October 23, 2023, the day I realized I am one very lucky woman! Please allow this humble brag. There are many blogs out there. There are many social media platforms. Posts, pictures, videos, Facebook, Flickr, Tik Tok, Instagram…….T-Girls, Gurls, Crossdressers, whatever else, whatever label floats one’s boat. This is in the context of our little corner of the world: those of us who are biologically male and present ourselves as woman, for whatever reason and in whatever capacity. I am very far from the prettiest one out there, I am not the most “passable” (insert your own definition here), but what you see from me is me with so many other human beings. And you see them HAPPY to be with me! And you always see me smiling because THAT makes me happy. Thousands of pictures of me with other people. This post is no different. Name me someone else out there that mixes among the general public in a very mainstream capacity that can be the extremely positive center of attention or simply just one of the girls. Yes, I know I am not the only one and I did not invent this. I rarely pat myself on the back, but today, I am doing that.
The American Heart Association again having a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) event for young women, many of color, encouraging them to consider seeking a profession in a STEM field. Me, again, rising well before the sun, to get ready, dressed in red (my color) and heading downtown to help. Now this day, I did little to nothing but be there. We had too many volunteers, a terrific thing. It was held at one of my old stomping grounds: The Great Lakes Science Center, the next door neighbor of my little piece of heaven, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I left having gotten more out of the day than anyone there. Love, acceptance and probably five or so real meaningful conversations with other women there.
The remainder of the post is a photo retrospective of what giving and receiving is all about. One woman I chatted with at length. We discussed the philosophies that we undertook in raising (in my case, assisting with the raising) of our children. My tent pole with our children, which I preached throughout without any forethought, but by instinct, was to be responsible for your actions. Take responsibility for what you do.
Quick story, our oldest seemed to like to total automobiles I paid for (more than one). Her cars (in her adulthood), no issue (thankfully). Not a scratch (she never was hurt while totaling cars BTW). One time she slid off the road on a snow day in our development, took down a telephone pole (when there were telephone poles). It was this reason or that…not her fault. I lit into her to simply tell me she made a mistake. It was her fault. She did accept responsibility (she learned) and I replaced the car the next day. Take responsibility for your actions. Okay, off the soapbox.
This wonderful woman I was chatting with had the perfect thing she pounded into her four children: be kind! Be kind….let that sink in….be kind. If that is all one does on this planet, then you have lived the best life. The gates of Heaven will welcome you immediately.
…..Inside a heart……
Me and two former teachers, Loretta on the left, Crystal on the right. Loretta and I met while running the “Inspiration Board” a few STEMs back. Crystal works at one of my college alma maters and is yet another STEM-made friend. This year the event had a few Inspiration boards and one posed the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. One answer stood out to me like it was the only thing written, like a beacon of light to me. One young lady wrote: A person with integrity. OMG! This young lady, in what is such a fucked up time in the history of the world, in a country that is an embarrassment with all the absolute selfishness of our absurd political system, this girl wants to have integrity. God bless her and I hope she becomes a leader of the coming generations. Maybe there is hope….
Robin and me. She and I kept circling back to each other, always talking and sharing. She really made me feel like just another woman there (a GREAT thing).
I promise, after this I’ll shut up. Me, Loretta and Tiffani. Tiffani anchors the 6:00 news (remember that) on our local CBS station. She has been hostess for all of the STEM events I have worked. She is also the all-time selfie queen. And she is my friend. No, not call and text back-and-forth friends, but when she sees me I get the big hug. So we see each other and she gives me a hug. Now understand, I may see her twice a year and we may spend the aggregate of five minutes together. But as we hugged she said two things. One, she loves my new do (which was awesome and completely unexpected)! And two, she had to pee. How great is that! How great was this day! How blessed am I……..very blessed.
Give of yourself or do not complain about the world because you are not helping. Giving can simply be a smile at another person., holding a door, saying “good morning”. It does not have to be anything big, but be part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
Love you all for putting up with me here.