Milestones. We all experience them. Some are small reminders of an event and some are huge monuments to changes in our lives. In the more positive moments of my life, I have learned to look for those milestones to ward off the negative issues that can envelope me.
When it comes to milestones, this week ranks right up there. I don’t have just one, but two big anniversaries this week. I had long dabbled in writing since high school. I had tried my hand at poetry, short stories, skits for my church and even submitted two teleplays for consideration to Paramount Studios for Star Trek; The Next Generation.
But on July 9th of 2012, I took a step out of the shadows and began sharing my insights, thoughts, feelings and essentially my life through this blog. It is interesting to look back at the four years that have past since I hit publish on that first blog post. So much has happened in my life because I took that step to be an open and sometimes brutally honest Christian transgender woman.
Because of that one milestone, that choice to step out of the shadows, more not so small milestones have been added to my journey. I have taken the stage at the Laugh Factory, I have been on Huffington Post Live, CBC’s Day 6, WCPT and WGN radio. Because of the blog, I had the opportunity to share part of my story on the Listen to Your Mother stage here in Chicago and having that essay published in the LTYM anthology that came out in 2015.
All those are memories that I deeply cherish and some of those were life changing in of themselves. But greater than all those events has been the friends I have made along the way and the opportunity to hear from people from all over the world on how God is moving in their lives as they navigate the sometimes arduous process of transitioning.
But I did say that I have two huge milestones this week. There is one milestone that preceded my day of being a blogger and activist. All of these fantastic milestones would never have been remotely possible if it were not for one other event that took place two years before, almost to the day. On July 12th of 2010, Mark Thomas ended his life on this earth. At about 1:00 on a hot and muggy afternoon, Meggan Renee walked out of the Kendall County Court House.
I know that I have written on this before but this year I need to celebrate these milestones because on the same road we find the milestones of the positive events in our lives are the charred remains of those time where we feel like we either crashed and burned or others have waged war against us. Focusing on the positive does not erase the bad memories and emotions of the more difficult times in our lives, but it directs our attention elsewhere and that is what I need right now.
So much has changed since I shared this picture with the world on that summer afternoon. I have learned and grown in ways I never thought possible. Before I wanted to hide. I wanted to shrink from existence. But God had plans for me. God had plans for me to prosper, not to be harmed and gave me hope and a future.
Before July 12th, 2010, I was merely existing and on the verge of ending that existence. For anyone who has made the bold steps to stop living for others and begin to live an authentic life, you will know what I mean. July 12th is a day to celebrate for me. I was reborn into a new life, not a body that was just existing but one who choose to live and that my friends is worth celebrating.
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