Captain’s Blog: Stardate 08172022.5

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Today marks my 41st anniversary (birthday) as a Starfleet officer. I’m at about the halfway point of my journey. I’ve faced many challenges on this voyage and I’ve also had many successes. Looking back where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I want to be, I hope the next 41, if I’m lucky enough to serve that long, will continue to be the adventure of a lifetime.

A view near the galactic border (the Pacific ocean)

Nowadays, I don’t spend a lot of time looking back. The past doesn’t hold a lot for me. No matter how much pain I’ve suffered, the terrible decisions I’ve made and nostalgia, the things that have already happened can’t change. It’s tricky….the old saying goes, “those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it”. Undoubtedly, there are lessons to be learned from the mistakes we’ve made. Though it can become too easy to get stuck in a loop thinking about what could’ve been done, all that can be done is make course corrections in the present and plot a course for a better future.

M-class moon oasis (Cataracts falls) This view was difficult to obtain, required off-path hiking

Currently, I helm one of the Federation’s most powerful ships, the USS Zamora. How I carry myself not only affects myself but also has an impact on my crew (3 kids, 3 cats and a hamster), has an influence on those aboard Starbase 701 (work), can help or hinder the distressed captains I encounter (clients I serve) and can impact the galaxy at large.

Mindfulness is all about trying to stay focused on the present and immediate future. I’ve lost so much time and energy looking back or fruitlessly trying to predict the long-term future. Going ahead, I don’t want to waste the next 41 or however long I have in my head. I have a pretty good idea where I am, what I want and my hope is that I achieve my goals. Yet, I keep trying to remind myself that it isn’t necessarily about the destination, it’s about enjoying the journey.

The crew and others undertaking wilderness training

Intergalactic space is dangerous and unpredictable. Goals are great to have but I’ve tried to find moments of happiness during the little moments and I’ve tried to not to let whatever craziness that’s happening or has just occurred to take over my mind or emotions. Failures will happen. It’s not about the fall but about learning to pick yourself.

See if you can guess where the top grid line is?

Part of not getting knocked off track for me is also remembering the ephemeral nature of life. Change is inevitable. I think part of the sting of losing my mom and Michelle was that I let myself be surprised when they died. I didn’t fully appreciate that any conversation could be the last. It has broken me a lil to realize that any time I am out of sight of my crew or friends could be the last time I talk with them. Yet, I think it’s helped me truly value every interaction and have gratitude when I get the chance those I care for again. And though Michelle and my mom are no longer here and that hurts me, I am comforted by remembering the good times, knowing they wouldn’t want me to suffer in the present and I have a hope of seeing them again.

Shuttlecraft training with officers Bella and Tino

Captain’s Blog Stardate 08152022.7

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All my Starfleet (university) training, work experience and other interpersonal interactions hadn’t quite prepared me for how some people can behave at times. Otherwise intelligent and warm individuals can become toxic , distant and behave in otherwise irrational ways.

Sometimes ships end up sos. This particular ship was seen adrift near the Vallejo quadrant

Admiral William and I had a falling out. As I stated in a previous blog entry, him and I had been in communication but without commitment. At the time, I had told him I was open to the prospect of him being my poly secondary. Yet, as I probed my own emotions over the last few days, I came to the conclusion that I wanted more out of the relationship or nothing at all. When I told the admiral that I still had residual feelings ,that I wanted him to move nearby and go all in or not meet up under a friends with benefits arrangement, he accused me of misleading him and started to speak over me when ultimately I ended our subspace transmission (phone call).

Some sort of dam runoff thingy.

Today I’ve had to deal with two suicidal clients and had to coordinate with management over one of them. (One of cases is a rather heartbreaking situation I wish I could discuss more) I check my messages and Admiral William left me a message stating, “Lying to me (that we were together) ‘because you thought I would change my mind’ was monstrous”. I called him to let him know I was cutting off all contact with him. Last thing I needed after the morning I’ve had…

I want a full-on relationship. Not just a phone friend or meet you when it suits me guy. I need someone to go through life with. To me, the fwb thing is a form of being used. I don’t just want someone around for sex or the just good times. I want to share my existence with another soul…the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. Not show up when it’s convenient. And if I was going down that route, I could get someone within my sector (area), someone much more spry and full of vigor. I don’t need to depend on someone almost a 100 parsecs (miles) away. Gonna tell me, “o baby I love you so much” but then won’t back it up with action….talk is cheap. Love is a verb to me not a noun.

I dawned the purple wig for the first time in awhile. I prefer this look over my daily look though the crew disagrees with me.

I also was told over the weekend that Captain Alex was no longer going to be in communication with anyone via subspace. They were vague about the circumstances but informed everyone in our star trek group that due to life circumstances that they weren’t going to be around. Given how close I’ve grown with the captain, I’m crushed. I am left not knowing what is happening and I thought given our frank and thorough conversations, that they’d at least give me more insight as to what was happening.

View near the Cataracts falls expanse

I am trying hard not to harden my heart. Special Agent from Sector 31 (his requested title 🙄) Eric has also been rather aloof and I’m just tired of having my heart broken. The stresses of this job have increased of late, the kids have been difficult and all this stuff going on socially makes me feel disheartened. I had a good Saturday night, I went to the karaoke bar with Captain Randy, that was fun and in spite of it all I’m trying to apply the lesson from the last entry of just seeing the positives. I frequently say that emotions are like the weather and they will pass and this too will pass. The future is unwritten and full of wonderful possibilities and I won’t let anyone keep me down for too long.

Captain’s Blog Stardate 08102022.4

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As a young cadet (kid), I was so eager to join Starfleet. Back then, I used to dream of making big changes that would make the galaxy a better place. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that large substantive change is so much harder than I could’ve imagined.

Near the Truckee Expanse

At this point, I’ve come to accept that any positive contribution I can make will be on the microscale. Society at large will never sing my praises or acknowledge my abilities as I once secretly hoped for. Considering the superficial things that are praised in this society, perhaps that is a good thing. Even if there is no God or afterlife, I have found myself increasingly content with just making one person’s day a little bit better.

Asteroid belt near the Truckee Expanse

My legacy is mostly a secret legacy; much like everyone else’s. As small of an impact as I’ve had on this world thus far, I am comforted by the butterfly effect. Small changes can result in unpredictable big outcomes. My mom died thinking of herself as a mostly unloved nobody. Yet, her warm spirit continues to impact the lives of her friends, my extended family and inspires the crew of the USS Zamora to be better people. I hope she knows now how much she was loved and how much she meant to everyone.

M-class planet near the Truckee Expanse

Aside from that, I continue to dip my toe in the dating world. I reinitiated contact with Admiral William. Him and I have spoken at length. He’s quite intelligent and we have a lot in common but I am also reminded of his limitations. We’ve agreed not to commit at this time but continue to be in communication for now. I haven’t really pursued other options with much fervor. I’m sort of burnt out on dating and at this point I’ve been mostly content doing my own thing.

Officers Tino and Bella enjoy piloting the shuttlecraft

I am happy being with me. I would totally date myself. In the past, I wouldn’t want to date someone like me but I think I’m happy with how I am now. I frequently am finding joy in the little moments. Problems still annoy me but the negative effects on me are usually minimum. I no longer look at other people’s lives and wish they were mines. I wish I could save my progress right now just in case things went astray so I can return to this moment of relative peace. I need to remember things can be okay when I feel distressed. Everything can and will be okay.

Captain’s Blog: Stardate 07232022.5

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Traveling through intergalactic space can be a trying endeavor. Even when there is nothing happening, just existing can be difficult. On the holodeck (tv), most holonovels present a world where one’s biggest adversary is some other opponent bent on destroying you. However, more often than not, our most difficult adversary is ourself.

Officer Tino rocking out

Lately, I’ve been struggling with managing my emotions. Working as a defacto counselor, I interact with clients going through some rather challenging circumstances. Being an empathetic person and wanting to do my best to assist them with their situation, I find myself being inadvertently affected by my own desire to alleviate their pain. Usually, I tend towards snacking in order to cope. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, at resisting the snacks and trying to not react to my emotions.

Officer Bella and I went to the outskirts of our sector and seen this view

When I arrive back at the U.S.S Zamora (home), I am also inundated by the crew (the kids) and their needs. Still, my clients and crew don’t put as much strain as I put on myself. A part of me thinks of myself as capable of handling anything on my own. Another part of me knows that I’m not nearly as adept as I imagine myself to be. I have tried reaching out.

That’s me at Starbase 701

I’ve spent far more time of late trying to engage with other people. It almost always feels a bit empty though… I always feel like I’m chasing someone to be my friend. I almost always have to initiate. If I don’t say anything, awhile can go by before contact is initiated. It’s also been super quiet spiritually. Perhaps because I’ve been too busy but I haven’t noticed much of late and the times I’ve tried to interact feels like I’m back to talking to myself in my head.

My crew playing a competitive game in the holodeck

During my moments of doubt, I’ve turned to my previous writings and memories for spiritual reassurance. I know what I know and what I’ve experienced. I’m trying to stay focused on proving myself to the universe and really trying to be the best me I can be for myself, the crew and the galaxy at large.

Captain’s Blog Stardate 07122022.9

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Today, the (work) crew and I were relocated to Starbase 701 (new worksite). As I pulled up in my shuttlecraft (car), I noticed a number of shipless (homeless) encampments just outside the perimeter of the Starbase. Upon further inspection, I noticed a little girl (about 6 years ago) scurrying about the rubble. Seeing the little girl and realizing that this is her life….it broke my heart. Even moreso given the fact that the temperature was set to reach 105°F (41°C).

Encampment that circles around the outer perimeter of Starbase 701; in stark contrast to the beautiful scenery that encircled Starbase 321

As I entered the Starbase, I could almost taste the stagnant air. The dim lights flickered sporadically. The vibrating hum of an older air conditioner could be heard throughout the building. The hallways are long and have old office furniture stored on the side. As I entered our suite, I noticed exposed wires hanging from the ceiling and cubicles in disrepair. Luckily, I am situated in a side office…at least for now until they relocate is into a different suite within the Starbase in a month.

I think this is just a halfway point between the hallway, it’s really long, no one would find me if we were playing hide and seek…I’d hide inside a cabinet!

As I settled in I received a cryptic text message from Captain Leo. “To be fare (sic). I am unable to overcome how you put your wants over the children’s needs. I have this problem with my X. Different needs, same outcome.” I was rather unnerved by not knowing what he was talking about especially given that I had very much hoped that he was going to be the relationship I had been waiting for. I eventually was able to get in touch with him and press him on what precisely he meant. Essentially, he told me that me being trans meant that I was being a bad parent because I was choosing my wants (to transition) over what my kids needs (which he said was a father).

I was incensed by his argument. We had one conversation and a handful of texts and he makes this big proclamation that I’m being selfish and a bad parent because I’m trans…he knows nothing about me, or the kids, nor did he have any evidence to back his claim. I lambasted him then proceeded to block him.

The view just outside our suite

After work, I went out to the encampment with some water bottles and snacks. I also ended up jump starting someone’s car. I was happy to help…just…I still felt relatively powerless to make a substantive change to their lives; especially for that little girl, her dog and her grandma. Though my very job is helping others find resources, I don’t want to presume that they will be receptive to being connected to services and even if they are, it’s difficult finding housing solutions for those with low or no income. At this point, I want to build a bit of rapport before engaging more substantively with that family.

As I returned to the U.S.S Zamora (home), I sent out a subspace transmission (phone call) to Captain Eric. I have very mixed feelings about Eric but he always answers his hails (phone calls), makes time for me and provides comfort…even if he is intentionally aggravating at times. He and Captain Alex have helped process a lot of thoughts lately especially with regard to being trans.

I feel like I’d be a ton of fun to play hide and seek or paintballing within the cubicles..place has abandoned building vibes

Talking with coworkers, I am also reminded that I can’t and don’t share all of their experiences that they experience having been born female. Having sex, I’ve never had to worry about getting pregnant, I haven’t had to grapple directly with considering abortion and it’s effects on my body, I can’t give birth or experience menopause. Additionally, I wasn’t exposed to some of the socialization factors girls face growing up. I can and likely will get my bottom surgery, I present as female but there’s some things that I am not going to be able to directly experience but only via second hand….and for that….I will always be trans…

There are quite a few unique life experiences that someone that is trans goes through. Trans individuals have to grapple with their identity, trying to “pass”, come out to others, deciding how far they’re going to go medically…Just so much more. This is a unique experience and lifestyle. I bring insights having been raised as a male and being kinda non-binary biologically due to my pituitary tumor and having many other shared experiences that other cis females typically experience. In some ways, I am coming to terms that despite how much I wish I was born female, I am in fact something else. In any case, I am uniquely me and am just trying to express that whether it fits any cultural mold or not.

Nonetheless, I still believe I have every right to live the way I am and believe that my transition has been a net positive …There have been some negative experiences I have went through having committed to being trans…but being trans has had absolutely no negative ramifications for the kids. To be sure, I did go and ask the kids. I asked the kids individually if me being trans had a negative effect on them. All 3 kids said a resounding no. For me, their opinion of my parenting is the most important.

As I told Captain Leo, me transitioning has made me a happier person and that has resulted in a better relationship between me and the kids. With Michelle having passed away, I play the role of both mom and dad, just like many other single parents do. Still, a part of me wishes that Leo and I had worked out..it’s hard finding a warm intelligent partner… especially one that is into a trans individual with kids. For now, I’m trying to shake off the desire for a partner and just trying to stay focused on making a small slice of the galaxy a better place.

Captain’s Blog Stardate 07092022.3

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I never thought that I would get bored exploring the spiritual realm. The infinite possibilities in the universe used to permeate my mind on a regular basis. Though that journey is ongoing, I’ve deprioritized that mission in order to focus a bit more on taking care of myself and fostering relationships with those around me.

Cadets Shadow, Suki and Chris in their shuttlecraft

I’ve started to go to the gym again. I forgot how much I love swimming…if it can even be called that. What I do in the water would probably be more aptly be described as water gymnastics. I very much enjoy doing flips, twirls and dance moves while in the lane. My unorthodox way in the pool drew the attention of an individual by the name of Captain Leo. Leo engaged me in conversation by noting how he frequently notices me flipping around in the water (it seems to draw a lot of attention). We had a good substantive talk and by the end he asked me out to dinner! I was initially excited as he seems like such a decent guy.

Officers Tino, Eli and Noah

My initial excitement turned to anxiety because I didn’t tell him I was trans. I then debated when I should tell him. I turned to Captain Alex and James (a coworker) to get some advice. Both agreed that I should disclose it sooner than later. I went online and that also seemed to be the consensus. I started to become sad because I was thinking, “He’s sorta traditional and a comment he made during our conversation made me think he was not open to that”. I braced myself for his rejection. I called him up and held my breath as I told him.

Several current and former crewmen from Starbase 321

Leo was totally cool with it! I audibly exhaled and felt excited. It’s funny because I had genuinely given up on trying to date anyone. He had to postpone our date but it seems we’re set to meet up next week. I’m cautiously optimistic about Leo.

Me wearing my Encanto (Mirabelle) outfit!

In other stuff, I’ve tried to reach out a bit more. I’ve tried to stay in regular contact with more people. I wish I could shake how I come off to others…I used to love being someone that was widely regarded as “smart as hell”. It’s a compliment but I’ve learned that it’s not really an endearing trait. I try to be pragmatically caring as well but because I’m slow to warm and not very effusive with my emotions.. it ends up creating distance. It doesn’t help that I’m not a big fan of large groups and I don’t have a bunch of wild anecdotes. Probably not a coincidence my 2 closet friends are online where social conventions and depth of conversation are a bit different than in person.

Captain’s Blog: Stardate 06032022.7

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As I left Starfleet Academy (University), I was eager to explore the universe. At the time, I believed that I had a pretty good understanding of what the universe was and how to navigate it. Subsequently, I’ve come to realize how little I knew back then.

Bella and Noah keeping Gotham safe

Somewhere along the line I’ve gone from trying to have the spiritual realm prove itself to me to trying to prove myself to the universe. I feel like I am constantly falling short. I find myself struggling to describe what it’s like for me. I used to feel so confident, in control, and safe. Nowadays, I feel like there’s a constant struggle in my head. Paradoxically, I feel more connected and alone than ever.

Cross in the sky

I’m also trying to come to terms with what I’ve observed recently. I’ve had a few experiences that have unexpectedly nudged me towards Christianity. The first 2 were things that I could somewhat dismiss as coincidences or over interpretation. And then, when talking in my head I asked for an explicit sign that Christianity was true, such as a cross in the sky, then I looked outside my car and there it was. I took a picture because it seemed absolutely unambiguous.

Tino next to a great white shark jaw

I’m still experiencing a bit of cognitive dissonance because Christianity clashes somewhat with my own theories about the Truth of reality. I’m also not a fan of some things mentioned in the Bible or the dogmas that guide most Christians. At this point, I’m not necessarily going to be constrained by the conclusions others have made but instead try to make life adjustments according to my relationship with God. I think at the end, it really is about that individual relationship you have with God, the universe etc. We can’t look to how others behave or believe but must develop a relationship with the higher power independently.

Six flags Discovery Kingdom off in the distance

I once again think about how my relationships are with my children. I love all of my kids but how that manifests differs based on the kid. My son Noah requires a lot of space to be himself while my daughter Bella needs a lot of attention. My oldest son Santino falls somewhere in the middle. Since there’s 8 billion different people, then that relationship will take 8 billion different shapes. I’m just….a bit surprised at the shape my relationship is taking.

Captain’s Blog: Stardate 05172022.9

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During my travels through the Galaxy, one of the things that I’ve learned is that allegiances can easily shift. A close ally can become an enemy and a former foe can become a friend. In my own life, Captain Eric and former Federation applicant (ex-bf) Admiral Will no longer are on speaking terms with me. Meanwhile, I’ve provided some assistance to former adversary Chancellor Brandi.

Officer Noah undertaking shuttlecraft training

Part of me wants to go into detail about how Eric and Will caused the rift but the better part of me is telling me to just move on. I keep trying to remind myself of what is important; the Federation (my family), myself, and helping others in need. I also hope to continue to learn and improve the person I am. Nonetheless, I will miss those two as I no longer have a go-to to have long conversations with.

RIP Cadet Laser (our hamster)

In other news, Starbase 321(work) has been hemorrhaging officers (employees) including 2 of my favorites. At this point, there’s four other people I’m close to at work and three of them are exploring other possibilities as well.

Officers Noah and Bella sharing an escape pod

I’m also not looking forward to our impending move to Starbase 70 (new work location), known around the office as The DeathStar. The name comes the fact that the office has a dearth of windows. I’m going to miss the beautiful scenery out here by Starbase 321. Starbase 70 is located in a somewhat dangerous commerical sector that receives heavy traffic. I’m not going to be able to go out on walks or sing. I’m not happy with the current trajectory of things but one thing I’ve learned is that things can change quickly. I’m hoping that things will turn out better

A view of the Natoma expanse

Captain’s Blog: Stardate 05082022.3

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At Starfleet Academy (university), I learned the value of looking outside myself in order to form a more objective perspective. Diversity of opinion is important because there are so many unique points of view that I generally think it’s impossible to have a full understanding of a topic unless you take into account how others perceive. In fact, crowdsourcing and taking into account the general consensus on a subject is usually how I determine what’s right. Nonetheless, I think it’s important not to be overly swayed by popular opinion or the current paradigm.

Chomp!

Throughout most of history and still mostly true today, the philosophy of tribalism is the principal that guides many people’s perspective. Most individuals believe that they are correct in their interpretation of religion or that their political party is the one true way. One only has to witness how crowds react when they are assembled to realize how bad mob mentality can be. Online forums have turned into echo chambers filled with vitriol.

Individuals can be just as bad. Otherwise decent, intelligent people can turn vicious whenever their creature comforts are not readily available. The average person tends to judge others far more harshly than they do themselves for the same actions; harsher still when someone does something they haven’t done but have the same capacity to do.

Several parsecs east of the Berkeley sector

Humans tend to forget that we are far more similar than we like to think. We differ when it comes to biology, upbringing, intellectual ability and circumstances. Most of the things that shape us and cause us to be different are mainly out of our control. If you believe that there are spiritual influences also affecting thoughts and feelings, then that also has to be taken into consideration. As I look up to the stars and stare into infinity, I wonder about the existence that is to come. Is there a heaven, hell or purgatory? What sort of judgment awaits me? Who’s the judge? Do others get to see my life and decide what happens? What will they think if they get to see my thoughts, feelings, actions and are able to read everything I’ve ever written? Will they wish to see me burned alive for some of the stuff I’ve done and thought? Will they accept my contriteness and the fact that I changed?

Cool cave formation

How will I react if I got to see the lives of others? What are the limits on forgiveness? Clearly we all want forgiveness and leniency, yet how far does that extend? I think most people think of themselves as pretty forgiving but lurking underneath the surface is the viciousness all humans have that seems to extend even to whatever is on the next plane of existence. It seems to be something that’s innate to all of us. One only has to watch little kids interact to see how overly punitive they act toward someone they perceive that has wronged them or that they believe is inferior.

Some are able to suppress their inner vileness to the point where they believe they could be objective and dispassionately judge another. However, EVERYONE has their breaking points. For some it’s smaller scale stuff like lying, cheating or stealing. (Would you want someone who you couldn’t trust in heaven? ). For some, it’s individuals that remind you of your flaws; perceived or real. (who wants someone in heaven that reminds you of your shortcomings) Others still may really think that they are high-minded enough to forgive anything. What about Hitler, what about rapists, murders or pedophiles? What if they were contrite, tried to change their ways and begged for forgiveness? Still willing to forgive?

Looking out towards the Golden Gate (Middle right of the pic if you zoom in)

According to most major spiritual texts, God/the spirits/ancients do forgive all so long as you don’t turn a deaf ear to being guided and that a person genuinely repents. Nonetheless, I do believe that God administers proportional justice/karma in this life or the next. I think when humans think about proportional justice they think about the most extreme things because we tend to be hyperbolic in our feelings that then affect our thoughts. We want to see our perpetrators suffer. Nay, we NEED to see them suffer. I do think God also has a duty to show that there is justice. But one thing I think we forget is that if there is a creator being then that makes them a parent.

Any good parent loves their kid and wants the best for them. An emotionally healthy parent administers punishment to discourage aberrant behavior while hoping to raise a child that is able to get along with others and be independent. Parents also want to foster a loving relationship with their child. Still, all children test thier limits and take for granted all the love they’ve been afforded. As such, the best recourse parents have is to take away privileges.

The left cloud looks like a dragon or a dog with its tongue out and on the right it looks like an angel holding and item. The cross lens flair is also quite cool to me.

For anyone that loses their privileges, it feels like cruelty. Kids usually see how much more difficult the world is without the love of their parent(s). Typically, it’s a lot harder to repair damage already wrought than it would’ve been to be appreciative and obedient in the first place. Though in the long run, a child that misbehaves and understands thier mistakes and changes tends to have an even closer relationship with their parent in the long run.

Using the same analogy, it’s a good thing siblings don’t have a say in what happens to us. As a parent, I try to get my kids to understand the logic I use to come to a decision and try to get them to agree but ultimately I make the final decision. If I let my kids decide how to punish each other, they’d brutalize one another. I’d think it no different in the next realm. And like any decent parent, God etc would give us a chance at absolution. I know I would do anything to bring my kids back into the fold. I think the same applies to God.