Friday, August 26, 2011

Dependency vs. Friendship

I think that when the majority of your friends don't truly understand who you are, it is much easier to become attached to the friends that do. As a transperson, it can sometimes be unwise to disclose everything to everyone, so the select few that know the truth about you can suddenly become incredibly important, but where do you draw the line between dependency and friendship.

I have my own personal example about this with a close friend of mine. I have been more open with her than anyone and she accepts me completely. She, however, is going through a lot of issues in her own life as well and I feel that going through these things together has brought us much closer, perhaps too close?

I began to question my attachment to her, because although she is my best friend, she certainly does wield a certain amount of power over me. I noticed this specifically when I asked if maybe she could come to visit me on my sixteenth birthday so that it would be extra-special, but she refused for personal reasons. Although I really did try to sympathize with her, I couldn't help but feel hurt and upset. It was my first instinct to sulk and decide against doing anything for my birthday, but then it occurred to me how positively ridiculous that would be.

I am going to make a conscious effort to be more independent and try to feel closer to more people instead of just a select group. I think in a time as hectic as transition, that can be good advice for anyone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

He Will Hit You Again

Hi everyone! Well, during my long hiatus from posting, a pretty significant event went on.

I never made any mention of it, but my father has always been abusive. From emotional to physical abuse, he's really guilty of almost everything a person can be in the way that they treat other people. Some of my earliest memories are of him losing his temper and laying hands on me or spewing his hurtful words. I usually just shut up, or cried, but later I would always go back. Women through the ages have said it, but I will not hesitate to tell you again: If a man ever hits you, he will hit you again and it will never stop.

This particular incident was of him hearing some mention I made of the Oprah Winfrey Show (mistake #1), which made him think he had the right to call me a certain word beginning with "f" and ending in "t", we've all heard it. I then told him rather calmly, but bitterly, that he ought not to use words like that because if he slipped up he would use his job (mistake #2). He then told me that I had better hope nothing like that happens because then I would be "screwed financially," (I wouldn't, my mother is a lot of things but she's also a stable provider). At this point I was just absolutely seething, I haven't felt an ounce of love towards that man in I don't know how long. I got the courage to tell him, "You would deserve it," (mistake #3 and the kiss of death)

This began an episode in which he first ejected me from his apartment, saying terrible, vulgar things as I walked out, and ultimately I just couldn't take it and I called out, "drop dead!" behind me. It felt wonderful. However, he then burst through the apartment door, seized my arm, and started screaming and cursing. I yelled and kicked as loud and as hard as I could so he couldn't get me back in that god-forsaken apartment. I knew what would happen if he did. He quickly let me go (I believe out of fear of someone seeing him) and recoiled into his house.

I have since refused all contact. I've been at my mother's house ever since. The next time he decides to call and try to leave me some sob story on my answering machine, or further berate my mother, I'm going to answer and calmly explain to him that I will not be seeing him anymore. I have no ill will towards him, but there is no room for him or that kind of behavior in my life. He never learned the truth about me and I think he just proved that he never deserves to.

No one, will ever lay a hand on me again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another Successful Coming Out!

During these past few months that I have not been regularly posting, something incredible has happened!

I had the pleasure of being honest with my grandmother and telling her who I am and what I'm doing. I can just say it was predictable, yet fantastic! I never believed she would have a problem with it, and she certainly didn't! It's sort of funny, seeing as she never would believe that my mom was having a boy until I was actually born. I guess she was right after all!

This is not to say however, that people can always be so predictable. Never allow yourself to believe that someone can't reject you just because you don't think  they will.

I am so lucky to have had such a positive experience this time around, and even luckier to have yet another loved one supporting me! I wish you all the very same acceptane and more!

Exciting and Scary Things Ahead!

Hey, everyone! I'm still sort of in a period where finding the time or energy to keep my posts interesting isn't the easiest thing to do, but I think you will see an increase in updates from here on.

As of now, I officially have 15 days left of school (only 12 if you don't count testing days)! With summer approaching, I am also coming up on my first chance to live honestly as myself.

I haven't set an exact date for when I am going to go full-time, but once I'm out of school, it can be whenever I feel ready. I do however, have a rough estimate of when I want things to happen. By the end of 2011, I hope to be in a position to go full-time and I hope to have my name changed by this time next year.

It's a little intimidating for me to stare at the blank canvas that is my life so far and know that I soon have to start filling it up. I don't know yet how exactly it is going to turn out, but I do know that there are new and exciting things to come! :-D

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chaz Bono on Oprah!

When I sat down today to carry out my daily ritual of watching the Oprah Winfrey Show, I had no idea that I was in for such an amazing show!

Chaz Bono was (and may still be coming up depending on your time zone) and it was a spectacular interview! Oprah spoke to Chaz about issues from living in the wrong body, coming out to Cher and the rest of his family, top and bottom surgery, and even his relationship with his significant other (who appeared on the show with him).

I'll have to pick up a copy of Chaz Bono's new book, "Transition: the Story of How I Became a Man." It is sure to be a good read!

If you missed it today, make sure to watch his documentary, "Becoming Chaz," on the Oprah Winfrey Network tomorrow night!

Chaz seems like such a happy, fulfilled man now and I think he is a shining example of what os is to be a transperson. He's doing us proud!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Hey everybody, I'm so sorry that I haven't been posting regularly. I can't believe I let it go for almost a month... To anyone reading this, thanks for not bailing on me! I'm just handling a lot of crazy stuff as I wrap up what may be my last year in regular school.

I've been on Spring Break, doing standardized testing, submitting paperwork to my new virtual school (yay!), and getting ready to go to court to testify in a case that I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about or not. To sum it up, there was some violence that was going to take place in my school and the person that was going to do it used to have some obsession with me.

I really appreciate those of you who regularly check my blog for updates, but I'm really sorry to tell you that posts are going to be a little more spaced out than usual with everything that's going on. I really appreciate you sticking with me and just know that I'll have more time to dedicate to this blog after this term gets over with!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Choice

So I was just talking with my mom about my sweet sixteen in December. I know it's a long way away, but since I've already missed my entire childhood, I'm unwilling to let what is really the last big event in a girl's life before she reaches womanhood. I plan to have a venetian-masquerade themed party with all the bells and whistles. I want at least a few pictures to show my children of how their mommy looked when she was young. I will already be full-time so it is certainly do-able, it is just a matter of how. Before I presented it to my mom, I had already researched it and was reading off quotes and figures from my little green book.

She said that is is do-able, pretty much exactly the way  I want it, but since money is tight, and venues and catering is expensive, I am going to have to choose between an enormous celebration and a car. While one could argue that a car is more practical, the pictures and memories of this momentous celebration seem priceless to me. My mind is pretty much made up about this, I was just wondering what you guys would think. Would you take the car, or the huge party?

Down to Business

I am in a no-nonsense mood and I feel that now is the time to get things done. I am so sick and tired of teetering on the edge of self-destruction, so I have contacted my therapist and I plan to get back into my routine of attending my sessions regularly. I have attempted to undertake this entire transitional process on my own, and I've had to learn the hard way that no one can do that. I plan to have my therapist work through my emotional issues and I know that she can give me a reference to a speech therapist. My voice is usually the trigger for my emotional break-downs and I know that if I can just get that under my belt, then the rest of my transition will be fairly smooth.

I've also gotten back into one of my better habits and I am now keeping up with my diary every day. My "Little Green Book," has already become one of my most valuable resources. I use it for everything from creative writing, to emotional ravings, to book-keeping. I highly recommend keeping a diary to anyone in transition or any other major issues in their lives. There is something in the act of changing all those pent up emotions into something tangible that you can hold in your hands that is just beyond fulfilling. Even if you are the only person who sees it, a piece of paper is more patient, understanding, and excellent at listening than any friend you could have.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thank You!

I am in complete and total shock! I never thought that my following would even reach the double digits, let alone past twenty! I also never expected to have an article written about me on another trans-blog or for people to care about the ravings of a teenage girl!

I want to give a special thanks to Halle at for writing that article and giving me much more praise than I deserve! She also has a great personal blog at: Go check her out, her writing is incredible!!! :-)
I appreciate every one of my followers and I consider it a privilege to have you read my periodic musings. All I can say is thank you from  the bottom of my heart and I hope you all enjoy being on this journey with me as much as I enjoy having you along!<3

My Light in the Darkness

I spent the day down in the dirt. Not only did I get caught falling asleep in class, but I was also accosted by an insane girl in the hallway who insisted I had committed some heinous crime against her, and to top it all off, I was interrogated by the police about some insane guy that used to have some infatuation with me and is now facing felony charges.

While all this was happening, I had one thought it my head, "I have someone to talk to at the end of this. I have someone who will care. I HAVE a best friend, and her name is Kali Kelly! (changed her name for safety purposes)"

Kali is the Louise to my Thelma, the Beyonce to my Gaga, and the  Oprah to my Gayle. At times, she serves as my center and foundation and I will always be around to do the same for her. There really are no words for me to describe what our bond is in today's society, but all I know is that I'm lucky to have already found one soul-mate, and any guy will be lucky to be runner-up.

Monday, March 21, 2011


To guard your heart, and to avoid being anybody's fool, it is actually quite important to accept in your mind that some people are write-offs.Transsexuals can be put into positions of extreme anxiety when faced with the prospect of what some people will think or say. Much of this anxiety can be alleviated by simply telling yourself the worst is going to happen, and you don't care. While they may never accept you, and they may never be okay, you will.

I have a great deal of experience with this. One example would be that all of my female friends at school know about me, but I haven't told a single straight male. I have two male best friends, Jamie and Cory, and I've already cut myself off from them emotionally and am in the process of coming up with a decent cover story to ensure that I never see them again. Will I miss them? Yes. Do I think I could keep them around if I tried? No. Although I do believe in most cases it is better to actually give people a chance, I also feel that sometimes, it just isn't worth it. A few unexpected allies can crop up, but if the warning signs and ominous clouds are looming over a relationship, it may be best to cut and run.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kayley's Reaction

I just got off the phone. It was the first time I talked to Kayley after I came out to her. It was emotional, and there was some crying, but she came through for me like I knew she would. She expressed some concern and confusion, as would be expected, but she made it very clear that we will always be friends and she will always have my back. It just feels good to know that there are some people that you can just always count on. This is a very difficult time, but knowing that many people, along with Kayley, will still be with me on the other side. I advise anyone feeling completely alone to come out to someone that you know will accept you. Every time I do, my love, and my world, grows a little bit bigger.

Came Out to Another Friend

Today, after having a wonderful mall day with my friend Kayley and a few of her friends, I knew I couldn't wait any longer to tell her. She is one of my closest friends and I just couldn't bear the feeling that she didn't truly know me. So to bring myself some peace, and to strengthen our bond (hopefully), I sent her this letter:

Dear Kayley,
I've been meaning to tell you something for a very long time, but I have been putting it off. I have held this inside since before you even know me, not because I don't trust that you will always be there for me, but because it is a very difficult thing to discuss. I am not gay. I am a transsexual. This means that I feel that the body assigned to me at birth doesn't match my mind. Inside, I feel like a girl, just like you. This is why (if you've noticed) I flinch when you refer to me as, "your gay best friend," or imply any other masculine thing.I am in the process of changing my outside to match my inside. I have started hormone blockers so that I will not develop any more masculine features, and I am in the process of going through speech therapy to change the way I talk. Pretending to be someone I'm not has caused a lot of conflict in my life and I no longer want to feel like a depressed shell of a person. I plan to live my life as my true self after this year, and that is why I am going to home school for a year or two so I can adjust to my proper gender-role.I had to tell you this  now because I can't keep secrets from you. Of all the people in the world, I HAVE to be real and myself with you. I hope you know that I will still be me, and you will still be my best friend. I know that you love me and I feel that you will be able to come to terms with this. I will be happy to answer any questions you have and I hope that our friendship will remain as strong as ever.

Love always,
your best friend

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye

The word "goodbye" is normally a common word in a transperson's vocabulary. More often than not, embracing one's true self means saying goodbye to many people in our lives. I had a very personal encounter with "goodbye" today, although it was entirely unrelated to my transition.

My best friend in school, Kit, is moving tomorrow, and today was her last day at my high school. We've only known eachother for about a year since we're both freshman, but in the chaos of high school, alliances and bonds form quickly. We've had so many good times and she is so supportive of me in everything that I do. Before she left, I made her a memory book full of pictures of us and all of our friends. In return, she gave me a sentimental letter that nearly brought me to tears in the middle of history class. I think that I might keep that letter in my pocket for a little while, so when I miss her, it will be there.

While I still cannot imagine how life will be without her, I understand that these things have to happen. As I am making my way towards my rightful place in the world, everyone else is heading towards theirs. While my journey is taking place here at the moment, hers is leading her somewhere else, and to reach where we need to be in our lives, we have to accept change. I have learned from this friendship, though. I now know that if I can say goodbye to someone that I care about and survive, then I can say goodbye to any friends or family that reject me and come out alive. So in a way, this is almost like practice. It is also tangible evidence that there is real love and true friendship in this world. I know it's real because I've seen it, touched it, and felt it. For every low, there is a high, for every no there is a yes, and for every goodbye, there is a hello.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Endocrinologist Visit

About three months ago, my therapist referred me to an endocrinologist. After only one visit, I was able to acquire an anti-androgen called spironolactone. I was actually shocked at how easy it was. There were no embarrassing examinations or a long wait. I went in, answered a few questions, and within the hour I was picking up my prescription from the local pharmacy!

I had to go back for a checkup a few days ago and things are going well so far! Although the medication has lowered my blood pressure significantly, and it does make me feel a little sick sometimes, it seems to be serving its purpose. I will get my hormone levels back from a lab in a few weeks, so I will be able to see how significantly they have been affected. Even if my dosage needs to be raised slightly, I'm certain that it's not far off the mark.While I feel that the pros outweigh the cons, I feel that someone going into this should know every possible side affect, so I've listed both the positives and negatives:
  • Clearer skin
  • Less hair growth
  • Overall more feminine appearance
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Less energy
  • dizziness

Hair and Wigs Galore!

A woman's hair is worth a thousand words. By looking at a woman's hair, you might get an impression of whashe is like. A jet black fringe may suggest a more wild or devious woman, while honey-golden curls might give off the impression of sweetness and innocence.

With this in mind, hair is one of the most important cues when it comes to passing.  A beautiful face may be overpowered by an unkempt mane, while an average profile can be enhanced with the right hairstyle.  It is absolutely vital (especially as a transwoman) to pick a look that suits your face. For example, If you have a high forehead or a prominent brow ridge (like me), bangs or side-swept hair to downplay the size is the way to go. I would actually recommend a hairstyle with bangs to any transwoman, as it makes the head appear smaller and is overall a very forgiving look. Tyra Banks is currently sporting a fringe on ANTM, so it is certainly a fashionable choice.

When it comes to wigs, you have to consider several things:
  • Why do you need the wig?
  • How long will you wear it for?
  • How much are you willing to spend?
Someone in my situation, that already has long enough hair to be cut and styled when the timing is appropriate, may opt for a cheaper, synthetic wig since it will only be in use for a short time. Someone with a receding hairline, or hair loss from illness, may want to look into spending more on a human hair wig that will last longer. There is really no right or wrong price to spend on a wig. If it suits your needs, an makes you feel confident, then it is worth every penny.

For those searching for a reputable online wig store. I recommend:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Great Expectations

I always find something to dream about.  Just last night, I had gotten myself so worked up for my best friend from out of state to come for a visit before I really even gave her time to see if it could be done or if it was convenient for her.

Like the character, Pip in Dickens' novel (that this post is named after), I  build up impossible fantasies in my head. A simple visit from my best friend mixes with my desire to be myself and find freedom and therefore, in my mind, becomes the best week of my life that will allow me to carry on. Also like Dickens' character, when these illusions fail to materialize, I find myself unable to cope with the reality that was in front of me all along, crash, and shortly thereafter find a new pipe dream.

 While this pattern is clearly unhealthy, what is more damaging, to expect too much, or to expect nothing at all?

Just to Clarify...

Those of you who read my blog saw me at a very low point last night. To clarify exactly what was wrong with me (minus the figurative language) is that:

  • My mother has a severe drinking problem
  • My best friend lives very far away and not being able to see her just gets to me sometimes
These two things caused what was essentially an emotional break down last night and I just dashed out the door past my unconscious mother and ran without thinking about it. Obviously I came back and I am fine, but I don't particularly recommend running through the city at night to anyone looking for coping mechanisms...

To be honest, I still feel depressed today. This is one of those days where I put a blanket over the mirror and go to sleep as soon as it gets dark, but I'll hold on and wait for the opportunity to find a resolution to my problems. To anyone dealing with extreme emotional distress, I recommend finding an outlet like poetry, art, or music, it certainly helps me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shattered Glass in the Cold Night

I let the door slam behind me. I don't know what I'm doing. I break into a sprint as an icy wind rushes to meet me. I have no where to go. My feet keep moving as I disappear beyond the view of the streetlights, with no direction in mind.

I run from my mother, though she's too far into the bottle to know I'm gone. I run from my loneliness. What I thought to be my most valued friendship has failed to come to fruition.

I run. I contemplate not stopping. I think about the dangers of the night on the street, but I throw up my hands and spin around on the broken glass of my illusions. "Take me if you will," I breathe to the night.

My feet carry me past a laundromat. A man looks at me. I stop. I am back in reality. How long have I been running? It's ten-thirty. My problems are as near as ever. I turn around and run bak to where I came from. The glass remains shattered.

My Voice

Hey everybody! While I was doing my voice practice today I thought maybe I should let you hear what I sound like! I don't consider myself to be done working in any way, shape, or form, but it always helps me to see and hear other people's progress so maybe some of you feel that way too! Maybe I'll do a video blog one of these days... Maybe. ;)

My Voice
 (Mp4 format)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Covers and Alibis

As I'm writing this, I'm taking Trans-related books of my shelves and counters in the downstairs portion of my house in a swift effort to transproof it for my grandfather when he visits today. This got me to thinking, what's the point? I, along with an army of transsexuals, am guilty of putting off coming out long after I became sure of my path. In the two years I've spent hiding therapist appointments, endocrinologist visits, and shopping with my girlfriends, I hve actually gained nothing but more wasted time with my family. I know believe that there is nothing to be gained from hiding anything because now every moment I spend with these people feels like a complete facade. Even if I can't completely transition for a few months, virtually all my friends at school know, my mother knows, and I feel great being around them because there are no secrets. I think I just need to do it quick like a bandaid and get the rest of my family over with. No longer will I have to pretend that urging me to do male things hurts me, and I will be no one but myself. I know it's time and I plan to end this soon.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Slave to Acceptance

When I first started coming out, I was thrilled everytime someone accepted me. I would cling
to them for dear life like a safety raft and essentially let people do or say whatever just because I felt like I owed them something. I had a situation the other day with a friend who has upset me on numeous occasions and always has some way to turn it around and tell me off. I've been through the same things with other people who hang their so called "approval" over my head as a get out of jail free card. I now realize that I don't owe anyone anything. The world owes all types of people acceptance and it is injust that transsexuals among others do not receive it. I will not allow my life to be ruled by this imaginary caste system that lies and tells us that we belong on the bottom for ring different. Acceptance is not an excuse to emotionally waterboard people and run them into the ground. I will not tolerate anyone mistreating me regardless of whether they accept my trans-status Or not, because I am not a second class citizen and I have done nothing wrong.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A More Personal Post

I've decided that I want to be more personal with this blog. If you wanted a life coach you could just go watch Oprah!  I want to expand on my post, "slamming doors," and share my own experience about not being able to have something that I desperately want. I currently have a hopeless crush on a guy friend that would most likely sooner dig his eye out than touch me with a yardstick. In hindsight, this is a good thing, because I strongly advise others against pre-transition dating yet I must admit that had the opportunity presented itself, I don't believe I would have been strong enough to resist the temptation. In a twisted sort of way, I believe that this was one of the luckiest things that has happened to me in a long time. While there is always the pain of rejection, being four months away from full-time doesn't exactly leave me any room for more complications. Sometimes, not getting what you want can be the best thing for you. What one wants and what one needs can be polar opposites.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What If...

When trapped in a miserable situation with either no end in sight, or an ending so far away that the wait is discouraging, it can be all too tempting to fantasize and obsess over that "one thing" that would change everything. While this is obviously true for the transsexual, it is truly relatable to people from all walks of life. Everyone has that "one thing" that (in their fantasies would solve all of their problems. I.E. "If only I was prettier," or, "If only I had more money." While these things may appear to be the core problem, they would not in actuality provide a complete resolution. The pain one feels may have stemmed from a central problem, but ends up stemming out in all different directions and each miniature crisis is an emotional scar that must be dealt with by itself. It's vital to expand one's view past tunnel vision, and see the broad spectrum of emotions going on inside. When there are outer conflicts that cannot be immediately resolved, one must attempt to seek healing from the inside out. This can be initiated by talking to a professional or a trusted friend. The only obstacles in life that can truly hold a person back are the one's within themselves. Once those are dealt with, time will take care of the rest.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Doubt is a plague that runs deep within our community. It keeps many of us locked inside our heads for months, years, or even decades. It allows us (or outside forces) to delude ourselves into postponing the inevitable, and keeping up a charade that only makes us miserable. Someone once said, "Any belief worth having must survive doubt," and .these words ring true for a transsexual at the beginning of their journey. While this constant second-guessing may take a toll on one's mentality, it would most definitely be more destructive to dive into something of such vitality on a whim. Doubt is the foundation of certainty and without it, one could never truly begin to understand what it is to be a transsexual and what it is to be a human being. So to those who are unsure of who you are or what you want, continue to question and challenge yourself. You will be rewarded in the long run.

Slamming Doors

At times, pre-transition life clearly points out to us the urgency of our need to transition. For me, it seems as though no matter where you turn, the doors are slammed in  your face and the walls are closing in. Try being gay, you only like straight guys. Try being friends with girls, they fall in love with you. In a way this barrier is nice because it gives a person a sort of certainty about what they're doing and leaves little to desire by keeping this false life, but in another way it leaves one's options for killing time very limited. Pre-transition life gets quite daunting at times and at the moment is making me all that much sure of my need to transition. I suppose this could be viewed as time wasting away, but I prefer to think of it as time to prepare for what is to come, so that when the real challenges come to pass, I can face them with confidence and courage.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Voice Phobia

What makes a voice beautiful? Is it the way it flows with a melody, or its velvety softness as it follows a sweet tune? Well, it's certainly not the high-pitched squeak that mine so often breaks of into. You'd think I would have gotten off easy by only progressing a very short way into the wrong puberty, but nothing's ever that easy for a transgirl. Of everything I missed out on, mother nature made sure to strangle the heck out of my voice. Compared to where I started, I'm in a wonderful place and when I practice alone, marvelous, but god(Jesus, Buddah, Allah, Spongebob) forbid there's someone else around, I can barely make a sound or I might even let out that dreadful squeak. My voice phobia is my last hurdle in passing but it is certainly the greatest. I've considered a voice coach but seeing as I can do it when I'm on my own, should I? Does anybody else have a case of voice phobia?

The Plan

Now that the whole introduction thing is out of the way, we can get down to business. I mentioned that I aim to go full time in about four months, as soon as my freshman year in high school is over. It's not so much that I'm ready, or that I've made great preparations, but more that this simply can't wait any longer. Can you imagine a baby saying to its mother in labor, "You know I think I could use another year or so, could you stop pushing for a while?" Ridiculous, right? That's the way postponing my transition seems to me at this point.

So my goal is to finish ninth grade, transition over the summer, do a year of homeschooling to adjust to my correct gender role, and then see what happens. However, there's plenty of drama that's sure to unfold before I can get to that goal. At the moment I'm only out to my mother so I can get anti-androgens and that sort of thing, but I've yet to say anything to my father (who has so far taken his single-fatherhood rather lightly) or either of my grandparents. Those two obstacles are going to be dealt with as soon as possible. I'm currently reading the book, "True Selves," so I can give it Queen Lauren's seal of approval, and then allow my family to read it. This should be fun...

The Beginning

The title of this blog might suggest that I am here to present advice and guidance to young transitioners. You might think that I hold some knowledge that could help you along your journey, but in truth, this is the beginning of mine.

My name is Lauren. I am a fifteen year old transgirl that just happens to be about four months away from starting full time. For now, I have virtually no experience, no stories to tell, and no advice to offer, but I invite you to join me and we can figure it out together. :)