Reflection: On The Turning Away

I’ve blatantly and unapologetically stolen the title for this post from Pink Floyd’s song of the same name.  If you’ve never listened to it (Seriously, how is that even possible?), go do it now.  I’ll wait.

[insert musical interlude]

OK.  You know the song now, right?  Good.

If you’ve been following here at all, the fact that I am a trans woman should be oooollllldddd news.  The fact that I am at a bit of an crossroads should also come as no surprise.

Twenty-something years ago, I walked away from a seminarian’s path.  Then, I walked away from Christianity, as the blatant and rampant hypocrisy was simply too much to bear. The final straw was realizing that the whole “love your neighbour as yourself” thing apparently only counted when you can pick the neighbour. /sigh   Pretty sure that wasn’t what Jesus meant. 

I’ve recently decided to return to school to complete my abbreviated education.  I have a plan that the pragmatic side of my brain is very content with: 15 hours at Community College for my AA, then transfer to mediocre but good four year school and pray I can juggle both work and school.  I thought I had to keep working for tuition reimbursement, health insurance, a roof above my family’s head, and food.  I like food.  Food is good.

As you can see, I am notoriously risk-adverse.  Trusting to the winds of Fate is no bueno.  And yet…

I find myself on the brink of turning away.  Much like the song talks about, there is a need for service to uplift the disenfranchised and oppressed. We can no longer ignore those voices within our communities whose presence may be “uncomfortable”.  Though historically that is exactly what we do, it’s not the ideal we hold truest, and it is to that service of those communities I have always been called.  Except I ran from that calling as hard as I ran from myself and who I knew myself to be, and now here we are.  Transition is not just about moving from one gender presentation to another, it’s about resuming a life interrupted.

Now, I am on that precipice of turning away from safety and security, from the conservative and respectable path, from the scraping and borrowing for a third-rate piece of paper that will, ultimately, likely not get me where I want to go.  I need a new plan, or to steal a phrase from an Eminem song, it’s time to formulate a plot before I end up in jail or shot.

I am applying for entrance to the religion [program at College].  Insomuch as I have denied myself so often in the past that denial had become my default action, I deserve the opportunity to reach for the dreams I do dare to have.

If I am not accepted to the program, it’s not the end of the world.  I still have my Community College and third-rate degree plans.  Maybe I can find a third-rate seminary to go with it.

But then again, maybe not.  The road is long, and the journey has twists I cannot see.  So I will go, one foot in front of the other, my partner by my side, and together we’ll see what lies around the next curve.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
     (J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Return Of The King”)

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