I finalized my name change yesterday at about 9:15 AM at the courthouse in Hillsboro.
The name that I gave myself- the name with its unintended esoteric connotations that seemingly chose me as much as I chose the name- is now a legally binding identity. I’m now on track to be effectively done actively transitioning by the end of the year.
Classes start again soon. I remember once not so long ago, the end of summer was a thing to be dreaded, but being broke and anxious for months on end isn’t exactly my idea of a vacation. Anyhow, I really like the environment on campus; I feel safe and welcome and I get to take in the ambiance of downtown Portland on a daily basis. My dread of presenting female in public has gone to almost zero so my social anxiety is probably the lowest it’s ever been.
Also, there is a very good chance I’m going to be in Seattle signing the first of three new novels in a couple of weeks. By January I’ll have released more books in 5 months than I have in 5 years and I’m really starting to develop a voice that’s evolved beyond a simple pastiche of anything I may have written in previous lives. A friend who knows about my suspicions about having been Phil recently read some of my work and commented that I write much more believable characters who aren’t mired in fixed archetypes, for one thing. The angst of “I used to be a great author” is clearing away as I discover that not only do I still have it, but if anything I’m arguably a better writer this time around.
Life’s just starting to get good again, after so many years of pain and sorrow. I’m still nervous that something’s going to bring it all crashing down but so far, so good. Every milestone I reach is one less thing misfortune can tear from my grasp.