Every Last Ounce

It was like building a wall of pebbles on the beach against the rising tide, just as we did as kids, that no matter how many mediterranean salads I created or cured ham baguettes with olive oil and sea salt, I was still firmly at home and being away in the sun was a fading reality and a solidifying two dimensional memory; at least unless I closed my eyes in what little weak sun we have here and think very hard.

It was clear that nothing would change on its own and hanging around the house for a week not doing much was keeping me frozen rather than in contentment. It didn’t help having a cold and it didn’t help having a strict budget on my dwindling savings but at least for now I have a home. I live in a fairly nice place in a nice enough house with an eclectic collection of things that keep me occupied. I have food in the fridge and freezer and I survive quite comfortably. I have the ability to learn new things and have clothes to wear that aren’t thread bare but without the freedom from that budget I’m a little stuck. Imagine being on holiday but with no money – it can kinda get boring sometimes.

It’s not like money is holding back any progress with the gender thing, (gender fact?), apart from having to travel a long distance for one of them of course, appointments are booked and things are just happening as they are and as they should. I made progress on holiday, I feel content to some extent and know there is still work to do or at least more decisions to be made. With all that being so planned why am I so unplanned in other parts of my life. Sometimes I find myself doing little bits here and there in an unplanned nature around my house. Get the kitchen cleaned and tidy, a bit of piano practice, a bit of planning towards a future project but yet I still feel like I’ve not achieved much by the end of the week. I feel like days have been wasted.

I stopped for a moment, sat in the Sunday sun of October that is on such a shallow arch that it warmed my face and kept the breeze chill at bay along with the sun trap alcove in the garden, and rubbed my fingers down the brickwork of the house. It pulled at my skin like a stickle brick wanting me to stay connected. The bricks were here for the long term which felt like my plans for my future. The long term. The long stretch of time that it would take for fruition. It was autumn and my career plans needed to be spring – spring in a few years time. There were no short cuts. It was just like the gender thing, there is a long term transition of change but an immediate need, on top of that I had an immediate problem of money. I heard the scratching of the sky as a jet flew over at that moment. That summed it up – a direction and a more immediate need of urgency.

It was quite clear really. My goals and aspirations would take time. I needed to survive in the meantime to pay for the immediate things like rent and the electric bills but I also have choice. I don’t have to go back to my old career that brings such pain to my mental state, I just need something else for the time being. The same goes for gender identity. I’ve never been in a rush to have it all sorted but the immediate need to carry on can be done with all those little things over the years I have to get me by.

A couple of days later I found myself still pressed. Pressed to get things done in order but my head was still spinning both with things to do and with fatigue. I headed to the village where it was quiet, everyone at work or tucked away in front of day-time TV in the arms of retirement. The village of weedless front lawns cut to a perfect inch, clean Mercedes, small well kept shopping-trolley cars, electric garage doors and tudoresque windows in a weak attempt fit in with the few real cottages in the next street. Later that afternoon, if I were to hang around, there would be the smell of log fires filling the street on a barely moving breeze and the picture of a middle England village would be complete; except it wasn’t England.

A plane flew over as if to taunt me again with escapism and the only thing that broke the void of sound and change. Quiet may have been what I didn’t need right now but a walk to get away from the house, clear my mind and exercise a foot injury was the least I needed.

It wasn’t exactly cold as I walked on from the village to the depths of a country road surrounded by fields, hedgerow and single wire telegraph poles. At a gate a Carrion Crow flew from the branch of an oak slowly with large wings silhouetted in it’s deep black. The tree was wiry staging the onset of winter and the imminent approach of Christmas. The only sense of the living beyond the crow was the cold grey sound of traffic distant from the carriageway.

There was a misty grey sky that met the ultra-pale blue and yellow hue above, not as dramatic and apocalyptic as the Mars sky the day before, but still a drama that told a story of the slow progression to winter. It was slow progression I needed. I can’t do it all at once, my project, my writing, a script, a book, music – my gender. It’s all too much to want all at once. I needed to pick at these things a little at a time and prioritise.

At the house I gathered all the coins I could find that I had saved and deposited them in the bank. My future would need every ounce of money I could find – every ounce of belief in myself.

Until next time

Hannah x

One thought on “Every Last Ounce

  1. It all sounds so so frustrating Hannah. Juggling all of these ambitions and priorities seem to be a stressful process. I wish you good luck in finding a solution soon.
    Keep up the good work on the blog, beautiful writing as always.

    x Debs x

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