Liebster Award

liebster-award

Thanks to rimonim and theeegreatdane for including me in the Liebster Awards. The Liebster Awards are a chain of blogposts that introduce readers to new blogs and let us all get to know one another a little better. Below I include the rules, my answers to rimonim’s and theeegreatdane’s 11 questions, 11 facts about me, and my own nominees and questions.

Liebster Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog, by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, which have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the bloggers to answer.
  7. Copy & paste these rules in your post. Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
    • Inform the people/blogs that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award.
    • Provide a link to this post so that they can learn about it.

11 Questions

  1. Why do you blog?  I’ve kept a journal most of my life and occasionally used to send out massive heart felt emails to members of my family.  One day one of them told me I should write a blog.  At first I wasn’t sure why, but as I’ve started to do it more often I’ve found that there’s a blogging community and that we help each other through life by sharing our experiences with each other.  I enjoy the back and forth of the blog world.
  2. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Why?  I’ve always had a crazy dream to bicycle through parts of France….the pastoral country side, not the mountains!  Also, I would like to visit Australia some day.  I’d like to visit the Outback (not the restaurant) and see a kangaroo in person.
  3. What work (book, film, music) has most influenced your worldview? Pick a few if you can’t narrow it to one.  Wow!  There are so many but the ones that pop into my mind off the bat are Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and the movies Rudy, Bull Durham.
  4. What is your favorite food?  My mom’s fried chicken.
  5. What was your first job? I was a waitress at a bingo hall.
  6. What was the first concert you attended (of your own volition)?  I went to see Supertramp Breakfast in America tour.  This dates me.
  7. Besides blogging, how do you spend your free time?  I work in my yard a lot.  We have 5 acres and it’s a bit to take care of.  Also I have some hobbies but usually I spend my time watching tv with Candice in the evenings and playing Candy Crush on my Kindle.
  8. What chore or errand do you dislike the most?  I don’t like grocery shopping because it’s crowded and people are rude.
  9. Where are you while writing this post? Sitting in my easy chair in my sunroom.
  10. Describe one of the strangest experiences you’ve ever had.  After my mother’s funeral my brother, Candice and myself went to visit my grandparent’s graves at a different cemetery.  On the way there we had all been smoking cigarettes and cigars (my bro) in the car.  When we got back into our car at the cemetery to leave the car had an overwhelming smell of fresh flowers.  We all smelled it so it wasn’t just my imagination.  I think that was pretty freaky.
  11. What is the secret of life? According to you, of course.  I think we’re here to learn life lessons and to show each other love, receive love and offer help and kindness as much as we can.

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I have a master’s degree in Music Performance that I’m very proud of but hardly ever use.
2. I’ve moved around a lot and have lived in five different states.
3. My hobbies include astronomy, photography and building and flying radio control model airplanes. I also love to go to car shows and air shows.
4. I have a lawn tractor that I love to ride around my yard every weekend and pretend to be a farmer.
5. When I was a kid if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would’ve told you I wanted to be a farmer. Or a fireman, Or a soldier, Or a Policeman, Or Elvis, depending on the day and year.
6. I have a dog and a cat that I adore and are my “kids”. They’re very spoiled and I’m proud of that.
7. I’m very passionate about animal rights.
8. I don’t follow a religion but I believe in God and have a rich spiritual side which I’d like to delve deeper into in the future.
9. I love nature and enjoy camping whenever I get a chance.
10. My retirement dream is to RV across the country and explore all of the little back roads in the US and Canada.
11. I crave quiet time by myself to reflect and write but I also love getting together with a group of interesting friends for a fun evening.

Liebster Nominations

Nominees, answer these questions in your Liebster post:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Why?
  3. What is your favorite movie?
  4. What is your favorite food?
  5. If you could only choose one of these which would it be?  Excellent health, Wealth or Wisdom.
  6. What’s playing on your radio/ipod these days?
  7. Describe your perfect day.
  8. What habit do you have that annoys your friends or SO?
  9. What do you like most about your best friend?
  10. Describe one of the strangest experiences you’ve ever had.
  11. What is the secret of life? According to you, of course.

All readers should feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments, just for fun.

 

 

 

 

What is happiness?

peanuts_happiness-2-300x264My therapist asked me the other day when the last time was that I remembered being happy.  This was hard to answer.  Not because I have not been happy for a long time and couldn’t remember but because this idea of being happy seemed complex to me at that moment.  I had just gotten through telling her that I am the happiest now that I have ever been in my life.  But what does that mean exactly?

Certainly I have had occasions up until now to be truly happy whether for just a moment or for a year.  I was happy when I was in college but I also went through a serious depression during this time period.  Yet, I remember being happy as a whole.  I’ve been happy with new girlfriends.  And then I wasn’t anymore.  I was happy the day I got every new vehicle I have bought.  But was I truly “happy”?  When asked by my therapist, I couldn’t point to a particular time when I was truly happy.  Yet, I feel myself creeping increasingly towards something I define as happiness.

What I meant when I said that I am the happiest I’ve ever been, I think, is content and at peace.  Hopeful.  I am finally starting to feel at peace with who I am and actively working towards aligning what I see on the inside with what I see on the outside.  The hormones coursing through my veins are not fighting against my nature anymore but are helping me to align with my true nature.  I am no longer at war with myself.

I realized that I have been fighting a war my whole life.  A war between who I really am and what everyone outside of me expects me to be.  This has created a constant feeling of conflict inside me.  My mother used to ask me frequently if I was happy.  Perhaps she suspected that I was not.  I always said that I was but she never believed me.   My mother and my partner both have told me that they don’t think anything will ever make me happy.

I think mom and Candice are both wrong about happiness. First of all, happiness is fleeting, changeable and subject to all kinds of outside influences. What I’m talking about is internal happiness; true happiness with myself.   I haven’t known that kind of happiness until recently. Slowly, as I get closer and closer to aligning my inner and outer worlds and start to feel more whole I am getting closer to this internal happiness and contentment. And I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, not because of the house I live in or the car I drive or how much money is in my checkbook, but because I finally like who I am becoming and feel hopeful about who I am evolving into.

Will I have bad days ahead?  Of course!  But when you have a solid foundation of inner peace they are easier to deal with.  That is what I am hoping for anyway.  And the good days…I’m hoping that they are even sweeter than I can imagine.

 

The Road less Traveled

My dream vehicle

My dream vehicle

For a while now I’ve been fond of telling myself that life would’ve been so much easier if I had just been born male.  I catch my mind ruminating over how that life would have looked and where I might have ended up if my birth certificate was blue instead of pink.  I imagine all kinds of nice “what ifs” and a perfect life with the perfect wife and 2.5 kids.  Pretty boring, really, but it would have been easier for sure in many ways.

But the other day I realized that what I really desire and yearn for is not “easier”.  What I want is less complicated.  My life has been complicated in so many ways because of my gender misalignment and sexuality.  It has probably been harder too but I’m ok with hard.  Everyone’s life has its challenges so to expect an easy life is unreasonable.  But complicated is different.  I think a less complicated life would make for a more peaceful life.  I was reminded of a comment my mother made to me many years ago (when my life was actually a LOT less complicated than it is today) that she wished my life wasn’t so complicated.  What made her think that I’m not sure at this point but she was right.  It’s always been more complicated than it needed to be.

I like to day dream.  Lately my day dreams take me to a life of complete freedom.  I dream of buying a camper van and setting it up to live in, moving my bare essentials into it and hitting the road for adventure.  In other words, I dream of escaping my complicated and stressful life.  A fresh start where I am the only thing I have to worry about and I can just be me.  This isn’t the first time I’ve had these dreams.  I’ve had similar dreams of running away from home most of my life.  I think it’s a sign that I’m scared and overwhelmed and maybe a little bored too.

I guess everyone’s life is hard and complicated in some ways.  We’re all struggling with something and want things we don’t currently have.  That’s just life.  But when your whole identity is out of alignment and you’re invisible, that’s a whole other level of hard and complicated.  The choices we make in life are different because of it.  Our lives takes a lot of detours and u turns because of it.  We settle for what we can get instead of what we really wanted.  And one day we wake up and we’re middle aged and we wonder how we got here.  You trace back through your history and can see where you made certain decisions based on how things were back then and you can see the road you took.  It’s not a bad road and your current destination is actually better than you imagined in some ways.  But there is this aching in the pit of your gut that tells you that the road you traveled was not the road you really wanted to travel and you ended up in a totally different place than you intended to go.  And you think about what you might be missing.

Transition is all about alignment and living one’s truth.  In a way, it feels like I’ve been on an alternate route, a by-pass of sorts, most of my life and now I’m looking for highway signs to direct me back to my true path.  I wonder if that “true path” will be traveled alone or if I’ll have company along the way.  I’m at a cross-roads right now.  I can stay the course or I can take that exit onto a totally different road.  One thing I know is that it will not be less complicated, nor easier, either direction I choose to go.