GHDR 2021 March Report: Defining Transition

GHDR 2021 March Report: Defining Transition

"Pork with 5-Spice Tofu with Doubanjian"

random pic of the month: I have been learning to cook this pork w/ 5-spice tofu and doubanjiang

It’s been a month since I declared TRANSITIONS as this year’s GHDR theme. Looking back at the February kickoff post, I feel I didn’t describe the essence of this theme very well. Let me take another stab at it before getting into the actual report!

Revisiting the Meaning of Transition

As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, I have been working through issues related to gender identity; in this context, gender transition is the obvious reference. However, I’ve found that the point of gender transition for me is less about physical appearance as it is becoming comfortable and confident expressing that change to society. Another way I’ve thought of it is being able to project my inner sense of self into the outside world where everyone can see it. With that, though, comes a lot of fear and anxiety as well as practical legal considerations; What really do I gain from gender transition other than a sense of well-being in exchange for high odds of social conflicts? Do I possess the strength to go down this path???

I think the discomfort and anxiety that I’m dealing with regards to gender transition is similar to professional transitions that I am attempting. For example, when I switched my goal of becoming a game designer to trying out as graphic designer, blogger, consultant to freelance developer. In all these cases, I believed that I did “good enough” work and felt that I was progressing in my skill, but I also have never succeeded in finishing the master works that I thought myself capable of. In this case, it’s less about comfort/confidence than it is the hubris of thinking I am good at stuff without really knowing how to do it.

More generally, I’ve adopted a framework of examining fears and hubris through two lenses:

  • the internal feeling or emotional compass that gives meaning to life
  • the external social expression of the internal feeling

I think these two lenses might help me perceive the misalignment that I subconsciously feel between my internal sense of the world and the external reality of interacting with the real world.

Anyway, I feel I am in the limbo of being stuck between aspiration, desire, and action-initiated tangible achievement. Sure, I’ve gotten SOME stuff done, but it also feels like I’ve plateaued at “good enough” forever. In summary:

  1. I’m embarrassed about FAILING, and want to avoid being SHUNNED or LAUGHED AT.
  2. I think that I’m CLEVER ENOUGH to avoid the hard work…but I’m not.

Observations from February

When I started the TRANSITIONS goal, I didn’t actually know how this would work out. I started several tomes to collect the insights as they came to me; I started with the following (you can jump to the list from the 2021 GHDR page):

  • The Tome of Demons – Meditation on fears and anxieties. I made a list of demons, and finally got a diagnosis of ADHD Inattentive Type. I started reviewing alternative diagnoses as well; I didn’t know that people on the Autistic Spectrum had similar symptoms.
  • The Tome of Grace and Humility – Meditations on not being so full of myself. I jotted down some memories of thinking myself better than I was with some embarrassment.
  • The Tome of Habits – Experimenting with habits that will help me with self care so I can tackle transitions with good spirit and energy. I’m working on one habit at a time, starting with adopting a regular sleeping schedule. I also added an end-of-day “Kitchen Shutdown” consisting of a 15-minute cleaning session and this has improved my morning routine a lot!
  • The Tome of Sri – What does the “transitioned” versions of me actually look like? I started with a few thoughts that came to mind regarding the difference between “inside me” and “outside me” as MBTI typings.

I also added two new tomes today:

  • The Tome of Blockages – Meditations on what I have difficulty with.
  • The Tome of Transition – This will be a “continuity journal” that summarizes the insights I’ve had in a more succinct form than these giant report posts.

What’s going WELL for me

It hasn’t been all doom and gloom.

  • I’ve been finding the tomes to really helpful in collecting thoughts and seeing them all in one place. Figuring out how to backlink them automatically in a manner reminiscent of evergreen notes would be awesome.
  • The coworking chat room continues to thrive.
  • I’ve come to a conclusion regarding regular sleep schedules: I now have a system that works, but it actually doesn’t help me get more work done. If anything, I get less done. So the next habit experiment will be to formalize using biphasic sleep and hermit mode to help create longer periods of clear-headedness.
  • I made some nice tweaks to the website layout which has me thinking: maybe I don’t need to dump WordPress. It would be nice to have a kick-ass static site generator…but really it isn’t THAT important. Stay focused! Let stuff go!

At some point though, I will need to set some tangible goals of the type one associates with a New Year’s Resolution. I’m actually too freaked out by them to share, but I promise to get back to this throughout March.

Thanks for reading this month’s Groundhog Day Resolutions Report! The next one will be on April 4.

About this Article Series

For year 15 of Groundhog Day Resolutions, I am writing about TRANSITIONS. All related posts on this subject are posted on the  2021 Groundhog Day Resolutions page. You can also find the link under the INVESTIGATIONS menu item on my website.

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