I sit with my feet solidly on the earth as the quiet steady beat of the Shamans drum provides a soothing presence in my earphones. I concentrate on my breathing, keeping it slow and steady, my eyes gently closed. I let go. Slowly the fear and panic of the past week begin to dissipate.
What are my intentions for the week? I was asked this question, as the opening scene of a writing project that I have recently joined. Designed to promote a purposeful awareness of my story and how it fits with the rest of my circle, my community and my world, I dive right in and come up with nothing.
The question implies that I should have a plan. In truth I have rarely had one and in the rare instance when I have, It invariably calls down the the winds of disaster. In an effort to play the game, one of my overriding fixations, I will give this some thought and perhaps if I look deeply enough I will find that I have intentions that I’m not even aware exist. The drum beat, closed eyes and gentle breathing are all ways that I envision will help me understand myself and my story a little better.
OK here goes. What are my intentions? Naturally my first thought is what my mother used to say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Oh great, now my mother will be part of this discussion, I smile at the thought but quickly decide that it probably won’t be helpful.
Back to intention, my life has been full of, “what is your intention?” Over the last three years I have answered that question, what seems like a thousand times. The transgender journey I am on seems to generate this particular question in the mind of each person I meet, each person I have known and occasionally in the mind of complete strangers. My ex wife was the first to ask, when I answered, “I’m not sure” she headed for the door. My brother drove all the way from Pennsylvania to ask me the same thing. When I told him, “I’m not sure” he tried to make me feel better by telling me I’d never be pretty. Former neighbors, former friends, countless former associates, therapists and probably the guy behind the deli counter at the supermarket all asked the same thing, although to be honest though I’m not 100% sure about the deli guy.
When I give serious consideration to my intentions I can only assume that I have been operating on autopilot for quite some time. I mean I always have the best of intentions as they say and I appear to operate under the general guidelines of “If I die today, have I left the world better than I found it?” I don’t intentionally hurt people, I try to be a better person today than I was yesterday and I start each day intending to write more, read more, and find true love. Yes I realize that it’s sort of vague, but I never said that I had it all figured out.
Beyond that it has always been my intention to do something to reconcile the disconnect I’ve always felt about who I am and who society says I am. I have been doing this for the past three and one half years and it is my intention to continue but some days I’m much more successful than others. Some days my intentions are overpowered by the demons of fear, despair and loneliness. It was my intention for this week was to nail the lid shut on the box I had put all my demons into.
How’s that working out you ask?
Well….Not quite the way I planned.
I will tell you that intentions are easy to profess but can be exceeding difficult to actually put into practice. It turns out I have more demons than I thought, and for every one that I managed to get into that box before I closed the cover there was a least one more hiding in the shadows snickering at the presumptuousness of what I thought I could do.
For the present I think I’ll keep it simple, I intend to coexist with the demons that I haven’t been able to lock away, to continue to be the best person I can be and above all