The most challenging thing about life is actually living it.
Life changes everyday and we adapt and change with it. Each new day is a test of our abilities.
During our transition, I have been burdened with terror, grief, sadness, guilt, shame, self pity and anger.
Most importantly, I have felt acceptance, trust, love, friendship, gratitude, hope and enlightenment.
Those are the emotions I thrive on.
“Somehow we managed through the first stage of transition with some dignity. If I can help other families transition with their child by sharing our journey, then it is my responsibility to do so.”
“My hope is to show others how easy it is to accept even the harshest of changes to the family dynamic. It can be done through love, understanding and acceptance.”
“Nothing is worse than suicide. Nothing.”
– Cindy Geisel-
Was this gift given to our family for a reason? Was this gift was given to us because I can handle it? Was this gift given to me because I would know what to do with it?
Finally, an answer to the “why”.
I realized my purpose in life at 52.
I sang to the world in my best opera voice!
Laaaaaaaaaaaa! This feels amaaaaaaazing!
The instant I realized the role I could play in my child’s transition was my moment of enlightenment. I can be a leader.
For months I had walked around as the shadow of myself. For months I was in a fog, trapped between darkness and light.
My moment of enlightenment reminded me of an Alberta winter a few years ago. After a big storm we had to remove the snow from the roof of our home. Now I realize houses can’t feel, but I swear to this day, when that last heavy load of snow fell to the ground I felt our house shift and give a huge sigh of relief. No joke.
My shoulders were like the trusses of my home and the weight of my burden was gone.
I could breath again.
My new journey began.
First I had to choose a platform. That was the easiest part. I was amazed at the similarities between building a website and blog and managing my transgender child’s life. Could this be another coincidence?
Step 1. I will share our story to educate others on how to navigate this life altering event through love, humor and acceptance.
“Ok I am already doing this only on a smaller scale. Pick it up a bit and we should be good to go.”
Step 2. Build a website and blog. This was difficult, I had to educate myself. Once again I partnered with my iPad and Google. I had to learn about domains, hosting, widgets, menus, meta tags, OG images, tags, categories, plug ins, slugs, verifications and links to name just a few.
“No problem here after all, I recently received an education like no other. This shouldn’t be too bad.”
Several weeks and a half a bottle of Tylenol later my site was up and my first Blog was posted. Like my new life, my Blog was out there, sort of.
Step 3. This was the most challenging. I had to develop my SEO (search engine optimization).
After some quick SEO advice from childhood friend and fellow Blogger Douglas McKinnon Esquire it was obvious to me that I had to do more.
I had to Come Out!
I had to be respectful. This wasn’t just about me, it was about my children and my husband, my parents, relatives and our friends.
This was about families struggling to accept and move forward. This was about helping people to be proud of who they are. This was about helping those who don’t understand.
With that in mind I worked day and night spending hours and hours creating an avenue to Come Out that would have meaning. I now have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google, Reddit, Pinterest plus a Website and a Blog. I have completed part one of my Speaking Series presentation and the rough draft for my book.
I am awake after a long hibernation. I finally have the bounce back in my step and a smile on my face.
MY family is SMILING too.
I don’t know what made me reach out to my friend that day. Why that friend, why that day? I don’t know how his words of advice on my SEO led me directly to my “aha” moment, but I am grateful.
I will forge on with my mission of education and acceptance. I will make myself available for new relatIonships. I will develop the hell out of my personal SEO.
Like the content and design of my social pages will improve with time and experience, my family will also grow stronger and better every day.
I have a son. His name is Josh.