Life in the Bay Area

| Mar 21, 2016
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Searching…searching…searching…

Like a computer doing a complex search for an obscure but important item that you really need, but just can’t quite remember what it was or where to get it, you wait for the result. I am in search mode.

amanda_f_08-15It has been one year and 4 months since I came to the Bay Area. The last 4 have been the hardest by far. Every day I awake to varying degrees of anxiety. It has let me to seek out good people. But, the nature of this condition tends to wear on their desire to support you, thus burning them out when they can’t help you anymore. I have found some pretty great people out here on the Left Coast. This tribulation time of the last 4 months has actually bonded me more with the ones who do want to help me. The greetings have turned into warm hugs.

Hi, I’m Amanda, and I like warm hugs. Just like Olaf from Frozen, I seek comfort and warmth. That is one thing I am searching for here, love. When I feel unloved, I get sad. I get depressed. I feel alone in the world. I like to have hope and brightness. I thrive on it. I am on a constant search for human kindness and love. Things have gotten brighter on that front. I may have found comfort in a close friend. She is so kind.

I still feel like this is a strange land that I live in. After a year and a quarter here, it is starting to feel familiar, but still a little foreign. I am slowly embracing this strangeness and trying to understand it. Things are pretty different out here. Yes, the people may be colder and busier, but there is a lot of love too if you know where to find it.

I have two support groups, one main and one alternate one in Berkeley. The main one is at the Rainbow Community Center, the LGBT center for Concord and surrounding cities in Contra Costa County. I go to the food bank there and have my therapy appointment there. It’s an awesome place that is very friendly and very helpful in many ways. I am so glad I live fairly close it. My therapist is very good. She is young and finishing up her mandatory hours before she is a licensed therapist. I have been helped by her so much. Her youth just makes her more enthusiastic and helpful.

I’ve even looked into seeing a spiritual hypnotherapist — how Cali, right? Maybe this area is rubbing off on me. Organic foods, solar power, Prius’s, Whole Foods, clean energy and environmental issues are big here. I’m sure it’s rubbing off on me a bit. Alternative therapies, treatments and medicines are also prevalent here in California. It’s the place to be to have an ailment that is difficult to treat and deals with the mind, like I have.

It has been a rainy winter here in the Bay Area. El Nino is delivering as promised for this drought-stricken state. It’s providing relief. However, it’s been a bit of a gloomy winter. The lack of sunlight is still not helping my mood. But soon, the rains will end and the sun will shine from then until November most likely. I’m still unsure if I like the weather here or not. Everything out here, including the weather, is dramatic. The four seasons that I grew up with are relagated to summer and the rainy winter. I’m not sure if I miss humidity, thunderstorms, and snow, but sometimes I miss the change of seasons like back east. It could be worse I guess.

I’m searching for what is next. What do I do now? I’ve gone way off plan and now I’m just existing. I’m directionless. I’m still too afraid to even consider any surgeries. I can’t even get on the register at work when it’s busy, how can I even fathom getting surgery? Too much anxiety. Should I go back to school? Should I try for a different job? I can’t imagine the fear I’d feel on a new job. I just seem paralyzed right now.

I continue along working retail and trying to save a little here and there. My store and company cut hours across the board in January, February and now March. It’s been a struggle to pay the rent. I have decisions to make. My car is getting old and needs repairs. My rent for a room 40 miles from San Francisco is $550 per month. That is considered pretty cheap. But it doesn’t leave much room for a car payment on a retail wage.

One bright spot that could be significant is my search for love. There is something brewing on that front. It is complicated though and tempering my excitement is difficult. I don’t do well trying to limit my feelings. It’s very new right now but it could be something that could be very nice. I am seeing her tonight after this long and stressful shift I’m on lunch from. The mini pizza helped. Mmmm. I look out our cafe window at the rain and Mt. Diablo obscured by rain clouds and I wonder what is out there for me. I know there’s a girl out there, but as for healing, money and happiness…I’m just not sure. I just need to find the strength and courage to find out.


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

amandaf111

About the Author ()

I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 5 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. But recently moved back to the East Coast. The adventure continues...

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