The One Where 2020 Ends
Friends episodes. There's no rhyme or reason to it, and while I have been taking in some 80s and 90s goodness lately (Hello NBC baseball game of the week and you too, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), I have not watched Friends in forever. Could happen yet, but hasn't.
The reality of it is, the past couple of weeks have been quite a struggle, and I'm trying to write now while I'm on an upswing. The latest has been dealing with impending job loss and all that goes along with that. The mental struggles that have resulted have kinda been really tough, and I spent the better part of last week in some sort of hazy hopelessness. But there still is hope, and I'm clinging to it now. So let's ignore the lack of money, loss of health insurance, house, car, etc., that could result. It's too depressing and, as I mentioned, I'm feeling more positive the past couple of days.
What else has been going on? Well, the orchiectomy surgery was successful. The incisions are healing nicely, I don't anticipate too much scarring there, and at the doctor's a week or so ago, my testosterone level read 30, which is not nothing but pretty minuscule comparatively speaking. So that has allowed me to drop Spiro as expected and I feel safer about that. My estrogen, on the other hand, is still very low, so I have actually gotten a second patch added to my routine at least for now, to boost the level. It was only 37 when they look for 100 or above. So, work in progress there.
The holidays are here for most of us. Things are pretty quiet in that regard this year, as was last year. Money's tight and such, and the tension of who I am versus what they need is always there, so we are all doing the best we can, I think. I hesitate when saying "doing my best", but as my old counselor told me, in the moment, we really mostly all are doing our best. And life is moment-to-moment. Only when projecting forward or looking back (and we know what happens if we look back too much) should we even think about reassessing the "doing our best" thing.
I am looking forward to spending some time with my cousin Bryce, and also his fiancee Kat again over Christmas. Her mom has been having some issues very recently, so have been a bit concerned for all of them in the past week, and hope that they can enjoy a nice holiday season despite the struggles. If I can add anything to their good cheer, I certainly mean to try. All of the cousins on my dad's side might have a group Zoom call as well, and that should be a lot of fun if most or all of them can make it.
And what of 2020? I have thought, especially post-surgery and pre-bad work situation news, to do a full retrospective of the year. The big reason for that was to prove to myself that I had actually made a lot of progress this year. I think I will actually do it briefly here (yeah right, briefly, you're thinking) instead. There's no need to go into great detail. The blogs are all still there.
When 2020 began, most of us had no idea what we were in for. I think it's safe to say that we have not faced such a difficult year as a species in our lifetimes. I don't need to go over everything, we all know what's gone on. Our way of life was globally rocked and we are still dealing with it. COVID brought unique challenges and we face more as we see a vaccine coming available at long last. I had no idea when I started working from home in March that I wouldn't go back there. I know I was very fortunate to have even lasted this long, as so many others didn't and have yet to recover. I didn't get sick from COVID and my family was more-or-less spared so far. I'm grateful. We all just need to hang in a bit longer. It WILL get better.
As for me, I had a plan coming into the year. To think I'd achieve it, and exceed it, is still quite amazing. With the help, support, encouragement from a group of family and friends (not to mention some gentle prodding; I'm looking at you, J9), I managed to make myself known to the world. That was the plan and goal. Where the goal got surpassed was in the EMBRACE. I just got a little choked up after writing that sentence. It's easy to "like" or give a thumbs-up on a Facebook post or picture, and simply move on. And while that happened, for which I'm grateful, so much more happened.
The comments that first day, back on my birthday, I simply will never forget. And what I note more since that day is that a lot of those same people, some of you even reading this, have continued to not only "like" and comment and support me, so many didn't bat an eye when I decided to abandon my other Facebook profile for the one in which I am fully me. Friends and family have just adjusted in many cases, calling me Shannyn, using feminine pronouns, without hesitation. I know that couldn't have been automatic in their minds, or even hearts. Someone telling me I looked beautiful or even nice (neither of which are true, by the way, but I loved hearing it nonetheless) meant so much. It spurred me on and continues to do so.
I don't dress feminine all that often. I just don't. I want to; it makes me immeasurably happier. I might not get to anytime soon, or then again I might. But now I know I can and that's a big bit of progress right there. I have tremendous weight still on my shoulders that crushes me down onto the floor sometimes. But not hiding, having the ability to express ALL my thoughts, removes a ton(ne).
I know so many like me who don't have such an advantage now, and due to their circumstances, possibly never will, which makes me sad but thankful for what I have. All my friends who are CD, trans, or whoever are doing what they can to get by, just like me. Whether it's a single night spent away in femme mode (most often alone, mind you) during a business trip or repeated, painful discussions with a loving spouse to make their progress, they are fighting on. I need to keep at it. We all do. Including cis people and LGBTQ2+ folks and everyone affected by what 2020 and COVID brought us.
Let me end by making a long post longer, and just say to everyone in my "bubble" (big bubble) who have been there: THANK YOU! And to everyone who reads this, I hope that this holiday season brings you peace and if I dare mention, even some happiness. Don't be too hard on 2020, it did the best it could. But let's make 2021 even better.
So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke
Your love life's DOA
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but
I'll be there for you (When the rain starts to pour)
I'll be there for you (Like I've been there before)
I'll be there for you ('Cause you're there for me too)