they are demonstrating to us and to themselves that they have the courage and the innovation to experience life on *their* terms, not conforming to a cookie-cutter approach to problem solving and life choices. In their failure they are learning who they are and who they have the potential to be.

So, if they’re going to fail anyhow, what’s the point…? What are we, as teachers, even there for?

I believe it’s in the moments *after* failure that our guidance as teachers becomes valuable, and also where our influence (or lack thereof) becomes evident.

I don’t currently have a student, but when I do in the future, I will be mindful of this. So long as they take responsibility for their actions and deal with the consequences in an appropriate way, I will encourage them to take that chance again and again, until they discover their own unique experience of success. Failure cannot and will not stop their evolution…but, the resolution “I will never fail again!” almost certainly will.

Sorry for the ramble, and as always, cheers! —
TTG

Ah, the power of possibility…

I got a bill in the mail indicating that I had a 30+ day late fee and past due balance on a credit card I didn’t even remember having. I tried going online but, not having the card in my possession, I couldn’t access my account. I gritted my teeth; then took a deep breath, and called the creditor.

I hate these phone calls. HATE them. Like, the put-them-off-for-two-weeks kind of hate them.

Because I loathe them so much, I try to make a game out of it, to make it more tolerable. I figure even if it’s unpleasant for me, maybe it can be a pleasant conversation for THEM. So I play a game called “be ridiculously nice.” Right off the bat I promised the lady, Sarah, that I wasn’t going to yell or complain, but that I just wanted to pay the bill and get my affairs in order, and I very much appreciated her help (all of which was true).

This sweet lady proceeded to waive all late fees and interest, simply asking for the initial fee. It turned out I had a card with an annual fee that I intended to cancel, erroneously thought I’d done so, and destroyed the card. The whole thing was my fault in the first place! She also reset any past due indicators so that it wouldn’t ding my credit report, which was the most awesome thing she could have possibly done.

By not letting my distaste for this business color my attitude, I got WAY more than I initially set out for…that phone call was so worth it!! It totally made my day! It also helped me remember how much this Landmark stuff really works. A simple deep breath and the choice to focus on the well-being of someone other than myself somehow ended up benefiting me directly — which was NOT my goal but hey — I’ll take it, duh! =D

Cheers always,
TTG

Done…?

Posted: July 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ok!! Easier said than done. ::sigh::

I’ve just gotten through with an entire evening of attempting to interact with my trans community. And to be honest, at the moment, they all are occurring for me as whiny beyotches. (YES I take responsibility, that’s on me, I got it. =P)

Moving on: It seems like my message of passive love and generosity is doing…nothing. Maybe posting about “good vibes” would be better. Who the hell knows. It seems to be largely ignored, in favor of posts fostering consolation or conflict.

All I know, is what I’ve done for the past two years — smile, be accepting, shrug off perceived insults, talk to people who have questions, stick up for myself when it gets confrontational, but (hopefully!) in a forgiving generous sort of manner…

Oh, fuck this. I am making myself out to be some sort of saint.

Let’s keep it straight, people. This is what I *aspire* to. Not what I do. Maybe, sometimes, I do it.

You can be clear on one thing — I always try.

Love, for all, ALWAYS —
TTG