Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I don't take "No" very well.

I suppose I should clarify.  I realize that it's just part of being a mature adult to understand that there are times when no really means no.  But there are also times when no simply means "not willing", "don't want to", "not interested in", or some other excuse.  Other times, it's simply that you're (a) not asking the right question or (b) not talking to the right person.

The key is to realize the difference.

This thing with the Episcopal Church in SC moved me to make some phone calls this morning.  I'm finding that there are options....more options than the now ex-Bishop wants to share.  In this case, no simply means they'd rather not.

I mean, at face value, to truly question the body/mind conundrum at the heart of being trans and then to act upon it is truly to realize that no isn't no.  Simply because society disapproves, or accepts things at face value, or tells you you don't get to choose - the reality is that if you accept that you're doomed to float somewhere in a sea of Unfulfilment. 

To transition is to realize that most rules are simply guidelines that most are afraid or unwilling to test.  It is to recognize that to find the the path to overcome "No" is often more about patience, creativity, and resilience than anything.  Those traits seep into every aspect of life, at least for me they have.  I'd go so far as to say that finding and proving those traits in myself are some of the enduring and enriching by-products of getting from there to here.

I'm going to mention something here simply because it's on my mind.  It'd probably be safer for me to not say anything.  But it's on my mind so I'm going to say it as best I can....

I have a wonderful niece who was born with all kinds of birth "anomalies".  She was rushed into the NICU immediately after being born.  At 13-years old, she still hasn't experienced a day without trachea tube in her throat and a G-tube in her stomach.  I've talked about her in the past, as seeing the resiliency of her spirit in the face of oppressive physical and societal barriers has made her one of my genuine heroes.

One of the things I respect most about her is that she has no idea that she should expect less out of life because of her situation.  She still can't speak (at least not in the traditional way) but she loves music.  She wanted to be like the other kids in her school, so she joined the choir.  And although she can't sing, she can hum. She's as happy as a clam because she's doing things she enjoys, she doesn't know the meaning of the word "can't", and she defines her own "normal".  She's not disabled - she's EN-abled.

How is that connected to what I've got to say?  It's that many trans people I know consciously limit their lives because of their past.  There are lots of reasons, but the problem is that once you start looking over your shoulder there's no way to stop.  Whether it's in relationships, or employment, or simply joining society....it's always there.  Whether you're "out" or not...it sometimes doesn't matter.

The reason it's pertinent is that I've joined a small tennis tournament this weekend.  Frankly - I'm a horrible tennis player.  It's not that I'm horrible  horrible so much as that can count the number of times I've played over the past 20+ years on one hand.  But I enjoy it.  I like it.  It's fun for me.  And that enjoyment comes from the doing, not in the competing.

So, this weekend I'm entered in the Women's 50+ category which is absolutely appropriate in every way.  When I show up in my cute little tennis outfit ready to go it will be my first tournament.  Ever.  I have no idea whether I need to bring tennis balls, or if there will be anyone watching, or what to expect.  All I want to do is to show up and hit the ball.

BUT - every time I do something like this it invites trouble.  I'm not looking for trouble.  But, like my niece, I'm not willing to accept that I should expect less out of life because of circumstances beyond my control.  I'm not doing anything wrong, but I'm not hiding either.  I'm just doing.  But given my most recent post on the Church here even simple things sometimes become trouble for someone.

I like that I'm constantly aware of the possibilities for worse case scenarios, but I'm also constantly pleasantly surprised.  We'll see how this goes....

So - back to today's topic.  No.  If you accept No all the time - sometimes it's just in your own head.  I'm too busy doing to think about what I can't do (or shouldn't do), given the time and the motivation. 

I shared a couple of songs from Scars on 45 last week.  I'll end with one of my current favorites, although admittedly any one of the songs from their one and only CD could be a favorite.  I could listen to this a dozen times in a row.  The title of this one is Warning Sign....

I will rescue you If you rescue me
There's a hole inside that they never see.
I will stand by you and every soul knows why...
They will be holding a warning sign.

I will rescue you If you rescue me.
There's a hole inside that they never see.
I won't hold you back
We don't feel that...


Gwen said...

All that I can say is, ""

Donna, the only people that I have ever found to have adverse reactions are those that enter into an activity or venture "trying to prove something."
Just go in and be you. Don't try to be center of attention or exude importance. You will be accepted.
(And if you don't hit the ball; it was the swing that counts)

Gwen said...

Within the quotes WAS sigh
What happened, I dunno