I’ve heard parenting described as abject terror interspersed with unexpected moments of her joy. In a way this the last few days have mirrored that for me.
You see, I’m transgender, and I’ve been transitioning in my personal life for a while. After a month of preparation, yesterday I came out to my students and my colleagues. All in the course of a single day. Much to the surprise of many it would seem.
Until the last couple of days I didn’t realize I had so many people I have connections to at my university and felt I wanted to tell in person.  I’ve caught myself over the last few weeks wishing for more time. I find myself thinking that even though I know with my head relationships are important and I’ve been working to build them over the years, suddenly it is right in front of me just how many I have built. Just how much I’ve come to rely on them.  We are not often forced to stop and actually reflect on the web of connections we build through our lives. Confronted with the prospect of a public transition at my uni, my list of people to share with kept growing, until suddenly it sunk in as a deep understanding — I have actually built a network of relationships I rely on. These people matter to me and I want them in some way to be a part of my process. I only hope they can accept who I am and how I need to go about being that person.
So, here I am only one day in with presenting as the real me in my work life, and it has been an amazingly positive experience so far. I’ve received offers of support, encouragement, and even admiration for my courage both from people I know well, and others I might only cross paths with twice a year. It’s a humbling experience as it has shown me a depth of compassion and caring under the surface of busy people trying to get their job done, trying to simply get through their days and weeks. I feel it has brought out the best part of the culture where I work. Showing that people truly care about those around them. It’s something that often gets lost in the flurry of the next email, the next deadline, the next problem to solve.
In this moment I can see the good around me when all I was afraid I would find was the bad. I know it won’t always be easy, that the rainbows and sunshine will give way to darkness at times, but in this moment I have hope. That is what matters, for…
“Where there is hope, there is life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.” — Anne Frank

Waving through a window…

I must admit, I’m a bit of an Owl City fan girl. Adam’s music speaks to me in a way other music doesn’t. Now don’t get me wrong, music is a huge part of my life, I played in the band in high school and college. I often feel music deeply, in fact it helps me feel things much better than almost anything else. I’ve had some near out-of-body experiences to music (I’ll write on those another time) but I’ve never known an artist whose music has hit me so deeply on such a consistent basis.

Anyway – the other day I was looking for new music by checking out artists marked “You may also like” on Apple Music. After several “I want to like your music, but just don’t” moments, I wandered over to Owl City’s page to check out the “You might also like” entries there. I had one of the best moments of my week to find there was a new Song of Adam’s I’d not hear or even heard of.

It started playing before I could take a breath and suddenly my breath was swept away. I listened to it at least a half-dozen times in a row. There were feels, overwhelming emotion, tears both sadness and joy at the same time.

The song has become a staple in my life already. And then… there is always an “and then” in my stories… I looked up the song to learn more about it and discovered it’s a cover of a song from the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” The writers said they pitched the music and story in part by saying Owl City was playing on the radio in Evan’s room.

So I sit here waiting out a 3 hour delay for a flight to my home away from home… and I’m looking out the window listening to the lyrics.

“We start with Stars in our eyes…” We have starts in our eyes, and in our soul. But what has been sticking in my mind is:

“When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around

Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?”

It’s the same question I’ve been asking myself – does the world know I exist or even care? If I shouldn’t exist, if I’m impossible, doesit even matter that I exist?

If there’s nobody that really experiences me as who I am, do I really exist?

I feel like I’m waving through a window to the world, and almost nobody sees me.

How is it that Adam knows what I’m feeling, even if he’s not writing the words?

Inner Infinity

I am a Unicorn.

A creature who doesn’t exist,

so rare nobody has ever seen one.

That makes me invisible and unavoidable.

Probability says each part of me is improbable on its own,

adding them all together makes for impossibility beyond measure.

A million, billion impossibilities rolled into one.

I shouldn’t exist.

Therefore I don’t exist.

Yet here I am.

People see me,

though I don’t feel real,

I am not real.

I am someone else.

Hiding in plain sight.

A shell for others to see,

they look through me hidden inside as if I’m not there,

because I’m not.