acceptance, activism, balance, coping, future, gender fluid, gender identity, gender variance, healing, inspiration, joy, kids, love, publishing, self awareness, self expression, strength, transgender, transition, writing
“When I dare to be powerful-
to use my strength in the service of my vision,
then it becomes less and less important
whether I am afraid.”
As I watched my son in karate yesterday I found myself getting lost in the beautiful Japanese language as they counted from one to ten doing kicks and blocks. Music filled my ears with these little children using their voices, bodies and quiet minds. Like a high pitched harmony.
My head must have been swaying a little to the tune in my head because my peripheral vision caught sight of Audre Lorde standing, arms outstretched, as if reaching for me. Little old me just sitting on a cold metal chair. I stared at the image and then read the quote above.
A thunderbolt ignited my brain when I read it as if the words beckoned me to stretch beyond my cozy, little comfort zone I’ve created. “It’s time!”, Audre screamed to me with her poetry and I accepted the challenge. Ready for the next step.
- – - – - – - – -
It’s been a little luxurious, writing books that is. I have to admit that I feel a great sense of calm when I can rationalize the countless hours I’ve logged at the beach watching waves, for “inspiration” you know. Or the days I seem to float aimlessly from place to place, not doing particularly anything, but just being in the mix. Feeling my feelings amongst the ebb and flow of my so-called-busy-life. I’ve taken advantage of every chance to slow down and think, a thing I have never done in my entire life. Like a year long vacation if you will. Just moving from moment to the next.
In the past, my other life, I’ve been my own superhero, fast as lightning and able to make minutia a full time job. I stressed if I wasn’t at the latest event, tweeting about the next-fun-thing, going the extra mile, striving to fill my calendar the way a squirrel hordes nuts for the winter. Like I was checking off a never ending list of what I should do, who I should be.
Picture a semi truck, maybe one of those you see on the Discovery channel that drives on the ice at break neck speeds, screeching to a halt for a crying baby abandoned on the road. That was me when Hope said she needed to transition to living as a girl 24/7. Not because I didn’t know or that I was upset at her need to live authentically, but because I was speeding away on my own path. It was all planned out.
So I put on the brakes and stopped for the first time in my life. I’d never trade it. Never change a single thing. Slowly I shut down that other life, the one that didn’t add up to much if you looked at the big picture and I started to look at what I was here to do. What was my vision? Where was I needed?
It’s been one year ago today that Hope transitioned. One year since I started living my authentic life as well. Dismissing my need for “fillers” to escape real feelings and searching for substance. The nitty-gritty, real life, tough stuff that few of us ever dig deep into. I admit, I never wanted my junk to come out. My back story. My feelings. My heart. Petrified that someone would learn that I am broken, damaged, failing.
Now I look back at this year with a lotus in mind. This vibrant flower escaping the mud to rise and bloom. Free. A lotus never denies where she came from. Never tries to transplant herself in some gorgeous meadow like she was meant to be there. No, she came from what some might consider the lowest place. I’ve had 365 days to think about it another way. The filth is beneath everything, even the meadow.
As I think of Audre Lorde’s words I feel ready to move beyond the contemplative inner work of this past year and open the door in front of me. My children’s book about gender non-conforming children is being published in the next few months and I plan to embark on an outreach extravaganza. Someone recently corrected me and said I should use the word marketing instead of outreach, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Marketing feels fake to me, like telling someone they need a new coffee maker when you have one that works just fine right now. Outreach feels right. It feels like sharing a message, touching lives, making a difference. If I can educate people about gender identity and the kids that do not fit into a binary code of this-or-that, then my life’s work will be complete.
I’ve found it and I’m not afraid anymore. My courage. My voice. My mission.