When I say that I got "home" I mean that in a deeper sense than simply "I got back to where I happen to be living at the moment". I've written in the past about my need to feel a deeper connection to someplace in order to establish a sense of belonging and of "home".
I'm certainly not going to bore anyone with all the various details of the week. What I will say, though, it was significant in a number of ways.
One is that I was reminded (again) how very much I enjoy being back in the Valley. It was hot - highs over 110 degrees each of the days I was there - but honestly I don't have a single complaint. About anything. The comfort I felt living there is still there, and in a way that too is "home". It's not the same feeling as I have here right now, but I'll be the first to admit that the possibility that I'll end up back there at some point remains very real.
It also became very much apparent that some of the relationships in my life are changing in some significant ways. Some are getting more important and deeper while others are beginning to fade or to become less important in my day-to-day reality. Other relationships have suddenly popped into the picture unexpectedly. In some significant ways that I think will become more apparent as time goes on things are a bit different in my world now from when I left on the trip ten days ago.
I took this picture from the plane window as the sun was going down. It's sort of symbolic of some things. Plus, it's just a pretty sight....
One thing for sure - I'm tired today. I didn't sleep all that well while I was gone but at least I was beginning to acclimate to the 3-hour time zone difference by the time I left. When the alarm went off this morning it felt far more like 3am than 6am and it still feels that way. I'm seriously dragging and could very much use a nap. But I've got too much to do today to allow for that kind of luxury.
I did take a nap while I was in Phoenix though. That was the first nap I've taken in a long, long time and is one of those simply luxuries that somehow gets lost in the day-to-day hubub of life. It was very much needed but it'll probably be a while until I have an opportunity for my next one...
One highlight from last week that I'll mention: I visited with my ex- at our old house and it was very pleasant. We ended up going out for ice cream. All in all - it wasn't earth shattering or anything like that but it was very enjoyable.
Tomorrow marks the 11th anniversary of my "re-birthday". August 10, 2000. SRS was certainly a life milestone for me and I typically mark the occasion (when I remember it) quietly. One particular friend who knew me from the earliest days of my transition used to remember it every year and called me to wish me a Happy ReBirthday. She passed away several years ag,o so now I just remember it on my own (if I remember it at all).
I was reading some of what I wrote in the days leading up to that event:
It still amazes me that I am here right now….at this point so close to a dream I never imagined had a chance to become a reality. From a young teenager who daydreamed about changing minds and bodies with girls in order to make the universe right, to the career guy who felt more trapped in his life than in his body….it is still amazing that I managed to steer myself here.Crazy... At the time I never imagined being in anyone's list of History's Essential LGBT Figures (from Bilerico), or a list of Top Ten Difining Moments of Queer Sports History (here), or that I'd be invited to speak at Trans Conferences (here's one), or that I'd be involved with "activism" in general. All I knew at the time was that I was at one of those moments in life when one chapter ends and another begins. Perhaps not coincidentally, I'm sensing another of those moments in the not-too-distant future, but we shall see.
The cost has been horrendous. The emotional toll on [my wife] and her family. On my mom and my family. On my relationship with [my son]. The unbelievable amount of $$$ that has me buried under a mountain of debt. On the horrible emotional and physical pain I've endured. But the returns have been beyond my wildest imagination, and I stand at the doorway to the rest of my life.
I am ready to die to finish this journey. I have come to that peace in myself, and I am not worried or nervous or apprehensive in the least. I can see the end of the road…..and I’m not going to screw it up now.
Anyway - enough for today. I'm way behind on lots of things so I need to catch up.