1 year, 3 Months

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1/22/2017: 2 days after my 29th birthday

Hey everyone,

Long time no update.  I’ve been laying low over the past couple of months.

At the end of October I went for a really rejuvenating philosophical hike in the North Dakota Badlands.

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November rolled around and so did the Election….

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after that I went off the deep end and obsessively built a stone oven to bake bread in. I went on a bread baking kick for a solid month.

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I read some excellent bakers books and learned how to make artisan bread by hand

I flirted with the idea of baking bread for the farmers markets next season and so I made my own logo:
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Here’s a picture of me for November 22nd,
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This season we’ve been having some severe winter storms and so for awhile I shoveled snow for extra cash.

The holidays came around and I made my own Yulelog with wood-burned runes

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Runes say: Yuletide Blessings

On December 21st after many hurdles I finally got my gender-marker changed on my license and Social Security. That’s a huge relief.

For a Christmas present to myself I got this really nifty cardigan…

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Yes…a Nessie cardigan.

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First picture is of a jar full of water from Loch Ness and a stone I found there (I went to Scotland, 2014) and I even got a custom tattoo.

…I really have a thing for the Loch Ness Monster.

I made a new friend:

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Malcom Rene Ribot, the FTM Traveler came through my town. I helped him through the Blizzard and also gave him some directions on how to get to Sacred Stone Camp. Really cool guy. I felt kind of sad when he left because I felt a connection. Hope our paths cross again.

I got two articles published:

https://www.restforresistance.com/zine/2016/12/23/standing-rock-from-a-local-perspective

https://ftmmagazine.com/embodiment-and-empowerment-through-exercise-and-nutrition/

I also finally got a new job. Since the holiday season is over sub-jobs have become very few and far between. I got hired as a mental health technician for a non-profit here in town. For the next few weeks I’ll be training for various certifications as a nurse aid, medication assistant, first aid/cpr and so on. So far, I’m enjoying the training. What’s really kind of beautiful is how this is actually the foundation that helped me during a very rough time 5 years ago. 5 years ago I was a client, and now 5 years later I’m a support professional for people that are in a similar place I was in. It’s like things fell into place and coming full circle.

Applying for a job while transgender is very difficult because of background checks requiring you put any other names you’ve had in the last 10 years. It’s like a legal nonconseual outing. I was misgendered at my interview right away which was awkward. I really wanted to be stealth at this job, but that is not possible. I haven’t said anything about being trans, just that I’m actually a man. And it’s also interesting that a support professional that works here remembers me from 5 years ago. I don’t know if she has said anything to anyone. While I’m sure people here would be accepting of a transgender man, the point is that I had no power in whether or not to disclose that information about myself. I felt a sense of grief about it, because I’ve worked so hard to be seen and understood as a man. I can’t constantly be an educator, and sometimes frankly it’s nobodies business to know that information about me.  Anyway, I digress. I am looking forward to finally having a stable job and income!

When I was a teenager, I never had acne. I may have had the occasional zit here or there, and even into my mid-twenties I’d get some zits.  Ever since a month or so ago I have reached peak break-outs. It’s severe cystic acne. I never had this as a kid, and so this has been a very overwhelming experience.

I finally went to the walk-in clinic and got some antibiotics and a retinol ointment. Hopefuly things will start to heal up. I had tried every thing possible.

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My nighty routine has been oil cleansing with castor oil, jojoba, and tea tree and then putting the med on before bed.

Things have been clearing up a little bit.  I must admit that this has really hit me hard in the self-esteem deptartment. Again, I’ve never dealt with this before. I knew that T can cause acne and this is basically puberty 2.0, but I didn’t think it would be this severe or painful. It’s really, really painful. Putting a shirt on over my head causes pain. Yikes.

I’ve been very adamant about the kinds of foods I’m eating too.

Due to the threat of my healthcare being jeopardized I will be moving back to my college town this spring so that I will have access to trans health care.  The future feels so uncertain.

Anyway, sorry for such a long delay in keeping you all up to date.  I will try to do better at writing.

All the best,

Ravn Thor

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