Ok, so panic might be a bit strong. But I’m beginning to get nervous. I mean… 7 days. We’re into the single digits. My life is changing. There’s so much change. Where does one even begin.

So my last post was… cryptic. I use the word so a lot on this blog. Weird. Anyway, I big source of stress that I couldn’t talk about was work. Things are better, things are good. I’m optimistic. I can’t go into more detail. But for once things are good.

Change. Gosh y’all. I mean. Ugh. I decided to leave an agency that I volunteer with that is my heart and soul. I decided to do it for a number of reasons that I can’t discuss. So much for being transparent, eh? This is what I get for working and volunteering in a field that requires such confidentiality.

I start classes to finish my degree on October 1st. I was supposed to start September 1st, but there was a mix up regarding my ability to defer my current loans. I’m paying for it out of pocket so money is going to be tiiiiiight until I finish. But I need to do this for myself.

I did something I’m very proud of this week; I faced my anxiety and went to Friday evening services at my synagogue. I only panicked a little. No massive panic attack, no trigger. All was… as they say, kosher. One of the couples that my ex and I sat with at Passover asked me where he was. Otherwise, it was fairly smooth sailing. I even went back for the Selichot service Saturday evening.

I’m going to go to the Saturday morning service this week. I’m going to resume my conversion process a few weeks after surgery once I’m feeling better physically. Maybe it’s the because the holidays are coming up, maybe it’s because of the surgery, I don’t know; but I’ve been feeling closer to G-d than I ever have lately. I’ve been finding solace and comfort in the rituals and teachings of my religion.

One disconcerting thing did happen after Friday evening services that has been bugging me since: our Lay Cantor (I think that’s his title now) and I were talking about my romantic outlook and how my chances of finding someone in Iowa is minimal at best. I mentioned I’d likely have to go to Boston or California or Tel Aviv. Apparently a Deaf, Jewish, male identified individual with an open mind on gender conformity in his partner is hard to come by.

Which brings me to another point, a point I intend to discuss with my Rabbi once the High Holy Days have passed. What does gender mean in my religion and adopted culture? I think part of the biggest hangup I have around my gender identity is that I find solace in donning the tzitzit every day. Wearing the kippah in synagogue. Two, traditionally male things in the Jewish faith. There are other things, but those are just examples. Can someone be two gendered? I don’t know if I feel comfortable with that. Being dual gendered I mean. The more I explore my gender the more I’m drawn to my feminine side. That being said, when I get married, I plan to have a Jewish ceremony and want to take the traditionally feminine role in the service.

Ok I think that’s enough about gender for one night. My pre-surgery diet has been hard to stick to, but I think part of that is that I chose to not experiment or do anything special with the food choices. I went for easy, which is boring. I’m nervous about being able to stick to the lifestyle change after surgery; but I’m excited to try new recipes and experiment with healthy food options and such. That’s my biggest source of anxiety. Since I won’t have school work to do while I’m recovering I plan to make a dent in my book list. I’m currently reading “My Name is Asher Lev” I stopped reading it for awhile but I started it again. It’s quite good.

I’m going to end this post with my measurements from last Monday. Two weeks before surgery. These are my “pre-surgery” measurements. Let’s see where they go after surgery, huh? Hopefully down.

Height: Still 5’10.5″

Weight: 296.4lbs

% Body Fat: 42.8

Waist: 50inches

Music I listened to while writing this: “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” by Deathcab for a Cutie; “They Weren’t There” by Missy Higgins; “Too Many Women” by Rachael Sage; “Ordinary People” cover by Asher Book; “Try” cover by Asher Book.

Good night my lovelies.