I went to a concert with friends, all of us approximately the same age. The band, The Tubes, much older than us. One friend, whom I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic (we all frequented many concerts), now using a cane to get around. The place was filled with elderly people and I realized I am one of them. I no longer feel good anymore. Now please understand, I am not complaining, just observing. Many have much more difficult lives than me. The morning when I wake up is spent coughing, a runny nose, aches from my daily battle with trying to sleep comfortably, walking off stiffness and this goes on most of the day. Arthritis leaves my hands less functional than they used to be, often in pain at night. I am also undergoing physical changes, some welcomed, some make me nervous. The medication I am on for my prostate has begun making physical changes in my body. Does this transgendered woman welcome these? Yes. Body hair growth has slowed significantly. My skin is definitely softer, much more feminine to the touch. And the girls…they are indeed growing, to the point that I do need to wear support. Needing to wear a bra vs. wanting to wear one are two different things. I did not chose this path, and it initially did not bother me, but sore and tender areolas are a reminder that I am morphing. Welcomed? I ……..think ……so……. As the great Stone Temple Pilots once said “I’m half the man I used to be”.
I do not have anything significant and for that I am thankful. But Father Time has certainly started defeating me for as we all know, he is undefeated all-time. BTW, anyone who can tell me what the title of this post means wins a free subscription to Kandi’s Land (which you all know is gratis anyway).
Setting aside my issues, my wife is struggling. I won’t go into great details but something definitely is wrong and as of yet, the health care system has either found nothing or outright failed her. She has had significant GI issues now for a while. Also one of the side effects of her hearing loss is heightened anxiety. She has always been anxious, but the hearing loss made it worse and now the unknown issues have rendered her a wreck. Except for her job, she sits on the couch, little energy, napping but never getting a good night’s sleep. When a loved one hurts, you hurt. I don’t complain to her about my issues because they would only further feed her anxiety. Plus our daughter is getting married in June and of course, that creates another source of anxiety. One diagnostic procedure after another comes up with no issues, medications to deal with the problem do not work, the GI issues are prevalent.
Why tell you this? Because it has me feeling blah as well as down right guilty about getting dressed. I am in my annual stretch of many Kandi activities, followed by a stretch of a Kandi shutdown. Finding the motivation to do the work necessary to get out the door has been difficult. Now, that said, once I am out the door, I still feel that joy. That further feeds the circle of guilt. The usual investment of 3-4 hours of prep, drive, drive home and getting everything cleaned up and put away is taking its toll. While my wife is 100% accepting, I try to respect that by always getting my stuff put away after an outing.
December 1, 2023 Mix at The Cleveland Museum of Art, the holiday party. The Tubes show was the evening prior and as such, I was exhausted squared (I am now generally always exhausted, I yawn all day long, every day). I am well aware my on-going battle with the bottle is a major contributor to this. While I appear very confident on my posts, I still have that brief feeling of uncertainty, those WTF moments when I look at myself in the mirror. On top of that, my inability to know what to do for my wife and the fact that she has to work to provide us with benefits, leave me feeling like a failure as a husband and a provider. Without going into personal details, this year has been a brutal year for us financially. My retirement date now seems certain: my death. I will work until I die. This all has weighed on me.
Don’t feel sorry for me, I certainly have it much better than the significant majority of human beings on the planet. Much of this is my own doing, my mistakes. All this said, I am a fighter. I have recently begun allowing myself to take a breath every so often, acknowledging I am somewhere on my back nine. Hopefully on the 12th fairway and not chipping on the 18th green.
I work out daily and used to be a competitive runner. Now I only do so about 30 minutes a day, often lightly, and my runs are now often walks. I am encouraged though that I have accepted that three miles is actually a sufficient distance to run and have done so well of late. I have mentally acknowledged that I am no spring chicken any more and am taking the steps to try to stay healthy.
I am now working more than four jobs (which includes seasonal and part time work), but I see a path to success. I have hired an internet marketing expert to help me build an online platform for my apparel business, including branding and SEO/advertising to grow the business. Last week, we set up the bones of the web site, created our brand and I am very excited about our launch!
I am now the social media coordinator for one of the apparel lines I represent (the most recent job). If my plans succeed, I will then be able to “tend the garden” so to speak and not physically work as hard by creating a revenue-generating process. My main strength, beside my force of will, is my ability to create a process and doing so successfully. My education was a process. That resulted in an MBA. My career, a process. That resulted in my need to be self-employed. Now my truck business, a process, providing food on our table. Even how I parented, a process. An actuary and a pharmacist, professional and financially independent daughters, resulted. So I go about taking four different apparel lines, all synergistic fits, and weaving them into one marketing machine.
We rambled on too long here, we’ll get to the Mix party tomorrow. It was not my intention to write this at all. I simply wanted to describe my feelings going into the party as well as of late. All of this just flowed out of me, very cathartic. My form of therapy (which I am sure I could use). Putting this on paper makes it somewhat overwhelming, but is me basically yelling at the universe, venting.
Know we all have struggles, we all have blessings. The key is to recognize those blessings and revel in them. Kandi is one of those blessings. The process of becoming her, more and more of a struggle. I remain a person gifted with people in my life, family, friends, my friends here and in our community, those wonderful people, strangers, that treat me so well as I navigate the world in my heels: all true blessings.
Kandi is literally an escape, a release, from life’s challenges. But she has become a guilty pleasure for me right now.