One side-effect of the enforced downtime from surgery, is that I’m finally getting the first chance in probably at least 10 years to truly decompress.
I’ve been pushing myself far too hard for far too many years. People kept telling me they didn’t know how I did it. Well the answer was that I was not only burning the candle at both ends, but in the middle too.* Add transition on top of that, and the past years, and especially the past three months, have been the most stressful in my life. So there’s a lot of accumulated burn out.
I think no matter how much you say you’re not going to let transition take over your life, it still does. Admittedly, I did things concurrently, like electrolysis 3x/week and planning facial feminization surgery that people often spread out over longer time periods. Having to do a last-minute scramble changing ID didn’t help.
When I get back, I definitely need to take a look at better life/work balance. Unfortunately, many of the same challenges are there. In Silicon Valley, 40 hours/week is a part-time job, and trying to have a performing career is also time consuming. Not living in San Francisco or Oakland also means I spent a lot of time driving up there, whether it’s for my shows, other people’s shows, or to visit friends. Trying to build up some friendships with people who aren’t 30+ miles away will be one of my major goals for the year.
But hopefully, I’ll figure it out.
* I’ve been cataloging some things I’ve been through over the past decade and it’s pretty astounding. 2008, discovering I had undiagnosed sleep apnea. 2009, having a bad break up. 2011 and 2012, the preparation and actual running to head a local charity group (and losing, which turns out of the be a blessing in disguise. 2013, Mom having breast cancer (she’s fine now). 2014, being in excruciating pain for months after having a pinched nerve in my neck and then being rear-ended twice in one week. Then stepping in as the head of the charity group to help pull it from the brink after a disastrous predecessor. 2015, several bouts of severe depression. And of course 2016, transition, compounded by the reoccurrence of the pinched nerve right before Thanksgiving. Yeah, it’s been a shitstorm…. I’m the toughest girl alive,** I walked through the fire, but I survived.
** Albeit not as tough as Candye Kane, or Sharon Jones for that matter.