2016 was bad. I felt as if that year couldn’t end soon enough. Â But it’s as if 2017 started the year saying, â€œHold my beerâ€ and it went downhill from there. I had a lot of challenges this year including reconstruction at Castle Carter after my condo flooded, death of my childhood coach, being in a car accident, studying for the California bar exam, and processing my gender identity.
Thankfully, I started a new tradition of keeping a jar next to my bed where I wrote notes about things that happened in my life that made me happy or giggle. Even on bad days, I could look over at my jar that was filling with notes and be reminded that life doesn’t suck all the time. It was a joy to go through them while I wrote this post. Here are my top 5 events/activities from 2017:
1. I got a Skateboard at CMWorld
Content Marketing World always does an excellent job taking care of its speakers. I look forward to this conference every year and I’m proud to be part of Team Orange. When they announced that Casey Neistat would be one of the keynote speakers, I started tweeting at them that I wanted an orange skateboard as my speaker gift. (They usually get us each a wireless mouse/laser pointer.) Shortly after I checked into my hotel room, the hotel dropped off a big box for me. It was a mini orange skateboard! I love this thing, not just because it’s awesome, but because it made me feel like part of the CMWorld family. Once I finish my marathon in 2018, I’m going to take a skateboarding lesson and learn how to ride it properly.
2. â€œDon’t Be What They Made Youâ€ Tattoo
I saw Logan in the theater. When I heard this line, I instantly knew I wanted it tattooed on my wrist. A few months later, Hollis at Iconic Tattoo made it a reality. This is a daily reminder and inspiration for me.
3. â€œBut I’m still your Tranpaâ€
Accepting that I’m non-binary made me feel like I was a baby queer all over again. I felt especially vulnerable a few months ago and sent an email to trans entertainer and advocate Buck Angel, just an open invitation for lunch the next time he’s in Phoenix. He responded and signed it â€œTranpa.â€ I wrote back and said, age-wise, we’re more like cousins. (We’re only about 7 years apart.) He responded, â€œHahaa but I’m still your Tranpa ❤️.â€
This warmed my heart. It matters to talk to people who â€œget it.â€ Buck is someone I reach out to when I experience dysmorphia or feel like I live in a world that wasn’t made for me.
4. Running with David
I’m training for the Rock â€˜n’ Roll Arizona Marathon 2018. After getting a DNF at my last marathon attempt, I decided to hire a coach, David Roher. He lives on the east coast, so we communicate over email, text, and phone. He gives me my assignments and tracks my workouts via Strava, plus we talk about nutrition, stretching, injuries, and life in general.
David always has a word of encouragement when I need it â€“ often to remind me that I have the ability to do any assignment he gives me and not to push myself too hard. When I finished my 20-mile training run a few weeks ago, I was pleased with my pace and by how good I felt at the end of it.
5. Ethics and Ice Cream
I had a flash of brilliance at the beginning of August to do a continuing legal education seminar looking at what Arizona lawyers were being disciplined for during the last few years to look for patterns and commonalities. I pitched the idea to do this for ASU CLE and call it â€œEthics and Ice Cream.â€ They loved it and we scheduled the event for about a month later. I recruited fellow lawyer and comedian, Matt Storrs, and we reviewed all the Lawyer Regulation reports since 2015 and pulled off a successful event.
This event made this list, not because I created a CLE, but because I put this idea into action and made it work.
As I read all the notes in my jar, I noticed there were at least six notes that mentioned hugs or being the â€œlittle spoon.â€ Besides giving me a warm fuzzy trip down memory lane, these notes reminded me how important the people in my life are to me.
Firsts in 2017
Flying in/out of a city in one day (for Ungagged Las Vegas)
Standing ovation for singing â€œO Holy Nightâ€ at the Community Church of Hope Christmas Show
Love and Complements Rally
Interview on The Out House Podcast
Foods: Almond butter (meh), Vegan gourmet shreds (cheese-like, not bad), Cashew milk ice cream (best non-dairy ice cream), Almond milk yogurt (not food), Cashew yogurt (not food), Pumpkin seeds (so good), Spirulina (meh)
Events: ICON, Law Launcher, TBD Law, BlogHer
Joseph Gordon Levitt