Blog

On Purpose

We like to find meaning in what we’re currently doing. Abdicating the responsibility of determining purpose and intent to the situation we’re in. It’s why some are comfortable to stay in a job they hate for far to long, while others are happily moving from company to company with no particular concern. Both can be carried by inertia, but their intention is different.

In the first example, why would you stay in a job you hate, well that assumes that the purpose of your employment is to enjoy it. If no job would satisfy you and you only work for your life outside of it, then your purpose would be the maintenance of your material needs. The nourishment of your desires is your purpose and as such any job is acceptable so long as it does so. A job that pays you enough and is undemanding enough suits your purpose. That you hate it is irrelevant.

The latter example is a little trickier, why move from a job you love and makes you happy? For so many that seems like a dream but again, if your purpose is to achieve something different, or to have more, or be somewhere else than no matter how happy a job makes you it can’t satisfy you.

Which is where we come to the point of it. Our purpose is to achieve our own satisfaction, to attain happiness. Yet we’re also terribly designed to do so. Happiness is such an undefinable concept, and applies so hap haphazardly across us all that it’s attainment is a chaotic mess. Should we even be so fortunate as to know what we want it isn’t usually a material matter in how to acquire it.

Happiness falls within our own minds, as much as any other emotion, so using it as a meter stick for measuring our external accomplishments is folly. Purpose is derived within our selves, and confusing it with external desires is disruptive to achieving it.

Discerning your intentions and desires, to see what you want and need is good. It can help you uncover why you want what you want and understand the nature of purpose that you are employing. Rather then measuring based on titles, accomplishments, or wealth instead look at how you act and what directions you push yourself into. Often our mind pushes us towards what we need and if we don’t understand that then we’re haplessly following a shrouded path.

It’s not enough to want, want can lead you down dark paths. To bring light you must uncover your purpose, not let it be a by-product of your actions. Understand your desires so that you may fulfill them if they’re healthy, or deal with them if you’re not. Simply believing you can conquer your every whim is impossible, find common ground with your intention and strike purpose into your intent.

Silent Path

Let them say what needs be said.
My rails are built, all ties, all spokes
Each mile laid into further dread
driving forward, the path still smokes

Were I to wander through the night
Felt freedom loose in moon-lit air
that I could ever choose my sight
Locked ever forward my face shall bare.

When even back is forward still
progress made, my load to carry
Up, up, up some broken hill
my back is bowed, broke if I tarry.

Longing for release of weight
decoupling, sweet relief, no!
Journeys end a lie, more freight,
backwards moving, forward go.

Burdens I have never sought
Assigned to me by those long gone
Scars upon my bared face wrought
With knives so cruel and ever long.

That I could drop such bounty
Move e’er forward without shame
towards the glory of Libertas’ county
birth-right held by those named same

That my time could be discordant
filled with terrors, tortured soul
twisted to and fro, abhorrent
my life to live, each day a toll.

My rails are set, my path is clear
to heave and struggle without cry
lest those that frolic face any fear.
My burden silent, until I die.

On Consideration

I’ve tried to take a more considered approach to life. Not just the visceral brand of introspection I’ve tended to use, but to actually thoughtfully consider things.

There might not be much of a difference between those two statements at first glance, but let’s dig in. Introspection is looking inward to yourself, which, is not a bad practice, but it is centered on the self. I think it’s incredibly important to be thoughtful about your actions, to be honest with yourself about your motivations, and to understand who you are.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the consideration with how that self interacts with an external world. I’ve often thought that deeds and not words are what matters. I’ve come to understand that consideration of words is important as well.

Something with good intentions, said poorly isn’t likely to be received positively. There’s value to how you say something, and not only what you do. I don’t say this as a means of manipulation or to influence. Your deeds must still stand on their own, but the reality is that there is an entire social framework to how information is processed.

There’s multiple layers of bias and belief that follows around your actions. Considering these layers is exhausting, and it shouldn’t be your responsibility, but yet, it’s still there. Ignoring an issue does not remedy it.

Taking time to consider the impact of how you comport yourself, not acquiescing to the masses, but holding your head up as a positive influence to those around you. A good thing said cruelly isn’t good.

On Being Trans Professionally

What does it mean to be an out trans professional?

What does it mean to be out, to be authentically yourself?

I’ve talked a lot about how I feel about my situation. I’ve written about what’s happened to me along the way. I’ve written about how I’ve had to become a person who could not just survive but thrive, mostly painfully and generally long after I should have.

Being out is a state of vulnerability. That doesn’t imply a negative connotation, vulnerability is how we grow. It does mean opening up to the possibility of being hurt. I’ve talked before about how ones gender identity can be used against them in numerous ways, but being out is giving that power to others, there’s times that it hurts. There’s times that people will use it against you.

Being out means being vulnerable with others, being open for your own sake and sanity, and not having that openness reciprocated. It means being kind to yourself when others are not.

The reality is that anyone you work with, whether you work in a large or small organization nor whether you deal with the public or not, likely doesn’t have a profound amount of experience with trans people. If you’re lucky enough to work alongside other trans people then maybe you’re the exception, but for most folks you’re looking at being a lightening rod for people’s concepts on gender.

Gender doesn’t specifically refer to transness, or your gender identity, but people’s entire concept of gender, their feelings towards gender norms, their feelings on sexism, their feelings on sexuality and plaster that on to you.

So it’s tough, you’re navigating the expectations of others in a very real way. While likely also navigating your own issues.

In my experience coming out, living authentically, and dealing with my issues has opened up a Pandora’s box of underlying feelings and shortcomings. From a lack of emotional constraint, on account of the not having feelings before, to a lack of developmental milestones that express themselves in unique and interesting ways.

So the short answer to being trans professionally is that it’s complicated, it’s not bad, in fact it’s quite good. It’s difficult to manage the wall of expectations, the weight of bias and judgement that follows you. For which it takes a tremendous amount of patience, it also comes with the talents and skills that come with looking yourself to the depth of your soul and denying everything anyone every told you about yourself. Talents and skills that most people won’t have.

So it’s hard, and difficult, but so is being trans, and the upside is so much better then the alternative.

Fields of Hope

Little do I think about
The tiny hopes that daily sprout
Leafy bundles, full of promise
Tended dearly, work that’s honest.

‘Tis not the soulful sustenance
That daunts my daily consciousness
The sewing is but half the battle
For of my troubles, do poorly straddle

‘Tis not in growing seeds of hope
That I fear the worker’s yoke
Would that I could bring great harvest
Easily to others farthest.

The saddest of my tales all
Is the feast I’ll surely call
To table filled to overflowing
With seated place, my eyes lone knowing.