Tuesday, January 3, 2012

NeoAnnual Progress Report

Three years ago, I was staring down my final semester of undergrad. Staying in bed all day, my girlfriend would sometimes come over at 3:00p or 3:30p and crawl in with me because attempting to get me up was largely futile. I was preparing to teach high school, a career I had more trepidation than passion about, but it was safe and I was anything if not safe.

Two years ago, I was working my part-time job over winter break. I could not sleep late, and that was wonderful. I had been single for a bit more than two months, and it still stung poignantly (although not nearly as bad as it had). And, the last week or two, I had decided to finally transition genders. I came out to my immediate family around this time. And although I dreaded returning to teaching high school, I felt significant hope for the first time in my life.

One year ago, all of my applications had been sent in for graduate school. I was staying in bed until 4p or 5p, going to bed at 7:00a as the sun came up. I had just driven to Memphis to see the young woman who I loved more than I thought love was possible, and a few days before the last day of the year, I had three hours with her that encompassed the happiest I've ever been. I had been on hormones for eight months, had my chosen name legally and been full time for two months, and there were moments where I felt overjoyed simply to be alive. [And moments where I felt I was haunted by a stain of self that would never truly leave]

Today, I find myself in graduate school. Based upon one client, I love my chosen career. Based upon one semester, I adore my cohort and I appreciate most of my classes. I look in the mirror and see Juliet. I have increasingly closer friends who I really believe truly care about me.

I'm still single. I still find myself staying in bed for too, too long. I still don't eat well, don't take care of my environment, don't regard myself particularly highly. The notes from one year ago aside, last year contained some of the absolute most painful and stressful times in my lifetime. And they ended in a way that will deny me closure until I can figure out how to conjure it for myself. I have motivation problems. I have significant anxiety. I have monstrous fears of and intense desires for intimacy. I have a lot of work to do.

But, overall, considering where I've been, I'm in a decent place. All I have to fear and dread are research deadlines. And, truly, that's a lesser concern that I hope I can figure out. I have a lot of things to look forward to this year. And, if I keep on progressing, I think I might find a bit of contentment along the way.

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