June 17, 2014

Houston, We Have a Problem

This was my Monday, in brief:

  • Lost job.
  • Lost transition plan.
  • Lost hope (for a little while).

I’m feeling better now, relatively speaking. I got a serviceable severance package and I’m already starting to think through the next steps. I’m polishing my resume, I’m reading job boards, and I’m generally trying to make this a “new chapter” in my professional life. We’ll see how it goes.

In terms of topics germane to this blog, however, yesterday was a total fucking disaster. My plans are shattered, my forward progress is halted, and my long-term goals have been flung into an uncertain future. I will NOT be filing for a name change in two days. How could I, when I’ve got to be out there job-hunting, and that’s something that He will be far more successful at than Ali? And it’s safe to say that even if I do find a new job fairly quickly, I will NOT be successfully transitioning to an authentic full-time life on September 1st. That transition is on hold until … when? Who knows? I can’t go into a job and then just say six months in “Oh, by the way, I’m transitioning and please don’t fire me!”

I won’t lie and say that there hasn’t been moments of panic, of depression, and of anger. Luckily, I’m not the same person whose life shattered a year ago. I am a better person — at least, I like to think I am. If nothing else, I am a person whose brain is currently being moderated by quality antidepressants and a estrogen-dominated biochemical admixture to the usual brain chemistry. There’s not a trans person alive who’s undergone HRT who won’t tell you that the brain just works better with the right kind of hormones in there. It’s so, so true.

In the short-term, there’s one positive to all this: I am, technically, living full-time as my authentic self. No more starched shirts and ties for me; no more flipping that switch and being Him for most of the week. Sure, that may all change when I have to go to interviews and eventually get a job. But for the time being, I’m me. And that is a relief.


  • This is not the time to “man up” like you have been accustomed to doing. Instead, it’s time to put on your big girl panties and deal with the situation in a whole new way, which doesn’t including setting aside your legal name change to brush up your resume to find a job as “he” which will only keep you moving into the same old territories that you’ve already charted. Transition should be your first priority and when you commit to it fully, the means to accomplish it will show up in ways that you can’t possibly anticipate. I leave you with this quote from W.H. Murray.

    Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way.
    I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
    “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it!
    Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.”

    W.H. Murray
    from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
    and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    • I appreciate the bold confidence of that approach, and it’s possible I’ll come back around to it before the dust settles. In the short term, though, I am generally practically oriented and risk-averse, especially when my kids are involved. I have three kids, a mortgage, and a cat that need me to less self-centric and more financially stable right now. I have to make compromises for them.

      • I don’t mean to imply that you should make your priority taking care of your house and kids. There are other avenues for assistance to tide you over, such as food, utilities and monetary assistance. You can also contact your mortgage holder to ask for an extension on payments. This is the unknown territory to which I am referring and there is support in your community if you but take a proactive rather than reactive posture to get you through this challenge. You will be surprised that many of these support systems deal with transgender people on a regular basis. In addition, you might be able to get your fees waived for your name change but you have to be proactive and not let your setback send your plans for transition into a tailspin which will only lead to a crash and burn. I am holding you and your family in my thoughts and prayers, Ali..

        • I didn’t mean to misrepresent your point, Deanna. Sorry. 🙁

          For me, I guess I see the two forces — life responsibility and personal identity responsibility — as at odds with one another right now. It feels like pursuing the one will lead to having to hinder the other. I know that I can somehow do both, but I haven’t figured that plan out yet.

  • Sorry to hear about this setback. I don’t think there are any easy answers when life throws you a curve ball. I’m glad to see you haven’t lost all hope and you are moving on as best you can. ((hugs))

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