eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)
2015-01-12 03:02 pm

Happy 2015!

Last year's resolution: move back to Boston. Accomplished! At times it seemed to be a terrifying and/or impossible goal, but I've made it and have been in the greater Boston area since September 2014.

This year's resolutions: continue to write more. Continue to lose weight without beating myself up about how, or feeling like I'm not progressing 'fast' enough. Keep in better touch with friends and important people in my life. Get a full-time position I like.

General life updates:

Partnerships - Have learned a lot about myself and what I need from partnerships and living situations this year. Still with B. and A., who are still both great partners, but am no longer contemplating moving in or raising kids with B. Their life and mine don't mesh well in some really important-to-me ways; I need to make a commitment to a partner who wants to live with me and with whom I can live, and I just can't live with B. for various reasons. T. continues to make my life awesomer; we're planning a visit for sometime in March. He's really helped me clarify some things I do want out of my relationships, through just being there for me. I am not sure where my relationship with E. is heading. We really still care about each other, but I worry about her a lot and don't get to talk to her as often as I'd like. Gender Book Group at Christopher's is still going strong and it's great to see old friends each month, and get some reading done every once in a while on topics that really matter to me and the inside of my head.

Friendships & Volunteering - I got involved in the burner community, mostly through A. and T., this past year. It's reminded me how much I really like camping, and it's made me go hiking out in the community parks behind my house a lot more this fall. I've been getting to know some good people. I'm also going to start volunteering at the Watertown makerspace, pending a background check--really excited to be learning a lot more hands-on skills, like welding, with friends old and new.

Learning Stuff - besides the welding, I used my last job to teach myself a lot about new HTML and CSS standards, and am excited to see how much better my programming skills are than they were a year ago. I successfully programmed my first responsive CSS design from scratch ovr the last few months and feel accomplished. Other things I've been doing more of include: sculpture, sewing, and cooking. Lots of Japanese food. 

Music - We listen to a lot of different music at one of my workplaces; after being almost totally music-free for several years, I'm slowly getting into new music again thanks to that. 

Work/Education - I have two part-time jobs. I like both of them very much; I get to use skillsets I've been honing, and that's almost as good as using my degree. I like my coworkers, and I like my bosses. I've been thinking about going back to school again, now that I can once more both read and retain material (unlike my foray into Tufts classes in 2009). I'm going to look into local options, and also options in Canada; I wouldn't mind resettling there for a bit.

Fandom - I'm hoping to see many of you at Readercon and even possibly Arisia this year; I also hope to attend a bit of Anthro New England. Getting back to my roots. I've started watching Star Trek (TNG) with my roommates when we're having lazy nights, which is at least once a week...I'm really enjoying it.

Gaming - still trying to beat level 34 of Shadow Dragon for the DS; when I get frustrated with that I've been playing a copy of Kirby Mass Attack, which is fun and almost but not quite mindless. Hoping I can finish up Okami and Epic Mickey 1 in 2015. Oh, and I've been programming a tiny little game with Twine. Got involved in a great RPG with old internet pals earlier in 2014 and hoping I can now pick it back up since my work schedule just changed this week and I don't have to get up as early each morning. 

Spirituality - I dabbled in Judaism this last year. It's not *not* for me, but I'm not sure if it is *for* me. Still staying far away from organized Christianity. Taking more time to myself to meditate and think before opening my mouth. Noticing that having two shelves of carefully curated books is enough for me to feel surrounded by books, and comforted by their physical presence in my life again. Dealing a lot with the unaddressed overtones of hoarding in my immediate family.

Self-Image/Health - I think I'm gorgeous, and it shows in the care I take of myself. I got the "alternative lifestyles haircut," as T. has dubbed it, a week or so ago and feel so happy in my body sometimes it makes me glow. I've been assembling a team of good <strike>Pokemon</strike> doctors here in Boston, and found that getting gatekept into taking care of my reproductive health and rights is an amazing feeling. Still annoyed there are gatekeepers, but if I've got to have them...

Pets: Oolong and Tokai are happy and healthy.

And that's 2015 so far.
eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)
2014-01-05 08:58 am

Happy 2014!

...and it is, in fact, happy.

Hanging out on the bed this morning with my fuzzybutt little cat Oolong, I took some time to reflect on my 2013 and 2014 so far, which have been truly astoundingly happy.

I've been writing again (yay, keeping resolutions in advance!). Some long-overdue correspondence to people I care about, some WWIA (the fey novel). It helped, I found, to change up the viewpoint characters and let someone else speak for Chapter 4. Not sure if I'm going to keep it or not--gods is Tam-tam disturbing, but then again he's out of his head--but definitely a good exercise. I feel healthy as a writer--reading things that inspire me, making lists of poems I definitely need to read more of. And, actually, y'know, writing regularly. For the first time in a long, long time.

Did some martial arts over New Year's, which just confirmed that's where it's at for me in terms of exercise and spirituality.

I've been traveling. Went to a lovely burning-man-inspired party for New Year's with A., successfully turned what could have been poly problems into poly opportunities, saw three of my favorite movies (documentary: "Rivers & Tides," anime: "Mindgame" and "Spring & Chaos"), learned some new things about myself, spent some good time with somebody new I like (T.). More traveling scheduled for summer, specifically July, of this year--can't decide if I am doing Firefly and Readercon, or Firefly and a friend's wedding in CO. Is anyone else going to BMC reunion? I honestly don't want to go if my friends won't be there.

My relationship with myself seems healthier than it's been in a long time. Had a dream a few weeks ago about resentment over a close friend's losing weight that really stuck with me, and am turning that resentment into resolve--I want to wear all my genderqueer shiny outfits. Got a new piercing ()--feel like I am that much closer to looking like the person I am. Am super-comfortable with my body now, due in part to how I've been prioritizing self-care and due in part to some New Year's experiences, and how I'm presenting, even at work, which can be problematic at times. Modern medicine is a frigging miracle. I am not really suffering from SAD this winter for the first time in about a decade.

Work is good. I got a hug and thank you from my boss, and that was really great. I flower under praise, especially because I know I am doing praiseworthy work. Still looking for jobs in the greater Boston area...

....speaking of which, I have made it my goal to move back to MA in 2015. I may not move directly back to Boston proper, but if all works out as I hope it will, that will be because I might be moving in with B. near the Berkshires. A three-hour drive into Boston, and having to deal with the headaches of a car, are small problems if they mean that I only have to drive three hours to see all my chosen-family and friends--the people who matter most to me. I've been driving six or more. It honestly depends on where I get a job. 

A recap of my relationships, for those playing along at home: B. I've known them for over a decade, but our relationship feels both old and familiar and new and deep. They are so joyful and beautiful and playful and giving and just plain good for me that I've recently been contemplating co-parenting a kid with them. A., who continues to be a sexy brilliant mad scientist, hiking partner, and pet. He is my stalwart. Five years has been so deep, and so fast. E., who I am experiencing all kinds of NRE with even though she's on the other side of the country. She continues to wake me up to gender, to spirituality, and to being authentically unafraid to live a complex life. T., a Canadian man <insert Canadian partner joke here>, who I am looking forward to seeing again this summer...
eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)
2013-12-19 07:49 am

2014 Resolutions, 2013 Resolutions Recap

2014 Resolutions, early this year.

Save Money to Move: Now that I have a job, I can start saving money again. I've got a life I want to live--travel, good food, books, plans for a home with people I love--and I've got to get away from where I am now, which is unacceptable. Goal: move back to Boston in 2015. <strike>set up direct deposit to bank accounts</strike> and otherwise touch my money as little as possible in 2014.

Exercise, the way I Love: I don't have to spend money on a gym membership I hardly use, sitting there and struggling with body image. I can just start doing tai chi again at home. Better mental (and physical) balance, and it's free. My mother can stuff her reservations about 'unwomanly' martial arts. Goal:enjoy what I do to lose weight and reduce body dysphoria. Exercise an hour a day.

Pay attention to My Creative Life: I thought I'd lost the desire to write. It was hibernating. I love welcoming challenging creative endeavor back into my life. I have a novel, a sestina, and at least three short stories clamoring for completion. Goal: 100 words a day. Don't get overwhelmed; just work at it. The words will add up.

Now, a progress report from 2013:
Goal: Get on a medication that works for my bipolar depression and keep taking it. (This is already started; just have to discuss my med choice w/therapist and start taking it). Result: success. I feel awful that I couldn't do this earlier and hurt a lot of people in my life, but I literally wasn't in a space where I could do this, earlier. I can hold down a job again, and do well at it. My therapist and I agreed that I'm done with routine therapy. Medications and therapy, and my determination to get well, even thought it was born from a deep sadness, helped save my life.

Goal: Eat fewer processed grains. "Less white flour, more wheat flour." See what that does. Result: mixed. I've been eating less pasta and refined grains; more quinoa, oats, and whole grains. It wasn't life-changing, but I've now got a habit of eating a little more fiber now. I'm going to call this a win.

Goal: Secret resolution: try new sex thing. This particular thing did not happen, but I am working on it, and my three loving partners, as well as my astounding group of friends, have made 2013 a wonderful year for me in so many more ways than I can count. I'm grateful to you all.
eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)
2013-11-27 07:31 am


Therapy & Mental Health: yesterday, my therapist and I both agreed that I am pretty much done with therapy for right now. I feel happier and way more confident in my life and have mechanisms in place to deal with the bad stuff. It doesn't seem like I was in therapy for more than three years, but it's a different kind of work than I was thinking it was when I went into it, so the time-dilation makes a little bit of sense to me. I am really proud. I still have problems (see below) but I can deal with them in a reasonable manner. I am still taking meds for PCOS and bipolar disorder, which seem to be working really, extraordinarily well.

Home life: my parents are transphobes, my mother explicitly told me that she wants me to settle down with a man or a 'real woman'. Going to have a talk about this with my mother. On other hand, mother does not have cancer again, so that's good.

Creativity: I have gone into my winter creativity phase, which mostly means writing poetry, reading long involved novels, drawing, and sewing (as opposed to my summer phase, which is writing longer works of fiction, reading short stories, gardening, and website design). I am really happy with where I am at in my sewing; it looks more professional every day. Also when I move back to the Boston area I am planning on trying to do my maskmaking/puppeteering internship again.

Fitness/body image: this is slowly progressing. I am going to a weekly meeting that is helping. I have decided that I would rather lose weight and see what that does to my breasts and shape than get top surgery; I don't think I want it anymore and I figure if I do later the procedure will still be there.

Work: I got promoted from intern to part-timer, which means more responsibility and not being paid under the table. Yay for daily structure.

Relationships & Friendships: Long distance relationships with my friends and partners still suck, but I have kind of gotten used to it. I try to see people when I can, which also involves being able to say 'I can't see this person right now' when I can't. My life is much better for the way I now manage relationships that are important to me instead of letting my relationships manage my moods. I had a fantastic minivacation where I got to see A., B., and E. this past weekend and managed to break through some of my remaining psychosexual fears in a big way, which was incredibly rewarding. Things with R and R' are slowly, slowly coming back to a level of friendship I haven't felt from them in years, which is also fantastic. The support of I. through all this has been steadfast not to mention hilarious. I feel really amazed and grateful to have such incredible people in my life.

Food: the biggest change in my life this year has been my deciding two things: I can be veg* at home if I'm not vocal about it--no one will miss me eating cheese or meat if I don't make a big deal out of it--and that I want to start fishing. I went fishing this summer and really found it incredibly relaxing, though I caught close to nothing. I've decided that I will eat what I catch if I can, which is consistent with my overall food philosophy of taking personal responsibility for the things I eat and trying to grow or kill as much of it myself as possible. Next possible food project: keeping rescue chickens?

Moving plans: progressing apace with my bank account (did I mention I'm grateful for my job)? I may move to Boston and commute to Western MA to see B., I may move to Western MA with B. and commute to the semi-Boston area to see A. Still looking for Boston jobs, especially in editing or writing. Really where I live depends on what kind of job I get and what my plans with B. solidify into. We are thinking of getting some kind of cohousing--a shared duplex, or possibly nearby apartments.

Travel: Belgium in 2015 with A. I also actually have a price on my dream trip to Russia/Mongolia/China/Japan and am saving up for that.

Religion/God: I am impressed with the new pope even though I currently consider myself agnostic. I went to Jewish services for the first time last week and really enjoyed all the singing and debate of theology even though I don't believe in the efficacy of prayer as such. Chi work both with and without my partners is going well. Saving up for martial arts again even though my mother considers them unwomanly (another thing to talk with her about).
eredien: Dancing Dragon (Default)
2013-08-05 06:04 pm
Entry tags:

Saving vs. Engendering Life: An Argument Rethought

While reading the Atlantic after dinner--specifically, the article "What Interracial and Gay Couples Know about Passing," by Angela Onwuachi-Willig, about racial and gender passing in the past and present--I came across the old same-sex-marriage-opponents' claim, that straight partnerships may make life and queer partnerships don't, so therefore straight sex should be privileged by the state by granting it the special civil/religious status of marriage.

I don't know about other people, but my various queer partnerships (and I have to say that I
 believe all of them are queer in some way, because I'm in them and I'm queer!) have certainly been one of the things that not only made my life continue, but made it worth living, especially during the times when I was depressed. Isn't saving a life just as much a miracle as engendering one? The rescue doesn't have to be dramatic or instant, but isn't less real for all that.

Has anyone else seen this take on that argument? I haven't and wonder if it's out there. I think it deserves to be.