I have finished my first week at my new job with my old employer. Ten years ago, I was married to Tim and we both worked for ‘CompanyA’ (hey, I don’t want to get fired or mortified). It’s nice being back—lots of folks remember me and it’s nice to reconnect. On the other hand, it has confirmed my fears about me being the object of gossip. Yes, sooner or later people will talk about you. But I’m being told things like “Oh yeah, you remember So-and-so? He was at my house last week and we were talking about old times over some drinks. We talked about the whole Tim/Kate thing and then your name came up. And now you’re here! How about that?”
How about that indeed. My Zen teacher once said “Don’t be interesting.” Yeah, right. I’m doomed in that regard. My life is still a topic of discussion, even though the events being discussed happened five or six years ago.
I’m not sure what to do with it. First off, I can’t and won’t make a fuss—that will just make the whole thing worse. I guess it’s flattering, in an odd kind of way. It certainly reinforces the fact that my life has been somewhat remarkable, considering that people are _still_ remarking on it.
I guess some background is in order for those who don’t know the story. Shortly after I left ‘CompanyA’ the first time (1998), Tim decided he was really a woman and began to transition. Within a few months, he was showing up for work at ‘CompanyA’ wearing skirts, makeup, and falsies. Of course, he was the talk of the town. And, by extension, so was I. “Why is she still staying with him?” was a frequently heard question.
Interestingly, the people I have spoken too indicated a great deal of support and empathy for my position. This is good, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am with being the object of pity. (Interesting how my brain equates “support and empathy” with “pity”.)
So I guess the real question I have is how long will it be before my new colleagues start hearing the stories from the old timers? And how will it impact my current employment? Hopefully, the answer to the second question is “Not at all,” but human nature being what it is, I’m not going to hold my breath for that one.
Feeling-wise, the primary emotion is sadness. I’m sad that I’m the topic of gossip. I’m sad that things worked out the way they did. I’m sad that I lost my second husband first to a sex-change and then to death. I’m sad that I’m still dealing with this shit. The whole damn thing is just sad.
On the other hand, because there always is another point of view, I’m *really* excited about my new job. The technology is really cool. I get to learn how cell phones work from the inside out. I get to learn hard-core geek tools (LaTeX!). I get to work with some seriously smart people. I get to be part of an industry-leading company. I get paid well. These are all really good things that I don’t want to lose sight of.
It’s time to practice letting go (isn’t it always time to practice that?). Letting go of sadness, letting go of fear, letting go of anxiety. Letting go of the past and all the stories I tell myself about it. Notice, grieve, let go. Rinse and repeat.
Life goes on. My daughter is the best reminder of that. And, if it weren’t for Tim, I wouldn’t have moved to Canada, I wouldn’t have gotten a job with ‘CompanyA’ in the first place, I wouldn’t have met Bryan, and I wouldn’t have the beautiful daughter I have today. If that was the price of admission, then so be it.
I still think I’ll let myself have a good cry first.