Being trans can be rough and even dangerous but it’s not always doom and gloom. I’ve whined about my life here quite a bit and even I get tired of hearing myself whine. So, here are some good things about my life.
Up front, I have to acknowledge my privileges. I’m white, I grew up in a middle-class family in the suburbs, went to college, and entered the job market when there was still an unstated assumption children would have a better life than their parents. Transitioning in my 40’s, I had years of male privilege going for me that helped my career and smooth out some life bumps along the way.
Unasked for and unearned, those privileges have and continue to impact my life for the positive in ways that I’m sure I will never fully understand, but I acknowledge that the intersection of my race, class, and age insulate(d) me from many transition and other life issues that so many others face.
Me and my children have our physical health. None of us have a chronic disease or physical disability that impact our lives. My family’s mental health orbits around autism for one of my kids and I struggle with episodic depression, but on the whole we’re functional and able to enjoy life most of the time.
Through aforementioned privileges, I was able to put money away for retirement when I was working. When I had to stop working to save my sanity and focus on my autistic kid, I was able to live off of that money, (but ouch that tax bill and who needs a retirement fund, right?) and have enough left for another year’s worth of expenses before things get dire and I have to start selling everything to pay bills.
I decide how I spend my time, and being able to just be with my kids and not have to worry about childcare closing because I have to work late is priceless. One kid is thriving and I feel like I’m closer to getting the other to a more positive space.
The rough, emotional days of my transition are (hopefully and permanently) behind me and I’m lucky enough to be able to move forward with surgery, hopefully next year. Being trans no longer consumes or defines my life and is now just another thing about me.
The house I live in suits me well and is in a beautiful place. The bird feeders attract all sorts of birds, I often see deer and other wildlife, and the greenery I’m surrounded by helps soothe my soul.
I’m about 95% done processing my mom’s estate and getting her condo sold the other month allowed me to pay off a huge credit card.
The business I’ve been incubating is about to hatch, and I’m very excited about being able to put more attention into it after this past summer when I was consumed with estate work. If the business doesn’t go well, I have skills ranging from technology to trade labor to fall back on to earn money with.
Though my girlfriend moved to California earlier this year and realized he was a trans man, I treasure and love our friendship. Hearing about how well his job is going and upcoming transition makes me happy for him, and it’s fun to hear how dating is treating him.
I reconnected with someone I dated a couple of times a couple of years ago and am enjoying getting to know her better.
I’m very proud of myself for learning to play the guitar and playing and recording my music brings me great joy.
The relationship I have with my ex centers our kids and we do each other favors from time to time.
In the petty schadenfreude department, I am happier and have a more stable life than my ex, who got fired, dumped by her boyfriend, and had car troubles all in the space of a week last month.
Lastly, I’m thankful for my friends near and far who continue to help me through this thing we call life.
I’m on Twitter @cistotrans
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