I just finished reading Tyler Oakley’s book, “Binge”. As I started reading it I read it casually, when I felt like reading nothing else I’d pick it up. Until recently.

As I’ve been going through changes in my life, and trying to figure out my future and where to go and what to do, I began reading it with more fervor. Here’s a young man who, by happenstance really, became a public sensation for his generation and turned it into a career.

For those of you who don’t know who he is, he’s a popular YouTube creator, who is openly gay and lives his life without apology.

I’ve been infatuated with him for awhile now, at first because he reminded me of my ex, Trever. However, as my life has changed, my infatuation with him has changed too. I’ve often considered starting a YouTube channel, but the more I think about it, I don’t think it’s the platform that’s appropriate for my message. Rather, the pen (or in my case, the computer) is my best platform.

I’m in the process of starting my own public speaking company and as I was finishing his book (I promise not to give spoilers), I found myself questioning my motives for what I want to do with my company. What’s my purpose? What’s it’s purpose? What am I meant to be doing with my life?

Selfishly, it is nice to hear congratulations from people as I land a speaking gig, or something I’ve written has gotten praise or acclaim. But that’s not what I’m looking for, I’m not in this for the accolades, or the praise. Sure I joke about hoping my book makes it to the New York Times Bestseller List (which, admittedly would be cool). My true, genuine intentions are to impact change, maybe not on a political or larger stage but with one person at a time. If one person reads my words and is either inspired or encouraged, or uplifted, then I’ve done my job.

So what is next for me now. Some of you may or may not know that I am starting the process of transitioning from male to female. I came out as a Trans* female about a month or two after my surgery. I (hopefully) start hormones on January 4th. I’m starting my new company, to provide public speaking, trainings, and writings about being a Deaf Trans* person.

I’m working full time on finishing writing my book, and finishing my undergraduate degree and then pursuing graduate studies in either Jewish Studies or Rabbinic Ordination. I feel a very strong calling to either provide pastoral counseling in the field of grief and loss and to those who are at the end of life as a Rabbi, or continuing with my company and using my Masters in Jewish Education and/or Studies to speak publicly about the being a Deaf Trans* Jew (once I finish my conversion).

Tyler Oakley quoted the Britney Spears song Lucky and how he identified with it because with all the stardom and so forth he’s received, something was missing, and that missing piece was his having a life outside of work and press and so forth.

So, while I’m writing this I’m listening to “Lucky” by Britney Spears and the acoustic version of “Nothing Like You” by Dan & Shay.

Sweet dreams my lovelies, I hope you have safe and happy holidays with your family and friends, whoever they are. Holidays are a difficult time sometimes and just know that there are people out there who love you, even when you’re in your darkest, deepest hole and see no light.

All my love,

Rivka (formerly Patrick)


PS: For those who were/are following my weight loss journey since my surgery, I’m three months and 10 days post-op and am down 55 pounds. My pre-diabetes has reversed, my high cholesterol is looking like it might correct itself, and my sleep apnea is starting to go away. Clothes are fitting better, and I feel better about myself. Part of that comes with now living as my authentic self, which is a woman named Rivka. But the weight loss helps tremendously.