Everyone has finally gone to bed and I have the peace and quiet I needed to get my thoughts together. As awful as it sounds, there are times when I wish it was like this all the time, but more often than not, are the times when I can’t imagine life without a house full of children and all the noise and craziness. Anyway, here I am and here you are and so I am going to take a few minutes of your time to just talk.
Looking at the clock I see that, during the work week, I would be starting my shift. My mind is on the things I need to know, what people, if any, have taken the night off, what new information we might need to know, is there anything special happening in my area… all work related things. As it happens we are short of people, two actually. We have had one opening for over a year with no end in sight and a second opened a few months ago which I hope will be filled in the next few months, but I’m not holding my breath… What this means is I am going to be spending at least an hour with my coworkers before I can get to my own work. Most of the time this isn’t a problem, but once in while it drives me crazy when someone decides to they want to be a chief instead of an indian or decides they want to be in bitch mode. Pretty typical for someone working an eight hour a night, forty hour work week job. More times than not I can put my nose to the grind stone and get it done. Then it is off to my own area for the rest of the night.
If I am going to have issues, this is the time. Most nights there is either no one else in my area or if there is, they are busy doing their own work and pretty much ignore me. This gives me a lot of time in my head. As much as I like to say my job is important and challenging, it isn’t. Frankly it’s so brain dead a monkey could do it and no one would notice the difference… Funny, when I began in this line of work one of the attractions was that I could do the job while my mind was occupied with better things. Now I often wish I had followed my dreams and at least tried to become a successful artist or poet. After all this time I am no long satisfied with just doing enough to live, even though this job pays better than it should, offers better benefits than I could hope for, in too many ways it just isn’t enough. I guess, having found a path to personal happiness, no matter how long and convoluted, I want more from other parts of my life as well. Still, as with so many things, I find it is better for those around me to maintain the status quo. If it were just me, I would do so many things differently, make so many different decisions, but of course it isn’t just me, hasn’t been for a long time now. I have people who depend on me being responsible and self sacrificing, to do what is best for their interests while keeping my hopes and dreams under wraps, safe within my head. I am not bitter, I do not regret the decisions I have made which have brought me to this point. I have people I love more than my own life and that has made it worth every moment, happy and painful alike and even if given the chance, I wouldn’t want to change anything.
Sound strange? Maybe it is, I don’t know, but it’s how I feel.
If you have been following my writing here… especially if you have done so from the beginning, then you have a pretty good idea of the things which occupy my thoughts in the dead of night, though what I have talked about here is but one small part of what I might be thinking about at any given time. Much of those thoughts are dealing with things I simply cannot share here, they are too personal, too private, and sometime too painful. I guess what I am trying to say is that my mind never seems to rest, no matter what issues I am thinking about, personal, news, things I have heard or read, I just can’t shut down and let my thoughts idle even for a little while. The only time I seem to quiet down is when I listen to music which is why I always have something I can listen to. In fact I make it a point to have a full eight hours of material to listen to, music, podcasts, audiobooks, even the radio if I’m desperate. I also have books to read during my lunch and break times… not much time to read I know, but better than sitting there letting my brain over heat. Even at home, if I am alone, I have iTunes up and running and I make sure to have plenty to do. Having four other people around to keep everything messy helps, there always seems to be dishes to wash and laundry to be done. And rest assured there is something which needs dusting or vacuumed or washed down and I love it all… Some days I wish I could stay at home while A worked… too bad I wasn’t born in the 50’s… just kidding, I would have gone crazy… three television channels, AM radio, and no internet… just how did we live before the internet? Oh, wait, much of my childhood was just like that, except we had FM by then….
Now I might catch some flack for what I am about to share, but it is what it is… I often find myself thinking of what life would be like if I were to ever be financially able to quit work and live out full time. Many of these thoughts are little more than fantasy… both dark and light. I think of being able to travel around the country, visiting different LGBT communities, meeting new people, making new friends. Maybe going places and learning some tips and tricks for improving my appearance, talking to people in the know about the best wigs and makeup, finding the best products to fill in the missing pieces to my physical womanhood. I think of being able to take voice lessons, of being part of a support group, of finding people in everyday life who would accept me fully without my having to hide behind a mask. What it would be like to simply live life as myself without fear.
Of course, being who I am, I find that by the time I have finished going through the dream, reality intrudes and I know nothing is as simple as I would like. Life isn’t a fairytale and we rarely get to live “happily ever after”.
Then again, knowing such things doesn’t stop the hopes, the dreams.