it's been over a year since i wrote here and a lot has happened (check my about me page for a timeline of why) but today, in a roundabout way, i was brought back.
two of my favorite ecosystems are fynbos and chapparal. both require a fire regime to stay healthy. essentially they NEED to burn to the ground every so often in order for new plants to grow and the ecosystem to be sustained.
this last year i was put through the fire. i literally lost part of myself in order for the whole of me to be healthy and sustained. i burned. i burned through surgery. i burned through recovery. i burned through disability stress. i burned through gaining 'feminine' weight. i burned and i burned and i burned.
and then the rain came. as it does in fynbos and chapparal landscapes. and it put out the fire. the Protea seed pods and the Sequoiadendron cones were smoked open so their seeds could germinate. i looked up from the desolation of my landscape.
and then. as the silver tree, so near extinction, had its first new sprout, so too did i have my first real experience as me. as the redwood sapling pushed through the underbrush, so too did i push through the the trappings of this world to find my own two feet.
just as the king protea opens in all its glory, and the foothills blossom in a show too stunning for words, so too did i shimmer and shine. like a phoenix rising from the ashes, i am poised to take flight.
couldn't tell you where i found this 'cause it's been sitting on my computer forever but i love it.
some days it feels like this journey that i'm on is impossible: i get ma'am'd up and down the wazoo, i can't get my hair to look right, i get stared at everywhere, my pants aren't fitting, i can't shower because it means touching the body i am dissociating from. some times these days make me feel like my journey is impossible, and other days it makes me feel like my gender is impossible.
but then there are amazing days: i get smiled at by other genderqueer people, i get sir'd, my hair is fabulous, my clothes fit perfectly, i feel like i'm floating...i shower without fear. days when friends remind me that they love me. days when my partner knows exactly how i'm feeling on the gender front without my saying anything.
days when the world just seems to be spinning in my favor.
i keep a box under my bed. a clear, plastic tote with a snap on lid. i imagine that it is dust tight but i haven't actually tested it. i keep the box on suggestion by my therapist. it is my 'building a past' box. you see, i have a hard time letting go of things but i also can't stand the majority of the mementos from my childhood, and even some from college.
i was keeping a bunch of random stuff that really didn't need to be kept (like old receipts, movie ticket stubs, old magazines, EVERY sports jersey i ever played in) in order to feel like i had a past. i didn't really have photos or anything that TRULY mattered that reminded me of my childhood. my partner started to get extremely annoyed and i started to get extremely anxious. which caused me to save more and more and more random stuff.
i talked about my 'hoarding' with my therapist and it was suggested that the reason i was hoarding such insignificant things was that i felt like i didn't have a past because the past i saw in photos and such weren't in alignment with my gender identity. the box is for me to build my past in. i can put whatever i want into the box and my partner can't say anything about it as long as i get rid of the things that don't really matter.
today i pulled out the box to put another item in it. it is starting to get pretty full. at first i was sad because it meant that i couldn't put as much in it any more. but then i realized that it also meant that my past is getting full. which is what i want, right?
the box contains a myriad of things: the first tie i ever tied by myself (my dad's actually...he gave it to me when i was 8), all of the paperwork to the first car that i ever owned (and subsequently survived what would have been a life-ending crash in), a magnetic notepad with my favorite cartoon character on it, the last tea bag that i brought home from my semester abroad (and can't get stateside), an empty bottle of bug spray (that i still can't figure out why it means so much to me). these are the thing that are important both to my gender identity and the past that i lived while trying to find it.
this box anchors me. this box has freed me. this box, unlike so many others, is one that i am happy to claim as my own. the past is often very rough for those of us who didn't fit with the identity thrust upon us, this is how i reclaim that past. this is the box that i choose to build my future on.
happy new year
best thing that happened today -
the lady at the register at a conservative-ish christian camp store after i handed her my credit card to pay for the purchase: "can i see your ID please, (full name emphasized)?" i hand her my ID and she says: "oh! you've just got a short haircut now...how lovely! =)"
bam! i don't look like my full name anymore!!!
best thing that happened today -
a precocious 3rd-grader upon seeing a picture of me in 3rd grade: "KIM IS A GIRL!? i thought kim was a boy!!!"
of course all of the adults in the room except for my partner and myself were super awkward and either tried to play off the comment as 'o haha...silly kid' or reprimand the child for being rude.
i was, of course, stoked by the comment =)
there is always a beginning. and this is mine.
this blog/website was conceptualized on a late night car ride with my partner (in crime/life/love/cat-raising) as a book. but it turns out that i was having a hard time jumping into such a large project so i decided to do this instead.