Regret Me Nots

Still in a ridiculously good place.  There is little wrong with my life and I’m determined to stay there. I even have a plan to ensure that happens. 

Which is mostly just letting go of stuff I have no power to change and letting life just sort of happen.  It’s working out nicely enough so far. And it’s agreeing with me. I’m as happy as I’ve ever been.

Of course it’s not all a bed of roses. Letting go is sometimes harder than it should be. Every injustice or slight can’t be easily forgiven.  But you can get past most things if you are of a mind to. 

I’m still smarting from the loss of my brothers though.  Sometimes daily . Sometimes not. And most of it come back to my youngest brother’s assertion that I will regret transition.  It’s an unresolved conversation that’s burrowed in deep.

If I could, I would counter that I regret fuck all in my life. Every decision and every mistake led me somewhere. Not always to my credit but rarely to my total detriment.

I’d rather regret what I had done that what I hadn’t in any case. I’d hate to hit 80 and wish that I had had the courage to transition.  That would be a waste of the life I’ve been given. But then,  that’s not going to happen.  I’m doing it. Consequences be damned.  And I’m really pretty much sorted in my daily life. If you are half as happy, you are sorted too. Go us!

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Could Be Better, Should Be Better

As I’ve been somewhat lazy blogging again I was going to fill today with some stuff about where my transition actually is at the moment.  And then London happened.  And it’s just not important enough now.

Once  again  a “lone madman” took himself onto our city streets and committed acts of unconscionable violence against very innocent opposition.  I, like most of us, am abhorred.  I have no words for what was done.

Or at least none that come close to adequate in the circumstances. How can we not have moved beyond this? And already the blame is being meted out by the media. It’s the usual lazy and divisive stuff. Muslim attacker etc.

We are all responsible.  Not for the violence but for our tacit approval of the system that produces it. We need to get over labels.  There is no such thing as an Islamic Fundamentalist. Fundamentalist?  Yes. Islamic or Muslim? Hardly, unless you really skew the Quaran.

We need to be better neighbours first of all. Start small. I’m lucky enough to live in a hugely multicultural area. For the most part we manage to coexist in peace. Idiots on either side do not define us as a community. 

Hadn’t heard the song I used today in a long time though and it popped into my head on it’s own. The line “if we lose the time before us, the future will ignore us” stuck out. Those who carry out acts of violence would like nothing more than to isolate us to our respective camps. I hope we see past the lazy reporting.  It was a madman.  End of.  Our neighbours are still our neighbours. Regardless of who they choose to believe in. And we’re stronger together than all the madmen in the world. 

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Bookworm

The blogging has been slightly patchy of late. I’ve just been somewhat busy. I’ve been away at a conference, looking at taking on some more lgbt work and battling with two bedrooms worth of clothes in a one bedroom flat. I now appear to be on the verge of winning though.

But by far the most positive thing I’ve done was meeting up with a local journalist, Cat Cochrane, earlier this week. Cat is compiling a not for profit book about Scottish LGBTQI Voices. Her words explain it better than I can.

“In more detail, the project offers LGBTQI people across Scotland – aged 16 and upwards – an opportunity to voice and share their experiences in one or more of the following topics; identity, coming out stories, sexual health, mental health, family relationships, sport, disability, homophobic experiences, cultural icons and heroes, and dating and love”

It was genuinely lovely to talk to her and hear her passion about her work. And it was good for me. Mine is actually a positive story. Despite any difficulties along the way, life has given me most of what I want. Something that sometimes escapes my notice. It was good to be reminded however.

I’m very much looking forward to the finished product . It’s vitally important that people’s voices are heard. Especially those who are largely living in the margins. I’m really glad I got the chance to contribute a little bit, thanks to a mutual friend. And I’m also glad someone is out there taking the time to gather those voices collectively . More power to her!

Hearing and understanding different voices in life is something we need to do more of. It’s what brings us closer together. We all have stories to be told. “Seems to me you’d stop and stop and see how beautiful they are”.

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Bucket List

Sometimes I worry that Chris didn’t get enough of a proper send off. What if he had unfinished business? Business that he’ll never now get to complete. 

He’ll never ever climb Mount Kilimanjaro, he probably wasn’t that fussed. He’ll never play piano either, although I might. But now it’s also a bit late for him to just have a proper goodbye with everyone he cared about. I regret that a wee bit. He was just happily going about his days till I turned up and ended him.

And it was maybe more abrupt than was strictly speaking necessary.  He was packed into bags and donated to charity before people had even got over the whole WTF of it. And I’m sorry for that. Although I felt it had to happen,  I arguably could have eased off the gas a little. It would have been less like an axe falling on him.

If I was ever changing gender again I’d be much better at it. Hindsight is a tremendous thing and there’s plenty I could have done better.  

If I could,  I’d let him out for one last hurrah before I step into his shoes permanently. But I think that ship has sailed really.  What I can do is enjoy every second of the life I inherited from him and try to make them count. It’s what he would have wanted. That and a total lack of mountain climbing. 

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Every Little Ting

So, shortly after being told I would see the surgeon at the end of March, I now find out it’s going to be June.  I could choose to see it as a setback but I’m in a pretty positive place just now.

At the end of the day it’s not that big a deal. I’m taking the view that transition is a marathon,  not a sprint, so three extra months is fairly inconsequential. And while it’s marginally disappointing,  nobody has actually died. 

Maybe it’s even a bonus. Extra time to take it all in. And that time that will slip past just as quickly as the last four years. Either way,  the end is still in sight and barring a few bumps along the way,  I’m doing pretty ok. And that feels good enough to me. 

Not sure when positivity crept in if I’m honest but I’d like it to stick around. Certainly makes it easier to handle the occasional spanner in the works.  Going back to my favourite mantra, there is always tomorrow.  Even it takes three months to get there.  

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Because I was a guy, I feel I owe this post to guys everywhere. I may have mentioned it before.  I’m not really sure and I’m way too lazy to check back through two years of blogging.   But it’s hopefully worth clarifying. 

Part of my transition has been learning that men and women experience the world in entirely different ways. Fascinatingly so. And Oestrogen was the door to finding this out for myself.  

One of the most obvious differences is the simple text message.  My experience of this was somewhat shocking to me. And I’m sorry ladies, if you think I’m selling us out. I’m not at all.

When a guy sends a text message,  it says what it says. That’s it. There is no subterfuge or clever hidden message. Just the facts Ma’am.

So it came as a total surprise when for the first time my hormone addled head found the subtext in a text message. To be sitting there wondering how they meant that was an entirely new experience to me. A slightly distressing one if I’m honest. 

To apply emotions and intent to a three line message is barking mad in terms of most of my life experiences. But that’s now a regular thing.  I’m partly able to temper it by reading things five times and applying a little logic. But it’s a totally real thing. We just read things differently. As utterly mental as that is.

So when you send a text and get a crazy,  irrational response guys? Have a quiet word with yourselves about how you could have been so fucking irresponsible with words in the first place. It’s only fair.