30 May 2016

Work Woes

This week, my schedule at work is changing for the first time in several years. Currently I work four ten hour days and my days off are Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. From now on, my days off will be Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

It is upsetting for several reasons. One, I am one of the most senior employees in my department and there are a few employees who pick their own schedule. Two, the reason I am being told to switch my schedule is because we are understaffed and unable to hire more people for my department. Apparently Saturday is a day that would be short without my help. 

I don't mind my job. I have met some good people there. I have had good times. I live very close, so the commute is no big deal. I think that on the whole, my workplace is doing good for animals and the community. But my work is very much not my life. I live on the weekend. I live for hiking and camping and travel. I work to make money to do what I love. So weekends are very important to me. Most of my friends and most people in general, have Saturday and Sunday off. When my boyfriend worked for the local government, it was very nice to have two whole days to adventure together. I really hope this new schedule does not interfere with that. Currently, he is on break from school, so for now my lack of Saturdays should not have an effect on any plans we make, but who knows how long he will go without a job or internship. And there is always the possibility that we could still share at least two days off, but it is slim, when only one of mine is an actual weekend. 

I am frustrated with my workplace. I don't appreciate change. I don't feel valued. 

Also I have a toothache and everything is particularly annoying. 

29 May 2016

Dental Woes

Tooth pain is the worst pain in my opinion. It's just a deep throb that can't easily be soothed and it interferes with the most simple and pleasurable of activities -- eating and drinking. I generally go a few years between dental visits. This usually results in a couple of fillings, no big deal.

Last year I began to feel some tooth pain and decided to sign up for dental insurance through my work so I could get it checked out. The pain increased and I finally got an appointment for sometime in February. I learned that the cavity was all the way to the pulp and I'd need a root canal. Not terribly pleasant, but at least the insurance made it a bit cheaper. I also had a couple of minor cavities to fill. The root canal proved an immediate relief from the near constant toothache I'd been resigned to. A couple weeks later I went in for the new crown and to fill the other cavities. This was in March. I was warned that there may be some residual sensitivity that would fade in time as the nerves rerouted and whatnot. So I dealt with the rather shocking reaction to cold. I decided that chewing on the left side would be fine for a few weeks.

I went back after two or three weeks because the sensitivity remained, and got them to adjust the bite a bit to see if that would alleviate any pressure. Last week I went in again, a full two months after the procedure. The pain had not subsided, it was extremely noticeable with cold, somewhat with hot and a bit with pressure and sweets. Again, they ground down the crown and bit and assured me that the bite would be more aligned now. Except now I'm undergoing constant, throbbing pain from the tooth as well as the sensitivity to cold, hot and pressure. I am so tired of it. I don't know what to do with myself anymore. I hate wasting my days off sitting at the dentist. I hate being irritable from the pain and I hate eating lopsidedly. But I guess I'd better call the dentist first thing Tuesday.

04 May 2016

Some Sad Day Thoughts

I am just sad.

It's not a usual emotion for me. I am generally quite optimistic, if apathetic. But not today.

The inevitability of Trump's nomination was something I was preparing myself for, but I wasn't ready. And it really just scares me. I refuse to think about what will happen come November. Regardless of whether or not he wins, his followers remain.

Besides that, I daftly decided to read the blog of one of my favorite authors -- Orson Scott Card. Now, I've known for some time that, though I adore (most of) his books, I don't agree with him politically. Basically, I should have stayed away. He is Mormon and lives in North Carolina. He doesn't actually agree with the bill, but he is none too friendly toward liberals and those in the LGBT community. It just makes me sad.

And then I read an article about my alma mater, Colorado Christian University. A law was passed some years ago requiring universities to accommodate transgender people according to their preference. CCU has requested to be exempt. And I get it. It's a Christian school. But it does receive some government funding. And it is the name on my diploma. Some students (trans, gay, atheist etc) don't have the option of not attending CCU. Sometimes it's not up to them. Parents often make the decision, hoping perhaps to sway the student, or because they are oblivious. I was one of those. Or became one after a couple years in school. Now, I do not hate CCU, or resent my time there. I met many of my current good friends during those four years. I had great professors and a good education (if a bit lacking in some areas.) It's just that rules like this are what make the suicide rates among young trans (and other queer) people rise. It is this sort of misunderstanding. This sort of "morality". This sort of dehumanization. Because that is what it is: dehumanizing. For a group of people (Christians) claiming to be full of love and forgiveness, they seem to often fall short of recognizing that other people exist.

I do exist. I attended CCU before I came out to even myself as anything other than a straight female. Yet I exclusively wore clothing purchased from the men's section. I kept my hair short. I was into adventure and video games and some other "male" things instead of "female" things. (Those are in quotes because I don't believe that interests are gendered.) However, according to the lifestyle expectations at CCU, "members of the CCU community are expected to refrain from engaging in, advocating, teaching, supporting, encouraging, defending, or excusing homosexuality, transvestitism, transvestite behavior, transgenderism and transgender behavior. (The link is for employees, but I assure you there is a similar covenant for students.) Technically, I fell under that, and have for at least 20 years of my life. But transmasculine people are often overlooked. I was not a guy in a dress, so I guess it was fine.

I am considering writing a letter to CCU as an alumnus (not alumna!), telling them a bit about myself. I doubt it would get anywhere, but perhaps it would make me feel better. I think I'll start by requesting my name be changed on my transcripts.

So today I feel the effects of oppression, though not first hand. I have never felt threatened or in any way unsafe due to my gender or sexuality. I have felt bad about myself, unsure at times, but I have never seriously contemplated suicide or serious self-harm. But I am rare among my peers (trans people have around a 50% rate of suicide attempts.) For that I am thankful, but I am one among many. And we are people. When this bill was enacted in North Carolina, the suicide hotlines blew up. People are despairing.

When I was first coming out it was difficult to find resources. It was difficult to be recognized. I was off the radar. Now trans people are in the media. And representation is fantastic, but it's drawing a lot of hate toward us. First we didn't exist, now we are actively hated. It hurts.

I am human. Please see that. We are human. We deserve at least a modicum of respect. We deserve access to healthcare, public restrooms, public spaces in general, religious universities, secular universities, jobs, houses, on and on and on.

Just like everyone else.

03 May 2016

Trail Tuesday

Due to the wet weather this last week, today I ran on the High Line Canal Trail again. I went westward, to a new section I've never been on before. The first bit was obnoxious, as it ran along Colorado Boulevard, but after I met up with the canal again, it was beautiful. The trail was all dirt/gravel and wound among massive houses (Cherry Hills). It was really very pleasant. The temperature was perfect for running, mostly sunny, but with a nice breeze to keep the sweat from accumulating. I didn't pass many other trail users, only several maintenance vehicles. It was a nice 7 miles and I'll definitely have that segment as a backup when/if the foothills are inaccessible.

Tomorrow I am getting up a bit early to run with a friend. A good way to keep both of us motivated and accountable. It will be invaluable to get into the habit of running in the morning, as it will soon be too hot to run on my lunch breaks.