say yes

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tears for fears

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L.’s service was beautiful, simple, and personal. Her daughters and two friends spoke. I started crying when her eldest daughter talked about her mother’s love of books.

Ever since my mom was diagnosed—two years ago, now—I’ve cried easily. I used to be much less emotional, and I still think of that as my real self. But I’m realizing that this might be my real adult self, a person who cries at movies.

Could be worse. My mother, for example, cries at commercials.

L. was so kind to me when I found out that my mom had cancer. She took me into her office and talked with me, gave me a cup of coffee, told me that I would pull through. L. let me take off school for a week to go stay with my mom at the hospital, in the middle of our senior year, and told me that my mom was lucky to have me.

Many of the people at the service had similar stories.

My classmates re-opened the question whether I should go back to teaching. Maybe if I could find the right school, maybe if I taught older kids, etc. Jean in particular reminded me of the things that drew me to teaching in the first place–a sense of social justice, a desire to help people find themselves. And I know that L. thought I was a good teacher, that I was a valuable resource for the community, and that she would want me to continue with it.

I really question whether I could handle classroom teaching at this point, though. It is the most emotionally draining work I’ve ever done, and at this point, I pretty much wake up emotionally drained every day.

Written by ponyboi

October 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm

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in my own voice

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L.’s funeral is tomorrow. I’m trying to figure out how to look respectable. I don’t know who else from our school will be there, but I kind of feel like I’m going to the 10-year reunion with not a lot to show. All my classmates hold teaching positions.

I don’t want to teach anymore, in part because the early childhood field has a disproportionate amount of cis straight women speaking in their highest vocal registers, and—despite being a cis woman myself—I stick out like a sore thumb in that kind of environment. I spent the whole time that I was teaching growing out my hair, trying to present feminine, trying desperately to pass.

When I was laid off last spring, I went back to bike taxi. I regained my favorite hairstyle (mohawk!) and my facial piercings. I was doing work I loved, I looked exactly how I wanted to look, and it felt great. Unfortunately it isn’t very profitable in the winter.

So I’m looking for a winter job, any winter job, and I’ll get a haircut & take out the jewelry, but I won’t speak in a falsetto.

I was telling J. on the phone a few days ago that I want to work at something where I don’t have to hide myself, that I want to be one person all day long. She pointed out that it’s one thing to be yourself and another to “fly your queer flag high every day”. And I get that. I don’t need to be completely out at work to be happy, but I can’t handle being completely closeted, either. I just want to be able to speak in my own voice.

Written by ponyboi

October 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm