Jack of Many Trades

Stories and Margin Notes

Originally posted: 2022-07-15

John Beckett posted: In-Between Places: A New Story for These Times

I don’t know about you, but “do what you need to do to survive” isn’t enough anymore. I’m tired of just surviving, of just staying safe, of just waiting for things to “go back to normal.” Because they aren’t.

We need a new narrative. We need a new story.

We need a story that helps us find our place in this world of decline. We need a story that accepts reality and that also refuses to “go along quietly.”

I think we can find such a story in the in-between places.

I've been thinking about this off and on for a week now in a couple of contexts, about language and about storytelling. If you've known me for any time at all, you probably know I use writing as magic, so that's the obvious place I went first, about crafting a story of getting by and getting through and staying safe but also thriving and blooming in adversity and all that.

I thought about it when I made that post the other day about the stories that we share with our children and how we show we're invested in them, and since then in terms of the stories my kid tells and the way she tells them. She's asked that we not ask her a lot of questions right after we pick her up from something, so she has time to process it without being overwhelmed, and I was impressed that she could put that into words and ask for the time she needed to be able to tell her stories about school and classes and daycamps.

I thought about it as we're lining up our first few scouts for the girl scout troop in the fall, and how I talk about my time in scouting and what it is going to mean for our troop. I'm pretty confident the council will have my back if there's a problem, and it may never be one considering we're just one the border of Portlandia and Trumpland, but it's still a thing I have to do the calculus for.

I thought about it when Prof. Khiara Bridges was going viral for being amazing while the comments on articles about her were full of TERF bullshit from people asserting that the existence of trans people hurts Democratic re-election strategies. Even my theoretical "liberal bubble" isn't a place where my story can just exist. That's why I put so much weight on the act of writing, of telling my own stories, even if I only tell them to a few people. I may exist in the margins, I may be marginalia, but I'm still here. I am inserting myself in the larger narrative, whether I am wanted or not.

That's part of why I'm trying so hard to keep writing here. It's not perfect, but it helps me feel a little more seen when I otherwise feel invisible, you know? (Maybe I should change my blog name to From the Marginalia.)

In terms of more mundane marginalia:

I had my first physical therapy appointment Wednesday and it went pretty well. I was once again told I'm healing pretty well, which is good to hear, and I came home sore but I can definitely feel the difference. I got new exercises, and she wants to see me once a week, which the receptionist was immediately unable to schedule for me, but that's access right now, right? I was able to get most of them in, and I'm going to see if I can get FMLA paperwork so I don't have to use my PTO to cover, but even if I do, it should be okay.

My GI issues are flaring up in ways that make the prospect of going back to work in the office even part time really anxiety-inducing, so I also messaged my (brand new) primary care doctor about that. Nothing I love more than a good first impression! I only have a new PC because my prior one was also a gender clinic specialist and she's just going to be focusing on gender clinic care. And I'm... pretty good as far as that goes now. So the switch to a provider who's actually located near me is a bit of a bonus.

I'm not sure what she'll say about the request- I've never asked about an accommodation for this at work either, so I may be overthinking it, even; my employer is generally pretty good about stuff like this, it's just embarrassing to talk about.

I was looking at my medical history while I was in the patient portal and I saw they had x-rays listed. I clicked hoping for pictures, which they did not have, just notes. I did click on the most recent x-ray notes from my visit with the Bone Lady the other day, just out of curiosity.

Underneath the description of my healing fractures, there's a note: "The remaining bones are unremarkable."

I don't know why I find this hilarious, but I do.