I hadn’t intended to leave this blog stagnant for over a year, yet here we are. The past year was eventful, which led me to not have the bandwidth to maintain my blogs. Since my last post, I survived five surgeries, lost one of my beloved dogs, and published my second novel. I also began to contribute articles in earnest to a website called Medium, focusing on my being transgender.
With the start of a new decade, I’ve looked back at the previous decade of my life and how much has changed since 2010. Here are a few memories that stand out to me in particular.
- In 2010 I began to focus more attention to my web analytics consulting business. I grew the business significantly that year and continued to grow it over the next decade.
- In 2012 I married my soulmate. We kept it simple. The actual marriage happened in our local courthouse, and a month later we held a wedding reception to celebrate with family and friends. Later in the year we traveled to Belize for our honeymoon.
- In 2013 my husband and I bought a house together. He sold the house he’d had for fifteen years, and we bought one that had features that we both wanted in a home.
- In 2015 I began writing my first fiction stories. I started with Dragon Age fanfiction and then wrote my first novel. That novel is still being crafted, as I’ve had to go back to the drawing board on it twice now. It’s currently on the back burner while I work on other novels.
- In 2016 I lost my husband to suicide. That was the hardest year of my life. I lost my soulmate and best friend and had to spend a lot of time that year sorting out his estate. Thankfully, his family was wonderful, and we agreed easily on everything. I will forever be grateful for their support during that trying time.
- In 2017 I began questioning my gender. After losing my husband I spent a lot of time in self-reflection and I began to recall a time in my youth when I was very insistent on being a boy. That my grandparents indulged that notion with me for a time, despite it being the 1970s, was a rare gift. I’m grateful because they left me with no traumatic memories regarding my gender identity from that young age. Also in 2017 I lost by beloved cat, Maxi. He was 17.
- In 2018 I went into therapy to explore my gender identity further. After a few months, I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I began the process for gender transition. Since then I’ve worked with a team of doctors while remaining in therapy to make sure the transition goes smoothly. I also published my first novel in 2018. This was the second novel I’d written, but the first I’ve published. I also chose to shut down my web analytics consulting agency in 2018. I no longer had the passion for the work I once did, and it was fast becoming more technology focused, and less analysis focused, for independent consultants like myself. Plus, I wanted to focus on my writing full-time. Finally, in 2018 my dog Joey was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bone.
- In 2019, as I stated earlier, I went through five surgeries. I’ve had thyroid surgery, a diagnostic procedure for my lower abdomen, a total hysterectomy, an emergency appendectomy, and a procedure known as FTM top surgery (this includes the removal of breasts, a male chest reconstruction, and free nipple grafts). I also published my second novel in 2019. Tragically, I had to put down my beloved dog Joey after his cancer spread from his bone into his lungs and lymph system.
My life now is very different from what it was a decade ago and has gone in ways I didn’t expect. I don’t think I would have been able to fathom becoming a spouse and then a widower within this past decade, and I definitely didn’t expect to become a published author.
Often I’ve been asked if my husband’s death caused me to seek gender transition. I can’t say for sure. There were always parts of me in the back of my mind that thought about it. My husband and I even speculated about it from time to time, even though I wasn’t even truly out, even to myself. Perhaps I still would have reached the same conclusion even if he were still with me, although I think it would have taken me longer to get to this point. Sadly, this is all idle speculation as there is no way to know where my life would have gone if he were still here.
With the dawn of a new decade, comes with it the dawn of more opportunities. I plan to continue my writing career, and I already new novel in the works. That original novel I started back in 2015 also still beckons me to finish it. Also, I plan to write more on Medium, which allows me to monetize my writing. This is one of the main reasons I so rarely update my blogs now, because through Medium I can earn something from my writing.
I still have a way to go to earn a livable income from my writing and my savings won’t hold out forever. Now that I’ve recovered from all my surgeries, I plan to redouble my efforts to increase my writing income.
Also, as I continue with my transition and my body is changing, it’s given me the confidence and increased stamina to do more exercise than I could in the past. I plan to get myself into better shape even as the hormones I’m taking continue to reshape my body.
In 2020, I will also attend my 30th high school reunion. I have fond memories of the reunion in 2010, and I’m excited to see people’s reaction to my transition. Especially from those who haven’t seen me or have been following me on social media for the past decade.
I hope your past decade treated you well and that you have a happy and prosperous new year!