December 9, 2007

We’re There – Life Goes On

Posted in family, food, friends, Sammamish, surgery at 6:03 am by Michael

(Ed. I’m still working on yesterday’s post. Don’t give up on me. Today’s post is a little different. It’s just about our day today, and I’m adding a new tag, “Family” (and some others too), and this will be my first post here that I will not tag with transgendered, because that’s just not what this is about right now. Also, this one may be a little more “inside” than usual, because unless you are in our family, or are some of our close friends (and we have a lot! Thanks all!), it may not all make sense. But that’s ok, because that’s what I was trying to do. But, its an important closure point for me, so please bear with me and read on.)

Ok, its 3:49am, and I’m blogging again. What the heck? Well, I was lying in bed, processing yesterday, and I was just so happy, and I couldn’t sleep.

Yesterday in a nutshell: Crazy, Amazing, Loving, Amazing, Funny, Almost Passed Out,  Nose Almost Fell Off, Amazing, Crying from Relief, Exhausting, Loving, Exuberant, More than Hopeful – Convinced, Cured, Sleeping.

Now, Blogging.

Well, I learned one thing yesterday. When you write as much crap as me, and your friends read it, you need to spend very little time catching up on your own crap – they already know it! That was great. Even though we saw a ton of people yesterday, it was like they had all been there for the last three weeks (and a lot of them had, but that’s a whole other thing). Hey, this blogging thing works.

I also learned that when you write….

WHOA. Crying Samwich – had to deal – LOVED IT. It’s life. It’s my life….

…as much crap as I do, when you ask someone “Are you caught up?” they get this glazed look like “Which ten page missive should I have read?” Anyway, the Conehead style of blogging may not work (consume mass quantities!). I will try to be briefer right now, hence the short summary above.

Ok, so this morning was nutty, trying to get out to see Peri and John at their Mom’s house before Peri’s first concert. But it started great – I woke up, looked out our bedroom window on the first sunrise in almost two weeks, and it was clear and crisp and lovely as the sun rose over the Cascades. One not great thing – I weighed myself and I have lost ~12-15lbs – which is too much (More on that later. Anh even did my hair (thank you Schmoobie). Samwich didn’t get his pancake – that’s today – not enough time! We did get out on time, even had time for coffee (Caffe Vita – we LOVE you!). Anh drove – because it was super sunny, and I can’t wear any glasses for another six weeks – small price to pay. We got there, huge hugs from Peri, John was repairing a propeller on a model plane and we talked a bit about that, then he came over and gave me a HUGE HUG. Angelina and her fiancée were fantastic, and it was great.

Then we were off to the concert at the school, saw some moms and dads, no weirdness at all – pointed some to my blog, lots of interest! Was FANTASTIC. Thanks folks – and you know who you are – you made me realize that there is love in this world in lots of places, for lots of people, lots of the time. You rock.

Me, Anh, Samwich, John, Angelina and Nick went into the cafeteria and sat down to wait for the show. I took off my four layers (it was cold for Seattle today – clear and low 30’s – but the houses and buildings here aren’t made for it, and it’s cold when its that cold. I know, in Boston it would be balmy at 30. Here its like the frigging Arctic Circle. But, I digresss…) John decided to sit next to me. YOU ROCK John, you made my day (as did so many other people too – but he started the trend!)

The choir (including Peri) came in, and started to sing their first song. I started to get weepy (happy!) and leaned over to Anh, who was sitting right there, holding my hand, yes that’s my Anh-O, and said “I’m so happy.” Ok, tears over, now just big smiles (and back straight! I have crappy posture and I need to fix that). Peri was singing and smiling, and Samwich was smiling and loved it, and John was smiling, and it was awesome. Concert over, Peri comes over, big hugs for all – Great Job Winkle!

Ok, on to the next show, John decides to drive with us, Peri with Angelina, and we stop at our friends Chris and Leslie’s (www.calmbyleslie.com) to pick up some stuff she made for us to give as gifts, and say hi. These two are among my most AVID readers – they were up to date – and I had posted 10 pages at 5am, and it was now 1035am. Big hugs and smiles, tears of joy… thanks! We love you both! See you real soon, got to run to Peri’s show at RTC!

As we are in the car, I tell John that my secret for going around SFO and feeling normal (when I had all this crap on my face) was “Big Smile and Wave, Big Smile and Wave!” – he loves it!

I also call Hillel, who we really want to see (and his whole fam), and say “Hey, we are on the eastside now, but we’ve love to stop by on our way back – around 330-4?” Great he says, but “How’s the little Demon of Germs?” I almost lose my nose again I laugh so hard. I say “He’s great!” (and he is, he’s much better!) I also say – you need to say these exact words to Anh – she’ll love it. I hand the phone to her he does, she laughs so hard she almost drives off the road, and we are hooked up. We also work out to have our other great friends Alex and Kat (who also came to SFO <love>) to meet us there so we can see them too! Woo Hoo! This day is getting better with every minute.

We get there, park, walk up (it’s outside). They just start. It’s just cold, even in the sun. I have on a shirt, a sweater, a fleece, and my ski parka, and I’m shivering – deep shivering. Hello – weight loss? I went into Starbucks, got a venti drip – both to warm my hands and inside and came back out. I passed it around to others around as a big hand warmer! More smiles, great concert! Damn, it’s cold! Other parents who I hadn’t seen at the school were there, big smiles, no problems! Angelina was *introducing* me to folks – “Hi, you remember Michael, now she’s Megan!”. Wow. You Rock!

Ok concert over, thank FSM (more on that later too!), we get the kids, walk to Red Robin (which is a 4 block walk, but its very cold), and we get there, and I’ve never been so happy to be inside in my whole life. At this time, my nose feels like its going to fall off, and I’m in serious pain. The combo of not having eaten enough or drank enough, loss of sensation in my lower nose has just taken a lot out of me, and I’m a pretty strong gal! We have a great lunch. I ramble a bit, don’t ask enough questions, but Anh looks at me with this look like – Honey? What are you doing? Kids are super happy, it’s all normal, we eat, then its time to run. I ask Anh for her scarf on the way out (because we need to walk back, and my nose is still killing me).

Every year we do this thing where we go shopping for toys to donate, with the kids. The deal is that we go as a fam, they each buy two presents for kids that they think would be cool. The kids love it, and this year, we have to have Samwich get two as well! We stop at Borders, were we get some DVDs (Shrek III and Ratatouille to donate) and I also get a bunch of Christmas CD’s (including the Chipmunks, which the kids don’t see. More on that in a minute. We stop at the toy store, get a bunch more stuff, and I say to Anh on the way out, “I think I want to get a shake at Tully’s – I’m not feeling good – I need more calories.” She notices that I look like crap, and says (in a voice which says – this is not a discussion – do this) – “Go across the street” (Tully’s – I meant to get one in a while, but because she loves and dotes on me, she realized I was being a dumbass) “get a shake, and I will walk back w/the kids and get the car and pick you up right outside.” I went into Tully’s, ordered a short vanilla shake. Sorry, Vanilla is broken. No prob – coffee? Yes, they have that. Big Smiles, no Problem! I get it, and its super thick. D’oh. I ask “Is there any way you can make this thinner, I have this jaw thing, and I can’t suck that hard… happy to pay more.” Big smiles, no Problem! The barista’s hook me up so much that they have to put it in a Venti cup, plus the bubble lid. (Ask – pay more? No – it’s cool) Wow – you didn’t have to do that – they could have just poured the weaker one into the short cup, but no – why waste it? Tully’s gals, you rock! World Class Customer Service!

Just as they finish, I look out the window, and Anh is pulling up, I get in the car to go back up to drop off John to change for his basketball game. Drinking shake, feeling much better. Anh, being honest says “You look pale honey, you need to slow down.” I love you Anh-O. Kids are all in-car, doing great, but I pull out the Chipmunks CD, pop it in, all the kids are beaming! Including the Samwich. After we listen to the intro song, I say “I’ve got a special one I want to play for John!” I find “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”, select it, and the entire back seat erupts in laughter. Why? John is missing his top two front teeth, and I’ve told him about this song but because I make songs up all the time (it’s part of my charm HA) he thinks I may not be telling the truth. Now, he knows, Daddy (yes still Daddy!) was RIGHT! I made his day. I love being a parent.

Drop off John at Angelina’s, Anh changes Samwich (blowout! But only because we still have him on a very bland diet – normal) Turns out Peri has been invited to play at a friends’ house, she wants to, so she goes to do that instead. Big hugs and kisses (gentle though!) for me, Anh and her favorite baby brother. Big smiles all around! Bye Peri, see you Tuesday – Love You!

We’re off to the bball game, Angelina’s driving John. We all get there, sit together, have the best conversation in 3+ years about old friends we used to have in Boston and who now have all these crazy wonderful things going on. Super. Angelina says: “If I thought about the best possible way that today could have gone, its gone 100x better. This has been great.” Thank you. That was sweet.

John has a good game, is super into it, comes over to us a bunch of times to give me a hug (sweet!), big smiles! Game over, we all leave – John goes off to his end-of-season party, big hugs, big smiles all around – Bye John, see you Tuesday – Love You!

We say bye to Angelina – she was great (THANK YOU!), and we are off to the Westside and Hillel’s.

For the record, number of weird looks from all folks encountered to date – zero. Number of happy smiles – tons. Thanks Sammamish, you all rock! I loved living there, and I love living in Seattle now.

I ask Anh “What should we do for dinner?” as we are driving. She says “Lets get takeout – how about Green Leaf and some Pho?” Sure, NP, lets invite Jenny and Adrian to come up and eat with us? (They live less than a block from us on QA, and also Demon Virus Boy infested Jenny with one smooch when she was in SFO last Monday… and she’s just better. Soup is just the right thing.) We call her, they say “Great!” see you soon.

I call Debra to say hi and se if she was ok about what I wrote about her yesterday, realize she’s prob not back, and leave VM.

As we are driving, and I’m resting, I notice how now that my top lip is shorter, you see my top teeth more, and I think they are a little crooked (and slightly yellow). One of my friends from work got veneers last year, and they looked great. That’s what I was thinking about. I mention this offhandedly to Anh. (more on that later).

We get to Hillel and Deb’s, its fantastic, big smiles – all around! I say “You can touch anything but the nose – that hurts.” They say I look great! Was awesome to see them. Its Hannukah, and their son has just gotten the MTT Lego thing and is putting it together, I ask him about that, and he’s super excited. I say “I missed you!” (We see them all the time, and I really did!) Big Smile! “I missed you too!” Big Smile!

However, Typhoid Samwich got Hillel on last Sunday too in SFO. Here’s how. Hillel being the dad of three is quite familiar w/babies and he was holding Samwich facing out, with his hand under his butt. He says “Samwich is wet – can you change him?” (To Anh) He then smells his hand. That was enough. This little dude is toxic.

So, they basically clear out all the toys, except for five or so, which I assume are being incinerated as I write this, and while they all LOVE the Samwich (and who doesn’t?), no want wants a repeat – even though we think he is totally clean now – no big smooches for Samwich on this day.

Alex and Kat show up, big smiles, hugs and kisses (although not for Typhoid Samwich – they KNOW better – they were in SFO too. We catch up, Deb and Kat are asking about my forehead, and as soon as the talk goes surgical, Hillel and Alex go “LA LA LA LA” and escape to the music room. Wusses! (I love you guys – you know it.)

Soon its time to go, we leave, I can drive now because its dark, Anh calls Green Leaf and orders, we drive over to get it. We get it, and while we are driving back I’m just so so happy. Today has been great!

Anh says: “I want to tell you something, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings. Please know that. You know, earlier when you said you wanted veneers, I was really upset. I don’t want our whole life to be about making Megan beautiful, and always chasing some ideal. It’s a slippery slope. You already are beautiful; you just need to realize this, and get over thinking you are not.” I can tell by just looking at her she really means it. I think about it – realize she is completely right, and say “Ok, this is the shortest argument ever. You are totally right. Thank you. I love you so much both for what you said and how you said it.”

We declare a voluntary surgical moratorium till at least age 50. I meant it. She meant it. We meant it. We are together until we turn to dust.

I can’t believe how lucky I am to have this woman in my life. I learn so much from her every day.

We get home, I clean up, she works the Sam-man, Jenny and Adrian came up. Big smiles, hugs, kisses all around. These are our newest super close friends, and you know, we love them. They bring up a bottle of champagne, and we all get dinner ready (take out Pho – super hard!)

One of the things that we got in the mail while we were gone was this beautiful little catalog from a small clothing design house. From the second I saw it I said “Jenny would love it – we have to show her!” She’s a great visual designer, and loves beautiful things, and this is one of them. I show her, and I was right, she loved it, and poured over it. I love stuff like that.

What we thought was going to be a quickie dinner turned into a long super intense, all over the map awesome discussion from our experiences in SFO, to Microsoft to why the Pats seemingly weren’t the same team the last two weeks (Adrian – awesome theory about that BTW) to Vegas (as in, when are we going?), to my Dad and doing early computer stuff around nesting (and about the fact that he had a HUGE potty mouth and loved it) to everything. You know what, I loved it. It was normal. It was our life, and I loved it. And it had nothing to do with being an [adjective] person. It had to do with being a person who is interested and passionate about [noun or verb].

One thing that I will expand on is that we had this super intense discussion about all of my FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) references in this blog. I’ve said I’m an atheist, and I really am. However, I don’t hate religion, its just not me. I get that it works for some people. I did see something in the past year though that made me sad. (Ok, this is going to be controversial right in the middle of the love fest, but I’ll tell you anyway). I saw Jesus Camp. It made me cry. It made me cry because I felt so bad for the kids who were told that unless they did exactly the right stuff, they were going to hell – which was a real place that sucked super bad. These kids were scared shitless.

I have a lot more to say about it, but I’m not going to. You decide.

Adrian and I agreed that Dawkins has gone into screed mode, and he’s not helping, but I told him to read the Hitchens (god is not Great) book, because it was way better.

Look, I love humanity. I really do. I’ve gone to temple with Jewish friends, I participate even, I will go to church and be respectful, I loved learning about eastern religions (lots more there). Someone yesterday gave me a hard time for the FSM thing and said “Chinese religion says that God is the sum total of all sentient consciousness.” I say amen to that brother! I can get behind that.

What I get sad (not angry) about is when people fail to own their lives and be responsible for their actions because they are expecting some external force to do it for them.

The day I became an atheist was the day I was at an adored great uncle’s funeral wake. I loved this man – he was my paternal GPA’s brother, and I saw him all the time. All of the other generational brother and sisters were there and the priest was talking to them and while trying to be comforting basically said “[uncles name] is in a better place. You should be craving the day that you join him.”

I lost it. I got so angry. What he should have said, and I probably would still be a Catholic today (maybe not – but I wouldn’t be like this) was “[uncles name] is in a better place. But this world is important to, and you should go enjoy your time, tell your stories, hug your kids, tell em you love em, hug your grandkids, experience this world, because while the next world is great, this one is important too.”

I’m crying as I’m writing this btw…..

That’s it on that topic.

Anyway, it was late, those guys left, lots of hugs and kisses, Adrian is coming over tomorrow to watch the Pats/Steelers (scary game for the Pats – which team will show?), and while we do that Jenny and Anh will go downtown for a bit w/the Sam man.

Anh and I sat down, we had our moment, pledged our love to each other and Anh said to me: “You know, I keep saying that things will be ok, it will get better, that this is hard, but I have hope. I don’t feel that way anymore. I’m there. Things ARE ok. You are beautiful. I love you. I love us.”

And with that my friends, the perfect day ended.

Hi, I’m Megan, and this is my life, and I love it.

I will tell more stories, like about getting a new name (Megan Jenna Wallent), or a new passport or license, or what its like to go back to work and how people respond to me, but this blog is no longer about being Transgendered. It’s about being me, and living my life. I am a woman – a transgendered one – but I’m a person with great passion and interests and a love of life and all things about it first. Person [nouns, verbs], not [adjective] Person [nouns, verbs].

I will get deeply involved with causes that involve equal rights and treatment and privileges for all people (even folks like me). I get it. I will help. With money, with time, with passion – I’m there.

I hope you have enjoyed being along for the ride for this part of my journey, but its over.

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5 Comments »

  1. Shoko said,

    Hi Megan 🙂
    Although I am far apart, like for 5000 miles away, I had walked through the journey with you, through this blog. When the posting was short, I worried, and when the post talks about the Samwich, I laughed. All through the way, especially after the surgery, I have received a lot of love from your posts, and you are so good to make me laugh, and happy. Thank you for letting us the part of your journey, and I am super happy for you, for your everything.

    Can’t wait to see you in January when I travel there 🙂 Looking forward to the smooches and all the good things!

  2. L said,

    Wait a min! what do you mean???, “I hope you have enjoyed being along for the ride for this part of my journey, but its over.”

    if that means you are done blogging
    Arrrrgghhhhh that’s like reading half the Cinderella story and closing the book when she climbs into the pumpkin coach.

    Dang it! I enjoyed following along. I am in awe over your wife – she is a very strong woman. You couldn’t have a better mentor 🙂

    If you are done posting …I am beaming a grin at my monitor, wishing you the best and thank you for sharing a slice of Michael/Megan’s journey.

    Megan >> First off… thanks. Glad you loved it. Totally agree about Anh. She’s my rock…. 🙂

    And no, I’m not done. I’m just not starting from transgender megan, I’m starting from megan the pilot, or megan who loves food, or megan…. I think you get the point.

    But damn, I’m tired! My little fingers are typed to the bone, and they need some time to recover. Have you READ all this stuff? Wow…. its a lot!

    However, tomorrow I go to court to change my name. I’ll write about that.

    Tuesday, I get a new license with a new name/pic/F. I’ll write about that.

    Friday, I go to work for 90 mins (and who believes that?). I’ll write about that.

    Everything else, we’ll see. Maybe when the Pats kick some serious butt today I’ll write about that too, or we are going to a holiday party tonight and on thurs and maybe I’ll write about some great wine or food that we had, or maybe even some interesting question somebody asked me….

    AND… I will continue to post pictures of my face as it changes. I found it so useful to see how other folks who did FFS progressed day-by-day – both to encourage me, reduce my fear, and help to plan concrete stuff like – when to fly home, when I could get new ID, when I could go back to work, etc.

    In the end, I’m very proud of my past – first as not-out Michael, then as out Michael, then as part-time Megan, then as FFS-enduring Megan. I want this to be an enduring artifact of those times. If you know me (and people who have read this e2e but have never *met* me probably know more about me than acquaintences who didn’t).

    But my days of starting blogging by thinking about and writing about Transgender Megan are over. Megan will always be a Transgendered Female – always – but I’m not going to start from there anymore (and I don’t think its healthy too for long either for *anyone* – don’t define yourself by your minority group – community good, ghetto bad (ghetto in the “exclusive enclave” sense).

    And Damn, isn’t it boring to hear me blather on about all that trans-talk? Puh-lease! 🙂

    I’ll be back. I wrote this, didn’t I?

    Love, Megan

  3. Debbie C. said,

    Congratulations! You are a super classy gal and I am glad to know you.

  4. L said,

    Dearest Megan,

    Such a sweet, cute and graceful reply, thank you. Could you hear my ahhhhh all the way from Minnesota?

    I am tickled you will continue to blog. I don’t find your trans talk boring at all – you, Megan dear, aren’t the blatherskite type. I find myself smiling and breathing all the goodness in when I read your blog … a beautiful spring day sort of feeling.

    I’ll slide my bahonkey back to my little spot in cyber space and continue to silently cheer my Megan girl and her family on. Life is good.

    Sincerely,
    L

  5. R said,

    Hi from Australia, your journey makes for amazing reading. I hope you continue to post, I am eagerly awaiting to see how you find life back at Microsoft.

    Best of luck to the whole family.

    R


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