Welcome to my new blog, Salad Bingo. This isn’t my first blog. But, if I actually follow through with it, this will be my most honest.
Sometimes blogs are light and whimsical as in that movie Julie & Julia. In that movie, a nearly 30 year old frustrated writer named Julie decides to start a blog with the goal of recreating all the recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook in one year. This actually happened, and real people loved the blog so much it was eventually turned into a movie, which was good for the world because we got to see Meryl Streep play Julia Child. That’s probably not going to be the outcome here. This blog is about something very different. And it begins with some background.
For most of my life I’ve been a decent enough person, if perhaps a bit of an oddball. Nothing too remarkable about my life, either in the good or bad sense. As I passed into my 30’s I became increasingly distant and depressed. Replace my Minnesota suburban rambler with a New York apartment and so far we’re squarely in Julie and Julia territory. But now things get different.
After a slow decline into ever deepening depression, and nearly suicidal levels of alcohol abuse, I came to a realization: I wanted to live. Unless you’ve experienced truly deep depression you probably don’t realize how profound such a realization can be. When you get to the point where stepping in front of a speeding bus is only slightly less attractive than not stepping in front of a speeding bus (and that slight difference is largely because you don’t feel like expending the energy to take the required additional step)… well then you’re at a point where a decision to live is a striking change. For the better part of a decade I lived like that. For all the scary things I’m confronting these days, the only thing that truly terrifies me any more is the thought of going back to that life.
And that’s important context, because a consequence of the realization that I wanted to live is that I needed to make some very large changes to my life. Some people now see the results these changes and think I’m crazy, because I’m likely to cause myself and my loved ones a lot of grief. What they don’t see is the terrifying alternative from my perspective. From my perspective I didn’t choose to change and so now I have frightening consequences to confront. I chose to change because I confronted frightening consequences and decided to avoid them.
But the changes have been, to say the least, attention grabbing. The big one being that I came out as the kind of transgendered person called “transsexual.” To whit: I was born as a male, but have always felt like I should be a female. I am in the process of a transition to make this as right as I can. That’s the thing allowing me to go on living. But the word “transition” alone seems terribly banal to encapsulate such a profound thing.
People have lots of transitions in their lives. When you move out on your own for the first time, that’s a pretty big transition. When you leave school and get a job, that’s a big transition. My transition is not so different from those in some ways. But it does possess a few unique traits. Among these is the difficulty in explaining what I’m doing and why.
Part of the reason this is difficult is because I don’t know how much others understand. Many people don’t even know what the word “transsexual” means. Trying to explain that you’re transsexual to some people is like being a grade schooler and trying to explain the different qualities of Pokemon characters to your parents (I’ve been on the opposite side of that one, so I can relate). I’m hoping this blog gives me a chance to clear some of that confusion.
Anyway, we’re now open for business here. I hope to have more interesting things to say soon. Thanks for reading!
(A quick word about the blog name: it’s an anagram. Those of you who like that sort of thing, have fun figuring it out. Others are advised to ignore that part and simply read on.)