A shirt with sleeves on it

 

My friend shared a quote by Maya Anglou, saying, “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”-Maya Angelou

It really struck me in a few different ways as I have been struggling this year. Struggling. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. I’m in a place of acceptance and gratitude again, but the season is climaxing and if you sit quietly enough you can sense it. I digress.

I responded, “What about the ones who are Learning to love themselves and others as the same time?
I respond, “What about those who have a hard time loving themselves, but wish to reflect back the love you shine.”
I feel the underlying truth of Maya Angelou’s words, but if love begets love. If love responds and grows and encompasses all it touches (which I see and experience regularly), then perhaps accepting the being’s offer of love, nurturing it and returning it can ripple out in revolution.

I am weaving my shirt. I will use the sleeves to hang my heart on.

Part two: The space we sit in.  I have been emptying our space at home of things that are broken, things that no longer serve us. The trick is to not replace it with more things, but to leave space to breathe and play in.
Likewise, I often fill my hands with community work and engaging my young. Not earning a paycheque drives me to work harder to demonstrate my worth. It’s a modern illness that I struggle with. I have decided that I am going to dedicate my extracurricular time to one cause for one year and focus the rest of my energies into my home space and allowing rest and daydreaming and other things that will lead to production. Or into employment, depending on what happens this month.

Part three: I have openly invited folks to come out and help me break concrete on a future date; it’s a reclaimation project to plant drought tolerant plants into roundabouts. I aim to influence the replanting to include herbs. None took me up on it. I am looking for a  companion to do random community projects with. Someone to be playful with. Someone who enjoys outside and activity and affection. My wife does many things with me (More so now than ever), and she is an awesome mate. Community stuff is not her bag and she supports my going out and doing stuff. I bring my kiddo with me, because he’s human shaped and wants to be involved in the things I’m involved in. The folks who I meet at the events are generally much older than I am, or monogamous. #polyproblems

And now we move toward the harvest season

Pronouns

I’ve officially declared 2016 the year of love. Getting off-line more often and investing time and physical labor into personal and environmental areas of my life. Every year is a year of love, so this isn’t as radical as it sounds.

In a moment of wyld, I hacked my hair off. It was really cute the first day. It takes styling in a way that long hair doesn’t and YouTube tutorials have failed me. I’ve hacked my hair off  a few times before and I really like the feeling, but I’ve been asked a few times now what my gender pronoun preference is.

It’s weird. Sweetly weird. Androgyny is a comfortable place, but I prefer the female pronouns and I share as much when asked. Which I have been. Anyway, I am suddenly meeting all these girls who may be interested, or …do you know my gaydar is horrifying. Truly. I assume everyone and no one is flirting, all at once.

Things are going so well on many levels. After many months of practice, Jae and I are communicating underlying feelings to things that normally set us off into a passionate conversation. We’re physically touching more. It’s been a sweet spring. Especially in the face of one big-feeling-toddler. Seeing her become bolder and sweeter and crazier has been fun.

Another change is, as of yesterday, we’ve re-started our whole food diet. It’s such a culinary challenge that brings great rewards. Joey is detoxing from the sugar, already. So, I know we’ve made the right choice. I’ve picked up where I left off and got my benchmark in today as to what my starting point is, physically. The only place to go from here is healthier. I’m excited my wife is joining me in this, as well.

Continuing on

Our daughter arrived! I’ve been caught up in the sleepless blur these last 8 weeks. I’ve started my seeds. I’m so excited to get in the garden. Jae’s transition has been amazing! She and I both have been practicing empathy and focusing on our feelings in order to stay on top of our hormones and life’s curve-balls.
I hold a lot of gratitude for my life, the good and the bad. There’s a lot I’d love to share, but time is very limited right now. I’ll come back when I can.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I’ll be celebrating in style with my family!

Skewed perspective

Good news, everybody! Jae came out to her family. She spoke to my family. She went to HR and has begun putting together her medical care team. I’m a proud wife.

For the most part it was a non-event but I am shocked at some of the emotional turmoil I’ve gone through over it. The anxieties that I’ve carried and didn’t even realise include being rejected by the straight community, and being rejected by the gay community. Does that surprise you? Well, I’ve had some less than stellar reactions to being bisexual from women I’ve hit on for their various reasons – none of which had to do with a personal relationship with me. It was a very limited experience (we got married really young), so I’m keeping my heart open to the experiences as we emerge socially.

I can’t imagine what Jae’s been going through, and hopefully she’ll post it out for us all. Here’re the top questions I’ve been asked that I didn’t see coming and have blown my mind. Here are my answers, for better or worse. On the flip side, no one has asked Jae any questions, whatsoever, which we both find really odd. Not even questions like “When did you first suspect/feel this way?”

Are you okay with her seeking out a male partner?!
Wait, what? I said that my husband wanted to transition to being female, not that she was straight. We’re still happy. In fact, I’d say this has opened us up to a new level of intimacy and joy that was missing due to a rather large emotional barrier. On the other hand, as one half of a newly polyamorous couple, If she decides that is an avenue she’d like to experiment down, I’m happy to give her a safe environment to pursue exploration. As long as it’s safe, sane, consensual and everyone is respectful, then, great.

What if the pumpkin gets bullied/teased for it?!
Kids can be cruel….humans can be cruel. Hopefully we’ll find the support system and community to help give him the tools to react in a thoughtful way that will prevent any out of control situations from occurring. He’s blessed to be living in a changing world where recognition is being given to a wider spectrum of experiences than that of the binary gender system we were raised with.
Was this a surprise?!
Yes and no. Based on our relationship there were flags. When I asked her, she denied it and I let it go. It was a surprise when she finally sat me down and had that conversation.

I think this experience has highlighted how out of touch we are with modern sensibilities when it comes to dating/courting/”sexting”. You’d think we were an older couple for all of that but I’ve only started my 30s! Still, it’s been interesting. I feel blessed for the acceptance and love that has met us from our family and friends – most notably my father who told Jae he loved her as his son or daughter.And Jae’s sister who said she’d always wanted a sister and was glad to reconnect.

Merging Space

My mother’s birthday is today. she passed in June or July of 2014 – 9ish months ago. I can’t remember exactly, only that it was the 11th. Already those finer details are sieving through my mind and I’m wracked with guilt over it, which glazes voice #3’s eyes over in pleasure. Ammunition to eat me up from the inside.
I breathe.
One.
Two.

Forgiveness. It’s okay. this information is written down. You still remember her smile. You still remember your sweet adventures. You still remember the sound of her voice. She is amongst the loved ones in the land of the remembered. Her song will be sung and shared to your son who was fortunate enough to have met her though he will not remember.

This is just a feeling. This too will pass.

Sexual abuse. It has been a part of my conversations on the daily for the last two weeks. It has come to my attention that I know less than a handful of people who were not sexually, physically or emotionally abused (or some twisted cocktail in-between). We are all working towards appearing normal. releasing our pain and pleasure and vulnerability. We each interpreted our experiences in a different manner, and it’s nestled in the general population’s sub-concious.

We are more than the sum of our experiences because we are destined to adapt and
only by exposing that scar and involving hurt discussions can we begin to heal so we can treat people gently.

I am on fire. I am not alone. We can rise above. We can still choose to heal our wounds and create a beautiful community. Dreams infuse these dark conversations with hope that we can change the conversations to prevention. We need to change our focus to empowering our children to be children and still be aware.

My goal is to find a way to carve a safe space in my own heart and stitch the rest of it together as best I can using love to make it more beautiful.

Gratitude

I was cleaning out the photographs on my phone (I’m an avid selfie-taker, project photographer) and it occurred to me that last year was an incredible and abundant year. Granted, the photographs don’t share the heart-break, the anger, the frustration,  or the other powerful emotions that shade our world in darkness, but, for a few thousand frames I was reminded that the darkness is what shaped the sweetness of the photos I did take.

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

I’m trying not to be dramatic because the topics are dramatic enough, pardon me – this is an unusual space for me.

First, I want to say that I had the sweetest Mabon circle this evening with a few of the most wonderful women of my life. I made a chilli and I made a failed plum upsidedown cake. LOL. I swear, life half the pintrest fails you see floating around are mine. But it was tasty for all that. 

It’s been interesting to note some insecurities arose which I hadn’t forseen. I had an anxiety attack that my wife may leave me once transitioned. In her defense, she’s been a loving and devoted mate our entire relationship. But, there is an undeniable appeal to starting fresh with someone who only knows this fresher you. I talked to her about this and it did a lot to soothe my own fears and insecurities. She made some excellent points that the anxiety swings both ways and so we comforted each other and practiced some care.

I keep getting asked, “How are YOU doing with this?” I have to shrug. I love Jae. I will love her in any form. She and I fit each other in a way that is worth honoring. There is power in that. So, we move forward.

Where do we begin? I am not sure but I’m going to follow the advice of my friend and try not to go off  “all half-cocked like you normally do.”  He loves me. I’m his favorite problem child.