I enjoyed the Month-for-Loki project enough that I decided to jump right into another thing that will encourage me to post on a semi-regular basis. Most people doing the GP are doing daily posts; I’ve decided not to flood your feeds by saving them up and posting them once a week. I’ve been writing them before I go to bed at night, after reflecting on the day.
Before I begin, here’s a little background on the Graditude Project:
The Gratitude Project (started by Julie McCord) runs from Lammas/Lughnasadh to Mabon. It entails you being mindful of whatever brings you joy and you journal “the something” you are grateful for each day between those Sabbats. No repeats – you can be grateful for your spouse/kids/job/friends, but the reason for the gratitude needs to be different for each entry. It can BIG or not, your journal/blog entry can be long or short. It can be on paper or in pixels and public or private.
That being said, here’s what I was grateful for this week.
- August 1: I am grateful for my sturdy, loving, committed circle of friends and lovers. Whether it’s a quick reply to a challenging Facebook post, a timely email that renews my faith in humans, a phone call to remind me that people are thinking about me, righteous anger towards those who have harmed or hurt me, whatever it is that they offer, that they offer it. They do it without any expectations, without keeping a secret list that one day they’ll throw in my face to remind me of all the “good things” they’ve done for me (which has happened), without hesitation. I recognize that they choose to do these things – that their love and devotion for me is what drives them, not a sense of obligation or some need to fulfill a public image of being “nice” or “helpful”. Over the years, I’ve tried very hard to cultivate a very specific kind of tribe, and I think I’m much closer to that vision. I love all of you very much, and am very grateful for your presence in my life.
- August 2: I am beyond grateful for the wonderful gift I have in Rave. I am so blessed to have her presence in my life. Her service to me is invaluable, and she has yet to say no to me or shirk her duties in any way. If anything, she serves to a fault, putting my needs before her own. Something not everyone knows is that she wore her trial collar – the color of Pepto Bismol – for a year, without question, every moment she was with me, even though she violently hated the color; she did this to prove how much she wanted this relationship, how much I meant to her. She has made my life a much more meaningful act, and given me the ability to do things and go places I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. She may not be perfect – who is? – but I love her imperfectness as much as I love anything else about her. I get the awesome experience of watching her spirituality bloom in new and different ways every day through her “daily fire” blog entries. I am honored to see her at her most vulnerable, and at her strongest. I would be a lucky Master indeed if she chooses to be at my side for the rest of my life.
- August 3: I am grateful for my Leather family. We may not be a traditional Leather family, as not all of us even identify as “Leather”, but it’s the “family” part that counts. I may not always agree or endorse what they do or say, but when the chips are down, I know I will never be alone.
Papa Bear is a ferocious protector and warrior, and even though he says and does things that drive me crazy, I am thankful for his allegiance and his honesty, even when it hurts.
Cougar Bear is a beautiful seductress, although she’s blushing to read that! She may seem shy and withdrawn, but catch her in the right moment and she’s pour out wisdom. I also love that she is constantly exploring life, even in her cougar years.
Bratty Bear is a peacemaker at heart, who has a pervasive calm but also a cheery disposition that melts me even at my most curmudgeon.
Builda Bear and I have a complicated history, but she continues to live her truth, and to stick by the family even when it would be easier to walk away.
Baby Bear has a special place in my heart; we’ve shared some hard truths, some moving moments, and some important conversations. She may not be as geographically close, but if she showed up on my doorstep, she’d have a place to sleep.
Burning Bear is joy incarnate; even when he’s frustrated or overwhelmed, he will stop to smile at you and give you his full attention if he can. He goes to great lengths to let every person he touches know that they’re loved.
Guardian Bear has lived up to the family ethic of volunteerism, sometimes literally giving until it hurts. Don’t fuck with a Bear; we will go to great lengths to protect the ones we love.
- August 4: I am grateful that I have, as Spark would put it, “done all the things”. In particular, I am grateful that I have had a life full of experiences; that when given the choice between something that might be edgy or risky or scary, but make a great story, or staying home and feeling comfortable, I have always tried to chose the story. In my current emotional situation, in an odd way, I am very grateful that I have had to negotiate the end of emotionally-challenging relationships before. I know that I can survive this, that there will be life on the other side, and that it’s all just a temporary state of being. I can find those shards of me that remain from previous life-explosions and let them remind me that I am a force of nature that will be not destroyed by some little human-level problem.
- August 5: I am grateful for my magical clan and the Lady we serve. In the past few months, things between She and I have been a little rocky, to say the least; but as soon as things got much less stable around here, She made it abundantly clear to me that I am cared for and protected, and that I can rely on my clan for strength. I love that I know they will always tell me exactly what they are thinking, even when it isn’t the nicest or most politically/diplomatically correct thing to say. I was hesitant to join the Clan for my own reasons, but I think this will bear out as one of the best decisions I’ve made.
- August 6: Today I am grateful for my Threadspouses. That is, the members of a certain thread on the Regretsy forum that I participate in – and I’m pretty much thread-monogamous, as I don’t post in any other thread on the forum. We’ve grown from talking about one specific subject to so much more, and over time we’ve shared personal stories, given each other emotional and financial succor, and made each other laugh. These days, when I go to an event and lack reliable internet access, it’s The Thread I miss the most. Thankfully, many of them are now my friends on Facebook, so I can keep up with them outside of Regretsy.
- August 7: I am grateful for all the trans* people in my life, notably Raven, from whom I caught the “tranny cooties”, but there have been so many over the last ten years who have inspired me and given me strength and courage to seek out my own truth. Today I finally asked my endocrinologist about testosterone, and although that didn’t work out so well (she was very nice and super professional about it, but it’s just not her specialty), it gave me the impetus to call the Whitman Walker clinic, which is a LGBTQ health center in DC, and make an appointment to talk to an informed-consent doctor about hormone therapy. But it was scary as all get out; what held me together was imagining all the trans* people before me, screwing up their courage to speak their truth to someone with the power to help them achieve it. Thousands, hundreds of thousands over the years, down to the very first trans* person who convinced some doctor somewhere that giving them estrogen/testosterone would be beneficial and not insane. All of their spirits were with me today, to allow those words to come out of my mouth and not be afraid. Now, I am so much closer to being the Del I want to be, and I am tearfully joyful.