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The Eternal Sea….

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Posts: 964
Managing Ambassador
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(@michellelarsen1)
Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Joined: 5 years ago
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Last night, as I do every night, I sat with my mom to watch a movie. With her condition, she can’t do most of the things that she enjoyed doing in the past. But last night’s movie turned out to be special. Not in and of itself, but by what happened to me later in the evening. The movie was “The Eternal Sea.” It’s about a man who was supposed to take over command of a ship during World War II but wound up losing a part of his leg from a battle at sea.

What normally turns out to be another officer discharged with a medical disability was upended because of his perseverance and determination. He was not one to be deterred nor let challenges stand in the way of his goals or his needs in life. He not only stayed in the Navy but became a decorated Admiral who was responsible for ushering in the use of jet aircraft on Navy carriers. At the end of his last sea duty, he was given two cherry jobs to choose from. He turned both down to do what he saw as his calling; helping handicapped Navy service personnel, and putting others before himself.

Later on, I watched a chat conversation between members in one of the associated CDH & TGH chatrooms. The subject of their chat was in relation to her spouse not being agreeable to her transition, and that was probably putting it mildly. I knew she had been facing this batter for many years, and was desperately trying to find some amicable and happy ground for things to move forward in some positive direction.

What do these two things have to do with each other? Everything. A classic “The song remains the same, only the words change,” analogy. The Admiral in the movie and my friend both had challenges, severe challenges thrust at them, and at a time and place not of their choosing. But neither did they give up. That path of not giving up, neither knowing whether or not they would succeed, has similarities. The Admiral may not have succeeded in his endeavor, but he continued and refused to give up his pursuit. And I suspect my friend will do the same. You see, the Navy was the Admiral’s world, and their wife was my friend’s world.

Do we sometimes feel as if life has given us a challenge that is too much to bear? Probably most of the time. But it is what also separates us from the others because we don’t just limp along until some other predator finishes the act. No, we take on the challenge by grabbing the horns, wrestling it this way and that because we have the confidence to know that in the end, one way or another, we will come out on top. Will it always be the outcome we first envisioned? Yes, and again, most likely not. But it shouldn’t deter us. It might be the second, or the tenth, or even the ten thousandth outcome. Still, we struggle on while maintaining confidence in our abilities.

Today may be the day your biggest challenge gets dumped in your lap, or maybe it has already, and you are trying to overcome it. It doesn’t matter so much if it’s physical, mental, financial, emotional, or social. What does matter is that we keep plugging along, trying this thing and that thing in our quest to overcome. And that is one bond we all share; our struggles with our eternal sea…

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(@jinianvictoria2)
Joined: 5 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Minnesota, Silver Bay
Posts: 11

@michellelarsen1   Your eternal Sea article caught my eye.  (26 YEARS IN NAVY AND Marine Corps).  I can relate to article.  I started gender change very late in my 40s,  now in mid 70s. There has been many interfereing storms for me to this point.  I am starting gender chg drugs  (ESTROGEN  ETC) thru VA shortly.But i keep hitting rocky shoals   i deal best i can and move on.  I HAVE A DETERMINATION TO succeed in this.  I MAY NEVER REACH MY ULTIMATE BUT I WILL BE TRYING UNTIL I HOLED AND SUNK AT SOME POINT.  i think one should always bear down harder if you hit problem in your reach.  If i could not go thru i veered around or went over or under the problem and kept going.  The battle to be female self is not easy nor was it meant to be.  A lot of things changed and still are changing for me.  Good or bad they are my problems to deal with.

I have studied, researched everything every step of the way.  I plotted all the possible good and bad aspects before i did anything.  It still serves me well.  I suppose its the old 5P thing i learned in service  but it works. My gender doctor at VA is amazed at how i am doing.  She said i am more prepared than many are.  I CAcan and have discussed hormones and other meds needed with her (AS IF WE WERE BOTH MEDICAL professionals).  She said

i am one of easiest mtf she ever had to deal with in over 20 years in the field.

I WILL CONCLUDE BY SAYING I CAN SEE SAFE PORT AHEAD FOR ME  BUT I AM NOT SPEEDING UP THE APPROACH, SLOW AND STEADY AHEAD.   fAIR WINDS AND fOLLOWING SEAS TO EVERYONE.

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Managing Ambassador
(@michellelarsen1)
Joined: 5 years ago

Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Posts: 964

@jinianvictoria2 I pray your sails stay full and calm waters face ahead. It is a shame that many of life's teachings and lessons get overlooked. There is no gender in any of them, just plain old common sense logic and life experience. And thank you so much for your years of service. While I was never 'in the service', my career was solely in support of the Navy; in the air, on the surface, and below. Each day is the 'best day of my life'; up to that point. Tomorrow will be even better. Hugs

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Posts: 98
(@middleground)
Estimable Member     United States of America, Ohio, Ashland
Joined: 3 years ago

Michelle,
First, ice always liked the name Michelle. It reminds me of a girl in gradeschool.
Second, I enjoyed you article. I like how you can pull from and are inspired by what many let fly past them. You gave thought to the situation in the movie and how it relates to our situations.
🙂❤

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Posts: 964
Managing Ambassador
Topic starter
(@michellelarsen1)
Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Joined: 5 years ago

Thank you so much. It seems I am constantly seeing bits and pieces of the world and how society operates, and makes we wonder; hmmmmm. The interesting fact that our community can draw from and find similarities with things, that on the surface would seem so foreign, has to be an indicator that we really are no different that anyone else in society. We all walk the same way; one foot in front of the other.....

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Posts: 137
(@alexl)
Estimable Member     United Kingdom, Wiltshire, Marlborough
Joined: 3 years ago

I haven't seen the movie Michelle but it does make you think of these amazing people. The film, Reach for the Sky; the story of Douglas Bader, comes to mind. No legs and becomes the hero of the Battle of Britain as a Spitfire pilot.

Setbacks are the stuff of life, but they are just that...setbacks not terminal events. Perhaps they test our resolve? And that is a good thing, especially on many of the life changing decisions we have to make. 
I never quit lol...I'm just one of those people, I get up, take stock and find another route to my goal. quite often it is better than the original plan. I'm nothing special, just determined...we can all be that can't we. A guiding hand or an understanding friend are a huge asset too. Knowing what I want and going about it the way I think I should aren't always hand in hand. Always prepared to review a plan and question my route...but not the destination eh?
There is nearly always a plan B if things don't go right.

Alex

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