So much has changed, and yet so little feels different.
In the last three weeks, the following has all happened:
- I moved.
- I exchanged a roommate for another mate.
- I rekindled a long-dead friendship.
- I quit my job at L-3.
- I signed an offer letter for a new position.
- I finished my therapy.
And yet, after all this, my life doesn't really seem that different. This is what confuses me the most. Almost everything has been upheaved and reordered, and yet it all feels so natural already that it doesn't seem at times as if there were anything new.
The move had been a long time in the making. Texas simply has never been hospitable to me, but there had always been one reason or another to stay. With the offer of a new job, that reason was gone. The friends I had had there are gone. My parents are moving out of state once my mother graduates. I didn't like the climate. I still have people I know there, but they were too far away to make regular visits practical, and I'll still have the chance to go down there and see them. This way, I don't have to return to Tex-Ass once I'm done.
Part of me is sorry to have to have seen Randy leave, but another part is glad she's not living with me any more. When she moved into Jessie's and my apartment back in September of last year, I think we all expected things to
go vastly differently thasn they did. She couldn't get a job with her navy skills because of her psych discharge, which neither of us expected, and then it took her a lot longer to get around to finding a regular job. Then, once
she did, it turned out to be too little too late. She wasn't making enough to make her own rent, and Jessie and I couldn't bring her with us to Pennsylvania.
I say we couldn't. The truth is that we chose not to do so. We could've made room, but she would've likely faced the same problem here, and the apartment into which we moved was smaller than our old one, and already had one occupant, Jessie's and my other mate, Allie. Four people would not have worked in this apartment, and to support herself, she would have needed another roommate with a guaranteed job from day one. That would've meant a fifth person in the apartment designed for two and crowded with three, and it would have been an utterly horrible violation of the lease agreement on top of that.
I did say above that Jessie and I have another mate. Since before my breakup with my previous boyfriend, I had come to the decision/realization/discovery that strict monogamy made very little sense to me. Love, in my opinion, is not a finite resource. I can give all my love to one person and have infinite amounts left over for others. I now have two people with whom I intend to spend my life, and I think we're all three of us the better for it. It does
make sleeping on a queen-size bed together interesting, but that's an easily addressed issue.
A lot of people seem mystified by my having accepted more than one person into my life. I'm confused by the belief that loving one person means not loving anyone else. I've tried to live that way, and I just feel awkward and
uncomfortable when I do. It's like I'm denying what could be for what is, as if having said "I love you" to someone, I'm now committed and can't say it to anyone else unless I qualify it or revoke my having said it to the
first person. It's just... strange.
My friendship with Geoff was a surprising one. At one time in the distant past, we had been very close. Not dating-close, but that was probably only for a lack of officiation. I was with Rod at the time, and I'm afraid I had
a serious case of tunnel-vision. My constant comparison of Geoff to my then-boyfriend, in fact, is what mostly led to our break-up, not that I could really blame him for it. At the time, I was utterly mystified at what had happened, but in hindsight it's very clear.
I wasn't expecting to have him back as a friend, ever, but I always did lament the loss of that friendship. We happened to meet, totally by accident, on a common IRC server and began talking. He didn't know who I was; we hadn't spoken since before my transition. When he found out, he was more surprised to find the rumors were true and to hear the story than anything else. We spent six hours, I think, just talking about the intervening years. It felt so surreal, and yet so good. In many ways, it's as if we're both back four years ago, but with the benefit of age and wisdom. It feels good to be able to go back and just talk with him again.
Quitting my job was the precursor to the move. For fourteen months, I twiddled my thumbs at L-3 Communications, waiting for them to decide to either give me work or get rid of me. When they hired me, they offered me a development position, but I was never given a line of code to write the entire time I spent there. I was shunted into administration after five months of not doing anything at all, and then transferred from the development group to the support group after another three or four. I told them that's why I quit my last two jobs, but they didn't seem to care.
In addition, ever since I started my transition at L-3, things steadily went downhill. I started out with human resources' full support, but by the end, I could barely get any recognition out of them at all. I was denied access to the women's bathrooms despite repeated promises that this was all just a temporary measure to assuage concerns and that I would be given full access in time. In the end, I stopped caring. They didn't want me using the right facilities; they just wanted me out of their hair. I know that my name was put onto a layoffs list the day after I announced my transition and that only my manager's active arguing had it removed. I think they just wanted me gone but were afraid to fire me for fear of a lawsuit. At any rate, I'm glad I'm out of there.
My new job at ISI should be far better. I received absolutely no questions, no comments, no complaints and no inquiries about my gender at all. I was hired as Kristina Davis and there's never been any issue of it. I haven't started my new position yet; that's Monday. However, it can't be anywhere near as bad as my last one. And if it is, I'm now already moved and shouldn't have any problem finding another job.
At this point, having had as many positions as I have, I really don't dread finding a new job. I hate the jobsearch process, but I don't worry about changing positions. I suppose I should; I really would love to find a place at which I could put in five or ten years of solid work experience. I hope that ISI is the place for that. From the interview, it looks like it could be, but that's what I said about L-3.
The therapy is really the big one. It's over. I had my last session the Tuesday before I moved. It was very strange in its own way. I wrote a story about how I envisioned the end of therapy, of so many months of ritual, and I was reasonably close but there were no tears. I felt nothing but happiness. I was sad for leaving behind so many people I had come to consider friends, but my therapist said quite honestly some months back that I really didn't need to be in there any more. I was there to complete the forms and get all the letters and make everything
official, but it wasn't really necessary for my well-being.
I do miss them, Lisa and Rustie and Rachel and Janet and Lillith and Brandy. In the short time I was part of their circle, I did grow and learn quite a bit. They even said that they were amazed at how much I had changed in so
short a time. I thought I had everything under control when I started, and yet I continued to grow. It makes me wonder how much more I'll change now that I'm done with that phase of my life.
My surgery date is set. My therapy is completed. I'm only waiting on my release letter from my psychiatric evaluation to submit all my paperwork to the surgeon to begin the preparations for my actual trip to Thailand. I'm in a new job, in a new town with lots of friends I've known for years living nearby. I'm in a quiet apartment with both of my mates. It's hard to believe that everything is going so right for once. I'm used to things just not quite working out as I'd planned, and so are both of them. Now, for once, everything looks as if it's going as we had hoped.
I'm certainly going to enjoy it while it lasts.