Happy Birthday to Me!

On this day, Henry V was crowned King of England. The oldest known recording of a human voice was made on a phonautograph machine in 1860. Robert E. Lee surrenders, effectively ending the Civil War. Alaska was purchased from Russia. A lot of battles happened or ended, some special German submarine was sunk during WWII, a bunch of crazy tornadoes killed almost 200 people in TX, OK, and KS, the Suez Canal opens for business, Baghdad falls to American forces, Martin Luther King Jr’s funeral happened, the Boeing 737 took its first flight, and Dennis Quaid was born. Coincidentally, so was I.

I was trying to remember what I thought I would be doing at 30 years old, and I couldn’t really come up with anything.. This tends to be a common experience for some trans-people; my brain tried to envision this strange grown-up woman and what she might be doing, and it was just too hard a thing to picture. I wanted to be an astronaut, but I imagined boobs in an Air Force uniform and that was the end of that. Granted, I also had no concept of what a 30 year old does at that age, but also without any visible roll models to identify with, I really had nothing to go on. The normative life path of marriage and babies was never really in my consciousness; I felt undeniably “Other.” The first time I saw anyone I remotely identified with doing anything I was remotely interested in doing was the first time I saw the Indigo Girls perform. I didn’t really understand why I was so moved at the time, but I do now. But since I had no expectations to either live up to or fall short of, I guess I’m not in too bad of shape.

This weekend has been an abnormally busy one. I only just got home last Wednesday from my So Cal jaunt, and today I am exhausted. I feel like I should be doing something memorable and meaningful, but all I want to do is sit in my chair, smile at my kitties lounging on the chair next to me, read my book, write, and take a nap. And go to my Monday meeting later. Ingrid’s birthday, as may of you may know, was on the 7th, so this year we celebrated our in-between birthday, which fell on Easter Sunday, with my folks, my bro and his lady, Ing’s sweetie and Ing’s mom. It was awesome, as family as family gets. Tomorrow I will get up at stupid thirty and go visit my brother down at the county jail. That has the sweetest ring of a thousand county songs.

My trip to So Cal was awesome. I went to another sober youth conference and made friends with an awesome young singer/songwriting transguy, something obviously meant to be. His name in Landon Wallace, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from him. I did two solo shows, which is a funny experience sans the band, but one that I feel is intensely developing my performer-ship, if there is such a word. I had this empty experience of finding a 2-3 year hole in my song repertoire, which is to say my recorded history, which is to say my identity. I’ve got 2-3 years worth of good war stories, of the ones I can remember or would actually tell anyone about, but only a small sad dim handful of songs. I wrote a song every few days when I was in my teens. I wrote a song a week for a while, then a song a month, then only during a sober stint, then none at all. The last of it was a long lonely silent walk to the finish line. Awareness may not always feel good, one doesn’t always like what they see, but I have faith that looking will ultimately result in better things. I feel like looking is paying due respect to the power of my condition as an addict, due respect to what was lost. Perhaps it is a way of truly acknowledging the worth of things in your life, and inspiring a new resolve to protect them. Hm. Point being, I’m ready to write some new damn songs. Also, we had the first big ice breaker meeting of Coyote Grace post-fallout, more on that later.

All said, I am happily content in my chair, boy cat is endlessly adorable on his chair, birds are chirping and the freeway is rushing outside my sliding glass door. I am not climbing a mountain today, throwing a wild party, or having a mind blowing spiritual experience, and that is just fine with me. I am endlessly grateful for all of you, who have been supporting me through this time with all your comments, food for thought, and good energy; I feel honored that y’all share with me your thoughts and insights. It is an amazing gift you have given me – to be heard and answered. Thank you.

Birthday squish,


15 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me!

  1. I think I like the history of your is birthday better than mine.
    Mine boasts- Hitler’s birthday, the anniversary of Columbine, the largest oil spill this country has ever known…..but it is good to know that is balanced by National Pot Day!
    Happy birthday to my April birthday friend!

  2. happy birthday joe. 30 is a good one. i wish i could remember mine. you are lucky to get sober young- you have the ability to create memories. many of my years are gone.
    looking forward to some “new damn songs.” you’ve got the gift -let it flow!

  3. Merry, merry blessings on your 30th birthday. You have had one amazing journey, and your 30’s is where is all becomes clear as to why. My 30’s is where I found myself. Where I learned to speak my own language and where I could finally speak my truest feelings. There were some hard learning curves, as all decades have. But I am sure of who I am and where I am going. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. Love and Hugs!, Erin

  4. Happy Birthday Joe! Isn’t it great to be here to celebrate it…no matter how you do that? Keep on keepin on.

  5. Happy, happy birthday! I look forward to your posts and think of you often. Sending best wishes for a healthy and happy year ahead.

  6. happy birthday to you joe. its not about the number — ever. its about where you are, WHO you are,what lives in your heart your spirit, your gifts,ect,ect. your talents are immense, your heart, HUGE. own that now that you have some clarity. you share so much with so many. your creating an honorable legacy. thank YOU for sharing yourself so openly.
    love love nothin but love.

  7. Happiest of Birthdays to you, Joe! Sounds like you have the most perfect of days lined up for yourself.

    (I think you should, however, go treat yourself to a big ‘ol chocolate cupcake to savor…or perhaps a new book. Or a new hat. Or, hell, all three.)

    For all the honesty and heart and raw stuffs you put out there — for all the good you do and are — for your past, present, and future…we all celebrate the gift of you today.

    Birthday blessings coming at ya from Marin…where the rain today is particularly cleansing and the waterfalls are ‘a flowin in your honor,

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