In 2010, "I" was living in West Oakland, in a collective house, working full-time as a partner of a small technology biz. "I" was the moderator of First Congregational Church of Oakland. I know it's strange to see "I" in quotes, but this decade has, in a way, been a decade with a big discontinuity. Yes, in most obvious ways, I am the same person as I was before my transition - but in really profound ways, I'm not.
I knew when I turned 50 10 years ago that it would be a significant decade. I didn't quite know it would be the most significant decade of my life. It wasn't until the tail end (just before I turned 57) that I completely and fully embraced that I was trans, and that I was moving on a path to becoming the person I, in a way, have always meant to be.
This decade has been an extremely fluid one. Work-wise, I went from tech, to dating and relationship workshops and coaching, and back to tech. I went from living in the city to living varied versions of rurally. Relationship wise, though non-monogamous, I went from lightly tethered, to partnered, to married, to single, and back to partnered again. I've gone from being an active science fiction writer, to a writing hiatus, to writing a memoir. When it comes to spiritual community, I've gone from being deeply involved in a UCC congregation, to nothing, to somewhat involved in a Quaker Meeting, to nothing again. Even without the transition, it would have been probably the second most tumultuous decade of my life (the first was my 20s, and that's always tumultuous.) But with the transition, it counts as the most significant.
And, in retrospect, it has been, even with its chaos, and really rough times, the best decade of my life. It is the decade that I finally came into my own, in so many different ways, and I am happier with myself and my life than I have ever been. My life's set point moved from "meh" to "this is great."
The hardest part, I think, is that as my life has gotten itself on this amazing, joyful, contented track, the country (and to some extent the world) has become a shit-show, and so many people are suffering. I don't really know what to do with that dissonance, except feel super grateful, and really know and own the privilege I have that has allowed it. And do what I can to do good in the world, whether it be with money, time or talent. I also can remember that living a joyful, contented life as a black queer trans person is in itself revolutionary. And I will do what I can to help other POC trans people (and everyone else I encounter, too) live joyful contented lives as well.