I’ve been too preoccupied this week with getting my car fixed, trying to catch up on tasks in my work assignment, and pondering what subjects to write about on this blog that I didn’t think of the significance of this particular date too much. But since WordPress appears to be big on anniversaries…
Yep, it was four years ago today that I launched this blog and posted my very first entry. Since that time, I’ve pounded into my keyboard, and onto this blog, lots of experiences to write about, positive things to trumpet, good people to highlight, fashionable things to marvel over, bad news to gripe over, poetry to express, and memories to share.
Writing this blog is not the easiest thing to do. There have been times where I’ve wracked my brain on what to write about. When I know when I want to write out, there’s also the issue of how to write it out; more than once I’ve edited and re-edited and re-re-edited a post. And of course, there are still times where my non-writing, non-Allison real life can intrude and keep me away from writing a post, just at the time when my writing juices are piqued.
But at least I do make an effort to write, and when I do I get a cathartic feeling over me. I feel truly excited to share my thoughts and feelings and good words to the world. It all results in a sense of pride when I hit that big blue button in the corner of my screen marked “publish.”
Hitting that “publish” button also brings a little bit of anxiety, in that I hope that those who read it will like it. But those fears vanish rather quickly, especially when seeing someone “like” my post or hearing someone tell me (especially in person), “You do a great job on your blog, Allison.” Even a little bit of constructive criticism buoys my confidence; at least they aren’t saying out loud that my blog stinks.
But above all else, and no matter what anyone else may say, I get a feeling of expressing my true self to the world with every single post. Yes, its all under a feminine nom de plume, but I feel secure expressing every bit of joy, heartbreak, disappointment, fondness, ecstasy… and pride in being myself and expressing who I am through words on a screen. It’s a far cry from the moment 37 years ago when a shy, teased, and insecure 11-year-old first felt a feeling of comfort when putting on a feminine garment.
To all of you out there, whether you’re WordPress peeps or simple readers, I sincerely thank you for your support. Whether it’s the form of good words, encouragement, challenges, applause, or just a simple hit of the “like” button, you’ve kept me going and kept me striving toward my desire to self-express my true self. Here’s to four more years.
I don’t need to remind you that this is the holiday season, though I should remind you that it’s only 5 days until Christmas Day as I write this (better get that shopping done très rapide). This is the season chock full of traditions that normal people never get tired of: There’s the tree. The ornaments. The decorations. The greeting cards to send out. The shopping for presents. The carols and carolers. The ugly sweaters. And candy canes, sugar plums, and other similar stuff loaded with too much sugar.
Speaking of things loaded with too much sugar, the holiday season also has its share of TV specials and movies that are run on an annual basis and become oh so addictive to the eyes and brain. This post is about the holiday movies, specifically those that are found on the cable network Hallmark Channel. For those who don’t have cable, Hallmark Channel’s stock in trade is programming that makes the hearts of its audience, primarily families and older adults, go “Awww…” when they watch it. You know, just like a Hallmark greeting card. (Yes, Hallmark Channel is owned by the Hallmark greeting card company.) The last two months of each year, Hallmark Channel goes all out in the Christmas spirit by offering wall-to-wall airings of movies and specials — but mostly, if not exclusively, movies — billed as Countdown to Christmas.
When reading this blog, you may have noticed I’m a budding poetry writer (well, I consider myself budding), and that just a couple of weeks ago, I took the leap of presenting some of my poetry as Allison in front of an intimate live audience. That night was a real confidence builder not only for presenting my female side but also my writing abilities.
I do, however, consider my current poetry writing abilities as being at a less-than-perfect point. So far, with one or two exceptions, most of my poetry subjects have been about LGBT themes and trying to meet eye-to-eye with someone who’s not necessarily part of our community, meaning subject outside those realms can be hard for me to interpret into prose. As well, I’m one who wants to write, rewrite, and re-rewrite poetry (and some other blog posts) over time, doing so until it feels to me to be as perfect as possible.
It’s the last day of June as I write this, meaning I won’t be able to respond to every “June Jour Challenge” prompt sent out by one of my WordPress peeps, The Finicky Cynic. That’s okay, though. I knew I wouldn’t respond to or even get to think about every prompt before the last of June. F.C. sent out quite a few “deep thought” prompts this June, meaning I’ll spend some extra time thinking about profound responses.
However, on this last day of June, with F.C. usually using her last “June Jour” prompt to solicit thoughts on her challenges, I don’t want to fail to highlight how inspiring and thought-provoking her prompts are. I’ve been working on a still-incomplete response about one of those deep topics; I won’t say which one, suffice it to say that it’s brought to the top of my mind one or two pivotal moments in my life that stayed in the far recesses of my mind… so much so that it led me to search for information on the person involved in that moment (no results came up, unfortunately).
One other thing I can’t fail to mention is that at least this year, F.C. didn’t just send out prompts. Rather, she provided further inspiration for them. I invite you to take a look at her “June Jour” prompts at this tag page on her site. And when you do, don’t just click on one link and add a comment or response. Hit the “previous post” link at the bottom, where this year she offered inspiration on the topics she invited her readers to respond to. Actually, even beyond June, her posts can provide a writing inspiration to those who can’t think of something to write, but these past 30 days they’ve served as real writing invitations.
So, please give F.C. some love and read her “June Jour” prompts. And while you’re at it, read the rest of her site as well; it’s awesome and inspiring (and awesomely inspiring) in June, July, or any other month.
I made passing mention in my last blog post about this, but it’s time to finally give it the spotlight here: Last Thursday morning (June 1), three members of the Wisconsin State Legislature introduced to assembled media and the public a new piece of legislation currently seeking co-sponsorship from fellow legislators. The proposal, as with any piece of legislation (federal, state, or otherwise), has a grand name: The Privacy Protection and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act. And a press release announcing the proposal succinctly sums up the bill’s importance:
“A bill that would add protections to Wisconsin statutes against discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or gender expression.”
Okay, I’m just gonna say it in the frankest though less-saltiest way I can: The year 2016 sucked. I mean it really, really sucked. Every time the calendar changes from one year to the next, I keep hoping and wishing that the old year had nothing but good things for everyone, and that the new year would be pleasant and enjoyable, or at least bearable. I can’t apply any of that to our collective 2016, really. This was a year of so much hate, so much anger, so much controversy, too much violence, and far, far too much loss.
So, here it is, the day after Christmas 2016, and you’re probably wondering how my holiday went. Well, I didn’t do too much on Sunday. The reason for that? For only the third time in my life, though the second time in five years, I spent Christmas Day away from my family. The reason for that is that my family had to reschedule our Christmas Day get-together as my little sister’s daughters had to spend the weekend with their father/her ex-husband (every other weekend, he gets to be with them, and Christmas weekend just happened to be his next turn). And since my other sister and our mom didn’t clue me in on any of their plans for the day, I didn’t make the 2-hour trip and instead stayed here in Madison.
A serious question for all of you: How do you feel right now? It’s for sure that things have seemed quite scary since the election of He Who Doesn’t Need To Be Named Here Since He Has His Name On Everything. My heart sunk after that night, felt really low the next day, and has been stuck with that low feeling ever since.