Once again, I've gone far too long without an update.  Lots has happened in the last two and a half months.  Some good, some not so good.  First things first, I FINALLY got my own apartment.  It's so nice to have a place to call my own.  For the first week I was there, I slept on the floor, but it was my OWN floor, dang it!!  So that was alright.  Less than a week after I moved in, I got hit by a car.  I'm alright...don't worry.  I walked away with some damage to my elbow (which was more extensive than I thought at first) and a totaled bicycle.  It was a hit and run so I didn't get any information from the driver.  That was incredibly frustrating.  I am finally able to go back to work.  By the time I get back on the schedule at Raising Cane's I will have missed three weeks of work.  Talk about stress....how the hell am I going to pay the bills?!

This takes me to some more not so good stuff.  I was freaking out about my financial situation.  A whole lot. It sent me into a depression and made me feel like a completely different person.  The first month in the apartment is supposed to be a time of great rejoicing and all that jazz, but for me it was frightening.  I had no idea how I was going to keep a roof over my head or the lights on or the cell phone working.  So as soon as I felt like I could do some work without hurting myself too badly, I asked around for some jobs.

This brings me to some good stuff....really good stuff.  Yard work in June in Oklahoma is no fun.  Everyone knows that.  But it was something I had to do to pay the bills.  When you're raised by my parents and taught the lessons I was taught, you do what you need to do to make things work.  There wasn't a lazy bone in my body in June.  I was exhausted all the time.  Fortunately, a few people needed some stuff done around their houses and yards and junk.  It was a wonderful opportunity for me to work for what I needed.  In three jobs, I earned more than half my rent.  My last check from Cane's covered a little more, and my parents were able to help out with the rest.  Now that I had a roof over my head for thirty more days, it was time to figure out the rest of the bills.  I posted another reminder that I'm willing to work.  A few days after one of my jobs, I got a phone call from a friend at church.  There was an angel at the party I worked.  She and I got to talking after the guests left and we got to know each other a little better.  I asked her, jokingly, if I could have a job.  She said she lived too far away or she would have a job for me.  Back to the phone call...I started crying when my friend told me the angel had sent me a check.  The amount is more than enough to cover the electric and cell phone bills.  

I should also say this:  I have been looking for a second job since before I ever moved out.  I hadn't gotten so much as an interview.  After applying at more than forty places, I was getting extremely discouraged.  I've NEVER had a problem finding a job.  A part of me wonders if my transition didn't have something to do with it.  Some of the people I spoke with were extremely excited to hire me until after they found out my legal name.  I don't know if it was just a coincidence...I'm hoping they were excited to hire me and their bosses told them they didn't need any extra help.  That's what I'm hoping.  But a part of me still wonders....a lot.  

It's hard not to see the world through a transgender lens.  People all over are having a hard time finding a job.  I found out that the employment rate for people in my age group is only 35%.  That's crazy!  So, probably, it was just a matter of numbers.  Numbers are not prejudiced against any group of people.  I just happened to be a victim of numbers.  That's one reason, though, why I want to get my name changed as quickly as possible.  Once that happens, there will be no doubt at all in my mind about people judging me because I'm different.  I don't say that to be cocky.  But a lot of times, the only reason people even find out is because my name is legally different.  I am passing almost 100% of the time now (which is great, since I'm not even on hormones yet!) and when I have to show someone my Driver's License, it kills me.  When I have to mark my sex on an official form, it kills me.  I absolutely hate it.  I know, I know, it takes time.  But something as simple as a name change can help the process go much more smoothly.  I'm hoping I can afford to do it soon.

Back to the job situation.  I couldn't find anything.  I was searching every single day.  Newspapers, online, word of mouth...anywhere I could think to look.  Then there was an ad for a company called Vector.  I'd never heard of them before, but the base pay was great and the schedule was flexible.  So I applied.  The next day, I got a phone call asking if I could come in for an interview.  I was there at five that evening.  Long story short: first interview was great, she asked if I could stay for the second interview.  That also went well. It was my first group interview so I wasn't sure how I would do.  The manager was extremely impressed with me.  I was happy I made a good impression.  He was very excited to welcome me to the team.  So I have a job now!  What am I doing?  I'm selling knives. Isn't that ironic?  I kinda thought so.  Anyone who knows me well enough to know what I mean should get a good laugh out of that.

So I have a little breathing room for July.  My bills will be completely paid by the first part of next week.  I'm cleared to go back to Cane's.  My training will only take about a week and then I can start making sales calls.  Things are moving along.  I still have a really long way to go and much left to do.  I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end.  I have learned, in the last month, that if I just do one day at at time, making the most of every opportunity I am given, things will be okay.  They may not be okay until the day before rent is due, but they WILL be okay.  

Oh!  I almost forgot!  My voice has already started changing pretty dramatically.  A month ago, I was singing first soprano comfortably (vocally speaking, I hated singing with the women because I don't fit there) and now, I'm singing with the tenors....comfortably.  I'm even doing two duets on Sunday.  The male voice sounds so different to my ear.  I'm getting the hang of it, though.  The mechanics are the same so that helps.  And those I'm singing with tell me I sound great, so that's a good sign.  Hopefully this means I will be able to keep singing when I start on the hormones.  Pretty sure I will end up being a bass when it's all said and done.  Which is crazy, but exciting!  Just think, how many guys can say they were able to sing in every single section over the span of 8 months?  Pretty cool, huh?