Well, it has been two years since I last wrote an update. Nearly as long since I even visited this site. In my last post I mentioned my hopes for the future. A lot has changed in the past two years. Dreams have come to pass. Others have been vanquished. Several are still low on the horizon. While life is far from perfect today, it is significantly better than it was two years ago.
Bestest Friends Forever!
In September 2012, at SCC (SCCWS) I met a new friend. I was immediately intrigued and amazed by her. She was/is young, beautiful, shy and introverted, and has the most amazing tattoo on her arm. We spent a lot of time that weekend talking and getting to know one another. We have continued to get to know each other better and better. It didn’t take long to become the very best of friends. Since my last post there has been a lot of traveling back and forth to see her (R) and spend time with her. When we had/have been apart, we stay in touch often.
In April, 2013 I was given the opportunity to share in a truly life changing experience with my closest friend. She was having GCS (Gender Confirming Surgery) and I volunteered to be her companion. I was there to help her get everything in order before going. I was there to help her in the hospital and the Bed and Breakfast afterwards. I went home with her and helped her get back into the swing of her day to day routine. While there were some emotional challenges that I faced with seeing her achieve a goal that seems as elusive today as it did then. I was also rewarded with being able to see first hand what is to be expected with this surgery and recovery. I had a chance to meet the surgeon whom I hope to be able to use when it is my turn. Mostly, it brought the two of us so much closer than I ever expected I could get to someone.
The Gypsy Moves Again…and Again…
In June, 2013 I moved into roommate situation in a home in Nashville, TN. It was the first time that I was able to feel the freedom of just being myself, a woman named Deanna. I was no longer prefaced with the trans* label. My three roommates did not know that I had a past that differed from what I lived. This was very refreshing. Though there are certain difficulties and complexities surrounding this. Talking about my past now requires certain editing and adaptation to refrain from gendering myself or sharing details that would make someone question my experiences. What did I do when I was a girl? What did I like to do? The answers to these questions were complicated by, not only the gender experiences, the fact that my memories of my youth are vague and fragmented. I remember little of my youth. Did I ever have fun? If so, what did I enjoy doing? I remember a few friends, but have almost no memories of doing things with them.
The stories I weave about my past are still my stories. I believe there is truth to them, I hope there is truth to them. I can’t be certain that my memories aren’t just lies and stories to cover up more sinister experiences. Oh well…
While I lived in Nashville, I was given the chance to spend a lot of time with R. She would come over for dinner. We would go out to eat. I would spend time (a lot of time) at her house visiting with her. I was still unemployed and struggling financially. Though I was getting a bit of freelance graphic design work, it was only just enough to pay the rent and have some little bits to eat. Things had become increasingly uncomfortable with my roommates. Two of them were taking over the house and leaving me with only my room and little room in the kitchen for my stuff. I wasn’t able to find work, because being without a car, I was limited in where I could look. My options were pathetically limited. I knew I wanted to live with or near R. I knew that there were far more opportunities for work there.
The planets finally aligned. I was able to move into the condo that R shared with two roommates. I set up residence in the upstairs hallway. I got a job almost immediately. I decided to fall back on my experience as a restaurant server. Again, I was able to be in the world as Deanna. To this day, none of my coworkers knows that I am trans*. I have become a part of a close knit team, where I’m well respected and appreciated. I work hard and I enjoy my job. I can not complain about this.
Nurse Deanna… Part 2 (and 3)
My experiences with caring for R’s recovery from surgery came to the attention of one of her friends (K). She was in need of a companion and I, again, volunteered my time and experience. We traveled together to the same surgeon, the same hospital, the same Bed and Breakfast, we even stayed in the same room. Even though the procedures were the same and the recovery stages were the same, the experiences were fairly different. Both were successful. But I learned that each patient has different experiences with the recovery, different concerns, and even slightly different outcomes.
The close bonds that we develop through these experiences are important and significant. While I don’t think I’ve done anything particularly remarkable or special, I know that for R and K, it is very special.
My reputation had spread and I now had several people talking to me about the possibility of my accompanying them, or looking for advice and what to expect when they go. It gives me a bit of an ego boost to have people want me to be around them. I never felt that in my old life. People typically wanted to distance themselves from me as quick as possible.
Once more into the fray I went. A friend of a friend, whom I’d briefly met before (A) contacted me and said that I was referred to her as a possible surgical companion. She was to have another procedure, not the same as R and K, and with another surgeon and wanted to know if I would avail myself. I did. This was a much shorter stay/recovery, only 3 days (instead of 2-5 weeks). I now have another close friend. Now that I’m working full time, I have had to decline aid to several friends. But, I hope one day to be able to be there for others. Perhaps one day I will even be afforded the chance to be cared for by another special friend.
The Amazing R&B
My dear and wonderful R met the girl of her dreams in February, just shortly before I moved into my hallway residence. They fell instantly in love and right after my move, they moved about a half hours drive away. This opened up a room for me. It also took my bestie away from me. I had a hard time for a while. I had grown very fond and dependent on her company. I knew that one day she would fall in love with someone and it would change our lives together. I needed to adapt. I felt I had lost her friendship, though I knew in my heart that she and I would always be friends.
Just a little more than a month ago R and her gf B got married. I was honored to be R’s bridesmaid. My first time ever being a bridesmaid. I also designed their wedding invitations and made their wedding cake. The theme of the wedding was steampunk meets fairies. The cake was the most challenging thing I had ever made. But, I had to make it special. It had to be amazing for the most amazing girl in the world. R&B are happy together. The three of us have become closer. B and I are still getting to know one another, but she is pretty special to me now.
Thus ends this chapter of my Quest. I don’t know if there will be further chapters in the future or how long you will need to wait. Not that anyone really reads this. Where will the gypsy be in the future? Will I finally be able to have my GCS? I anxiously await what ever comes next. Hmmm…I just realized that that is the most positive I’ve been about the future. I must be happy.