Hey Internet. Last time I posted was too long ago. I came out as transgender and then kind of went into hiding! Not really on purpose… life happens. As I’m sure you can relate too. I’ve kept writing, I just haven’t really been sharing those writings. For those wondering, I’m still trans (it didn’t go away like a bad dream). I’m also graduated degree holder now. I finished my Bachelor of Social Work & walked that damn stage with all the passion I could muster. It was a pretty emotional moment for me. Anyone who knows and follows me knows there were some dicey moments in the past 4 years where I didn’t think I was gonna make it. But here we are still living!

Then I camped, backpacked, and travelled across Western Canada all summer. I trekked the West Coast Trail with my partner, brother, and dear friend. That was a highlight reel! What an amazing time we had. Hardest hike I’ve done so far but so so worth it. It’s a beauty. For all my fellow backpackers – sign up! It’s a treat.

And latest development is I got an adult social work job! What what?! I’m still doing research and consulting, but I also have a full time go to work and clock time Monday to Friday! Plus I get to work with all the baby queers and help them out with their current life struggles. So that’s pretty rad.

Last night, I decided to journal for the first time in forever and I wrote: “Life is good, I think.” I think too much is 100% certain. Life is good and I’m over here thinking, are you sure Ange? You think it’s good?! I don’t know why I struggle so much to just accept life is good and I don’t have to think my way through that statement. Obviously it stems from some childhood shit I’m still muddling my way through but at the same time it kind of stopped me for a second. And maybe it’s because I don’t like the words good or bad. They are too black and white. I’ve spent too much time and energy into rewriting my brain to not be so black and white that when I label things as good or bad I feel like I’m going back to that mind frame.

Life is good. Yes, yes it is. It’s fucking fantastic. It’s magnificent. It’s beautiful. It’s exciting. It’s amazing.

But in that same breathe…

Life is messy. It’s fucking terrifying. It’s difficult. It’s painful. It doesn’t look how I think it was going to look. It’s emotional. It’s tiring and draining.

That’s the dialectic of life though. The grey; that both and all of the above statements can exist at the same time and one doesn’t take away from the other. I think most humans can relate to this debate. At least the ones I’ve talked to about this seem too. And I’ve talked to more than two people about this. We are wired to answer good when asked how are you? There’s so much more to the life I’m living than good though. And I hate when people say, “You’re doing so good!” That one part of my brain screams “INVALIDATION!” even though I know that’s not what anyone means when they say this. Continuing on, life is happening and I’m participating in it. I struggle to stay often but I’m staying. Choosing to wake up and participate which is a gift. Actually though, it is a gift.

So life is good, I think. It’s also a pile of other things! Some messy. Some pretty positive. I’m learning to exist in the grey and appreciate the colors that come my way. I’m alive and I’m okay with that today. Progress.

Be gentle with yourself my friend.

© Ange Neil 2018


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