Goal

I think I’ve thought of a good, tangible goal I’d like to work towards over the next year or two. My current car will likely be due for an upgrade and I’d like to take into consideration this time that I’d like a car that can tow something. My Subaru has a CVT transmission which isn’t good at delivering torque, which makes towing difficult. Subaru claims you can tow up to 1000LBS but there’s very little information on setting up a tow hitch on my particular model. So I suspect Subaru is not so subtly telling you not to tow anything. I’d rather just avoid it. My next car will almost definitely¬†be a manual anyway. I’ve become comfortable with it, and I find that it’s preferable to my driving style than most automatics.

My goal is to finally travel to see places I want to, and I think I’d be more inclined to do that if I had a teardrop trailer. I could make trips super flexible and finally see the places where trains or planes don’t really go–the places I want to see. I looked into teardrop trailers once before and found they were surprisingly more expensive than I had thought. But over the last several years, I’ve really proved to myself that I can set a savings goal and meet it (mostly thanks to automatic bank transfers).

This is just a quick post so that I can have a record of myself setting this goal. Because it really makes sense to me, and it really seems attainable. Unlike so many of my other ideas I come up with. I need a better way to get away from my day to day, and being able to camp out in a nice cozy teardrop would really make me feel more comfortable with traveling.

Anyway, that’s my goal ūüôā

Professional Neophyte

I tend to consider myself to be a fairly empathetic person. In fact, it’s something upon which I pride myself. I’m probably pretty unremarkable generally speaking, but being able to see things from the perspective of others, trying to understand and respect how they feel (even if it’s not how I’d feel) is an important skill to me. Being empathetic is practically a given in my little world, so when I feel like others are failing to see my point of view, or are unable to truly empathize with me, it hurts.

You’d have to dig a ways back. Back to before I had the self-awareness that I do today. Buried in the shadowy archives are posts about a young man who had never had sex with anyone. Never kissed anyone. Never been in a relationship with anyone and only dated on the most minimal of levels. That young man has changed a lot since then. He stopped lying and hiding and allowed himself to be a more authentic person. He pulled the mask away to reveal the her underneath. The her that had always been there, hiding.

Even though I am her, and I’ve changed enormously over the past 10+ months, I’ve still never had sex with anyone, never kissed anyone, never been in a relationship with anyone and only dated on the most minimal of levels. I might be more confident in self now, but I’m still the same basic person.

It’s hard to convey the feeling of being in this position. On the verge of my 28th birthday, a professional neophyte in the experience¬†of romance and love. On the best days, it’s a dull hurt that can be masked with a smile and a funny story shared with coworkers. On the worst days it’s tears that won’t even be dissuaded by “please don’t cry and mess me up!”-mascara.

It’s almost not even worth discussing with people. I’ve met precious few who’ve been able to even understand, much less empathize, with how I feel. At best they offer platitudes of “you’ll find someone someday” or “everyone finds someone.” These words are too often spoken from a relative position of incredible (and I apologize for using this word) privilege. The privilege of being wanted by someone, either at present or at times in the past. Trust me, as someone who’s never known what that’s like, it’s absolutely a privilege.

There are of course some people who themselves were late, late, late to the game, but eventually arrived. I’ll never understand why those people aren’t more empathetic themselves. It’s as though once they arrive, they’re struck with amnesia about what it was like before then. This lack of empathy is particularly painful. These are people who could truly make a difference for someone. They could reach a hand back and let someone know that they’re not defective, they’re not unwanted, they’re not unlovable.

To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever find someone. It’s difficult to make peace with that, but it’s something I have to do. I have to redouble my efforts at pulling away all the masks I’ve worn. I have to make sure that I’m never again living an inauthentic life. I have to show¬†myself that I care enough to take a shot. Take a shot on at least being the authentic me. I may always be alone. I may always have to struggle with feelings of being unwanted, being defective, being unlovable, being undatable, being in a dwindling percentage of the population. I may have to deal with all of those things, but I owe it to myself to at least do it as the real me. Ultimately that’s the only thing I can do. The pain of everything else will hopefully dull with time, but if I can be myself, I think it’ll be at least ok.

Stuff…and Things

You know, it’s in that place I put that thing that time?

I want to make sure I don’t neglect this blog too much. If I do it’ll just mean more 2-3000 word posts. It’s a blog, Hadley, not a novel. When I looked at the last post I made it was January 8th. Ok, there was also one I made in February, but I ended up password protecting that one. It came out too personal.

That’s too bad, because I’m sure February 16th is a day I won’t want to forget. Things have tended to move a lot faster for me than I thought I’d be comfortable with, but I’m actually ok with that. Actually, the 16th was kind of the end of it. The first stab happened on the 8th. I started going into work as my complete self.

At the beginning of February I talked to my boss (whom I had clued into my situation on December 31st) about feeling stifled and how I wanted to start expanding the world I was living in beyond my apartment walls. Of course there wasn’t going to be any problem, but it was really important to me not to shock anyone. A “what the fuck?!” response is justified in my opinion if you just drop something like this out of nowhere. We worked in a separate part of the building, with a separate entrance, and on some days, I wouldn’t even need to see anyone else in the company face to face. So for a few days, that’s what I did. Coming into work with my scant wardrobe. After all, it was impossible to justify buying any more clothes if I couldn’t wear them outside my apartment.

On February 12th I was going to be making a scheduled visit to one of our remote locations for tech work. I scheduled it around my 6-month followup at the gender clinic because they’re both in the same city. It was important to me to show up at that appointment as myself. I’d always done as much as I could in the past, but I’d been wearing my new outfits for a week or so, I was comfortable enough and getting better all the time. I decided, the hell with it, they’ve got to know sooner or later. I’ll go to my appointment, and straight to work after. No awkward¬†changing in the car (I’m so done with that). So in advance of my visit, I sent them an email explaining the situation. My first email about this to anyone. I had literally only told my boss up to that point.

After that email, the dominos really started to fall. I had a chat with that location’s manager about my visit, which he assured me would be fine (it was). It wasn’t long before I was running into other people in the home office face to face. I was split between saying something and just not drawing attention to it. But my boss did mention that one sales guy had seen me and was unsure what was up, so I decided that even if it wasn’t¬†really necessary to send out a formal email to the company, I owed it to my coworkers to just blanket everyone with the same message.

I sent that email on February 16th with shockingly little consternation or fanfare on my part. I had spent several hours drafting it at home the night before. The subject was “you look different…” Heh, boy do I.

Most people in the company had already seen me, but the email served as a single blanket declaration from me about what was going on. I also¬†very nervously took the plunge and used it as an opportunity to ask to be called “Hadley” and she/her pronouns. After all, no sense in going through all this fuss if I was going to have to send another email about my name later. I was scared about that because I was worried it wouldn’t feel right. I was worried it would be putting others out. I was worried people would hate me for asking that of them. I was worried it would make me feel awkward and I’d never get used to it.

To all those worries I now say: HA! Yes, it was a little awkward at first, but I think it’s just a muscle memory thing. You get so used to being called ____ that you just instinctively respond to it. I can happily report that as of now, I actually feel far more disingenuous and weird being referred to by my old name and “he”.

The response from people was incredibly heartening. Thankfully I work at a place that’s¬†really cool and the people are really cool too. Obviously that doesn’t make everything any less scary, but it does mean that the real risks were probably a lot less.


So where does that put me now. Well unfortunately, about a month after I started going into work as myself. My boss informed me he was going to be leaving the company at the end of May. This was absolutely devastating to hear. He’s been a great friend to me. Not just in my fledgling steps of transitioning at work, but in general. I explained how important it is for me to keep transitioning and I talked with the HR manager about my concerns especially if we bring in someone new.

Even more different still, it’s pretty much a done deal that I’m going to be taking over my boss’s position. So I’ll be the new boss. Everyone else is confident in me, but I’m still very worried. I’ve never done anything like this before (both transitioning and being the boss).

We actually did bring in a new person for a different position in the company. I tend to work closely with that department, so I considered this new person a dry run. It actually went pretty well. As a few others have pointed out, this new person never met the original me. She doesn’t have to fight against a memory of who I was. Fortunately she’s been not only super cool, but when she calls me “Hadley” or “she” it feels so natural. I expect with others it’ll get there as well, but it just takes longer.

Everything else? I’m still getting there. This whole process is incredibly emotionally taxing, and I’m not even playing it on difficult mode. I don’t have many real life friends. I don’t have any relationship (or even prospect of one). I suppose I’m still just chugging along the best I can and hopefully the more time I keep at it the better.

I actually feel kind of bad that I’ve relied so much on reading about other people’s transition experiences. Watched their first hand video accounts, listened to their stories. I feel bad that I’ve not contributed much or even anything for others. Paying it forward so to speak. Until now I’d been way to nervous, especially in any way that put me on the spot personally.

Otherwise, things continue forward despite fears and hesitations. I’m trying to get excited for summer and summer clothes. I’m still working on being happier by myself. I’m still living through life.

Acceptance (Part Two)

Hopefully my previous post was a fair enough explanation of what’s been going on these past few months. I realized afterward that I had alluded to a thing or two in posts earlier in 2015, but I hadn’t really said much after my accident.

So where did I leave off? Oh, right, with my mom. I guess I shouldn’t be terribly surprised. If I think back carefully, it’s actually pretty easy to see the hidden traditionalist socially conservative streak my mom hides under the surface. It’s not like my dad is much better though. I think it was back in June or July, after I’d decided to transition, but before anything medical had started, I was on the phone talking to my dad. I don’t even remember what we were talking about. Maybe we were already talking about his latest batch of conspiracy theories. Regardless, the conversation turned to Caitlyn Jenner. For the record, I can’t stand her. I didn’t like him (Bruce) and I never liked that whole Kardashian gaggle of stupid people. It’s all a bunch of Hollywood “celebrity” worship, and I’ll have none of it. That’s not really the point though. As we were talking, my dad asked me if I had heard about it. I said that I had, but didn’t lead on any more than that (I didn’t even watch the interview or anything…I was merely aware that it was a thing that had happened). He immediately continued suggesting that in his opinion, this was a conspiracy to “blur gender lines” or to make it so you can “identify as anything for any reason”. I don’t even think he had a personal opinion on it. It sounded like he was just telling me these things as though they were facts he was reporting on.

So was it any wonder deciding who to talk to about this was the difference between bad and worse? I¬†might have gotten more sympathy from my dad…I don’t know. Honestly, I wish I had a second chance. I’d like to be able to try again. I think I actually can, since I suspect my mom never said anything to my dad anyway, and she probably ignored or forgot about it since I never pressed it again after that first time.

Against my better judgement I chose to go to my parents’ house for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was always my most favorite holiday and in the more distant past, I have very fond memories. Recent years have been far more lackluster and upsetting. I took the train, and my brother and his girlfriend were there to pick me up and take me to the house. I loved being able to see them. That was the highlight of the trip. My parents and my grandmother were already at the house. I guess I didn’t really expect much from my grandmother. I honestly thought she wouldn’t notice anything. She’s almost 90. Probably can’t see well. Certainly can’t hear well. The¬†instant I walked in the door…and I’m talking not even having a chance to take my coat off yet. My grandmother sees me and exclaims that “with long hair like that, we should put a dress on you.” I get it, she’s 90, I’m not offended. But the speed at which it came. No “hi” greeting. Nothing. That was my greeting. My mom pretty much followed suit, constantly complaining about my hair. “Why is it so long? Why do you clip it? Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do that?” And really, that’s what the whole time boiled down to. I felt crushed.

I guess I should mention that the¬†only saving grace in any of this has been that my brother and his girlfriend have not only been on board since jump street, but they’ve been supportive and a friendly face if I’m struggling with my parents. I did Christmas by myself this year in order to avoid another thanksgiving fiasco, but I did link up with my brother and his girlfriend to exchange a few gifts before carpooling to see our parents (one day only). I had only recently (as of the beginning of November) asked if he wouldn’t mind switching pronouns and names for me. He had actually asked me if I wanted to back at the end of August, but I wasn’t ready at the time. I was incredibly touched by the fact that when he made a tag for the gift he got me, he wrote “Hadley” on it.

I’m sure at some extreme level, it’s not, but sometimes it’s hard for me to feel like my parents’ love isn’t conditional. So much of my life has been focused on making them like me, and approve of me. Sometimes to garner preferential treatment and accolades, other times just to keep the peace. It was a lot easier to make major life decisions based on what my dad wanted rather than deal with the fallout from following anything but The One True Path‚ĄĘ. As the oldest, I felt it was my personal responsibility to keep the peace in the family. To make sure that emotional blows were absorbed. Let my mom bitch to me about my dad, and not pass it along. Let my dad bitch to me about my mom, and not pass it along. Constantly wondering why there was so much pettiness and lack of understanding, love and respect. And the few times I got fed up, and just broke down and called them on it, I was accused of being dramatic.

I’d been unhappy in my life for a very, very long time. Things teetered from ages 11-14, but fell down completely once I got into high school and beyond. In high school, I kept extremely quiet about my increasing malaise and discomfort. I had personal internet access for the first time ever halfway through my sophomore year in high school. I think that allowed me to keep up appearances as I scoured the internet in search of what I was. I must’ve searched for everything back then. For a long time I latched onto personality types. It seemed to at least be a pretty accurate description, and made it easier to find people allegedly like me, but it was hollow. Things still weren’t lining up, and I wasn’t getting better. I still kept quiet. At that age, it’s very easy to tell yourself that things will get better. It’s a temporary problem. My future seemed bright enough (as my dad would’ve told it). Maybe just wait for that.

That future never really materialized though. It was like a carrot hanging on a stick in front of a donkey. It always seemed to be the same distance away, no matter how far into the future I got. Eventually towards the end of my time in college, I started hinting to my parents (with honesty) about the true nature of my malaise, though I didn’t really understand it at the time myself. I started to finally make my discomforts known. Just a little at first, but by the time I had graduated and moved out on my own, I had a handful of extremely frank, honest conversations with my mom. My discomfort must’ve been known by her by then, and in none of our conversations did it get any better.

Eventually I started to feel bad that my sadness and malaise were¬†making my mom upset. No one wants to see their child upset like that. I started to resent myself for not being able to be a nice, normal, well-adjusted child for her. I didn’t want her to worry about me. I’m sure I didn’t make it easy, and there were a few times when conversations with her even grazed into my darkest thoughts. I guess I thought that maybe she’d truly understand what was at stake if I included more honesty. She only turned it around on me and framed it as me hurting her.

I guess the picture I’m painting here is that I was not good, and my mom¬†absolutely knew this. So when I finally started unraveling the real bits of myself and what was up, and how to finally feel ok, better and happy for the first time in at least a decade, I thought she’d be overjoyed. To me, that’s what unconditional love is. In particular, that’s what unconditional parental love is. If I had a kid like me, and they told me what I told my mom, I’d feel two things. First, I’d feel relief. Relief that they were getting what they needed. Relief that they were finally maybe going to start finding the same kind of happiness most people have. Second though, I’d feel sadness. I’d feel sadness because I was unaware for so long that my kid was struggling with this. Sadness that they were struggling, and I didn’t know and didn’t help. I would’ve wanted to help, of course!

Instead I got my mom saying it was all bullshit. I needed a hug, and I got a scoff. I know it’s hard to understand. I know it’s weird. I’m not asking that she be able to accept that right away at all. I was asking for the unconditional love that should’ve been there. The love that would’ve allowed her to say, “I don’t understand, but I do trust you and love you and want you to feel better and live a happy life.”

I’m not saying that my mom doesn’t love me, I’m sure she does, but the instant dismissal and disbelief…after I put my completely open heart and feelings on the line. I bared my unfiltered feelings and self to her. Of course I love my mom too. I’m never going to stop loving my mom. I think I’m within my rights¬†to say that this hurt. It hurt a lot. It’s the one thing I think about continuously nowadays. I wish so badly I could’ve gotten a loving hug instead of dismissal. I hope that I can get something eventually. I’m not willing to give up.

So that pretty much brings us right up to the present. It’s an ongoing journey and an ongoing challenge. I have to wake up every day and consciously choose to continue. If nothing else, I’ve been able to keep things going so far, and really that’s all there is to it. Just keep stepping forward.

Acceptance

First of all, I realize it’s been a while since I’ve done any writing here. It’s been a very busy, exciting and scary past few months. I was pretty seriously injured in a road bike accident at the end of August and spent most of September recovering from that.

As bad as that accident was, it wasn’t the biggest news from August that I neglected to mention. It’s hard to name the precise reason why I’ve been so shy about discussing it openly. Actually, as of this past September, it’s been a year since making the first tentative moves. I don’t have this timeline enumerated anywhere, so I’m adding it here for posterity.

I think I’ve always kept most things very hush hush from literally everyone in my life, even though that’s never been¬†too many people. From September 2014 to around January 2015, I mulled over some things in my own head, and discussed with others in relative anonymity online in forums and occasionally on Reddit. I was worried and afraid, and I didn’t want to preemptively say anything to anyone before I felt sure enough. On January 19th, 2015 I texted my brother and threw it out there: I was pretty sure I was transgender and was going to transition, male to female.

I was honestly unsure what his reaction would be. How can you ever be sure what someone’s reaction will be to something like that? It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d told him every damn secret I ever had. No other secret would have approached the severity of what I just told him. He was very cool about it, and in those very early days, it made a lot of difference. It was almost anticlimactic.

A few days later, on January 22nd, I texted my oldest friend from high school. We’re not as close as we once were, but I can still count on him to call me out on something that might be bullshit. I had to convince him I was not messing around since we have a history of creating elaborate fake situations to mess with mutual friends. This was not that sadly,¬†but I was able to convince him. He was surprised, but didn’t outright disbelieve what I was saying. Though he did find me a few days later to confirm that I hadn’t gone off the rails completely, and that this wasn’t the result of some mental break (it wasn’t).

So for a while, that was it. I didn’t say anything to anyone else. I mentioned it to my therapist about a month later. Though, it being outside her area of expertise, all she could do was help me continue to navigate my way through what I was discovering myself.

Through a highly fortuitous Reddit encounter, I happened to find out that there was a transgender health clinic nearby. I soon had the location, phone number and name of the doctor there. I still don’t know what prompted me to make that call. I’ve always been terrible on the phone. Calling for pretty much anything, I get nervous, my voice tends to shake, I stutter a lot, but this was completely different. As scary as it was for me to vocalize on the phone, “yes, I’d like to make an appointment at the transgender health clinic” it all came out very matter of factly. I spoke clearly and wasn’t even that nervous.¬†My first appointment was in the middle of May 2015.

The first appointment was very brief, but it filled me with confidence. She made it very clear to me that this was my journey, at my pace, whatever I’m comfortable with whenever I’m comfortable with it. I left with informed consent papers for HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and a followup appointment in 2 months. I managed to hold things together for that time, and not psyche myself out. The next appointment was a full physical to help establish a baseline of what we were starting with. I actually hadn’t had a full physical in years, and it was pretty uncomfortable. Fortunately, I spoke up, and the doc made it as easy and quick as she could for me.

After that appointment, another month went by so I could come back, look over the blood work, make sure I’d had time to read over the informed consent papers and make me good to go. I had actually worked up the courage to sign the papers some time beforehand. That was my own process, on my own timeline. There were just countless hours of hard self introspection. It was honestly exhausting. Feeling terrified but also incredibly optimistic. We discussed some final things, and I walked out that morning in mid August with a prescription for low-dose HRT and a stupid grin on my face.

I was pretty nervous about picking the stuff up at the pharmacy. Actually, I’m surprised I wasn’t worse about it. Again, like when I made the original appointment, it just sort of happened. I was surprisingly calm, grounded and collected.

It was a pretty low dose of things to start, but I want to make it very clear what those first two weeks were like. First, I can’t remember a time sleeping so well. Just getting myself into bed at night, and feeling genuinely relaxed in a way that I hadn’t ever really been before. Everything else was great too. I felt so relaxed. So calm. So at peace. I wish everyone could experience catching fleeting glimpses of themselves in glass panes and smiling so big because you love what you see for the first time ever. I say it to anyone who asks: HRT did for me in two weeks what antidepressants couldn’t do in three years. Sure, there’s a lot of other stuff swirling around…practical matters, ongoing doubts, future prediction and the fears therein, but for the first time in my life, I felt ok just being. It’s honestly hard for me to describe, and it was entirely unexpected. Everything else aside, I just felt right. I felt calm, present and right. I’m fond of using car metaphors for this stuff and I often described it as like pouring diesel into a diesel engine for the first time in its life instead of regular unleaded. I try not to be overly dramatic about things, but I think it saved my life. Certainly in the long term. It was starting to become extremely unclear how much longer I could keep things going the way they were.

Those first weeks were amazing, and the start of the first genuine improvement in my life. Unfortunately, my accident happened right after those two weeks. It’s unclear what caused it and I suffered a concussion so I still don’t remember. The best hypothesis from my doctor is that the anti-androgen which is also a diuretic contributed to dehydration and electrolyte loss and I passed out in the saddle. The only problem was that¬†I was just beginning my descent of a 2200FT climb. I broke my right collarbone, my left thumb, had road rash on my leg and my arm, bruised ribs and the concussion. It was my first and only major accident in well over 7000 miles of riding, but it did help me see one thing: life is short. In the previous two weeks, I had seen genuine happiness. Doubts would come and go, but this was something I had to do. This was my shot.

Since then and since recovering things have continued to improve. I went up from the low dose HRT to a more standard dose. I love how I feel. Sometimes things are still really tough, and fighting depression is an ongoing battle, but I feel like my head is so much clearer now. I wish I could help all people understand this about trans people. Regardless of any of the extraneous fluff, the fact is that I’m going to be ok now. I feel like a regular person, engaged in life, and ready to continue it. How could anyone justify wanting to take that away from me?

In early October I finally decided to tell my parents, or at least my mom so she could tell my dad. I still don’t feel like I have the kind of relationship with my dad that makes talking about something like this possible. It’s not that he’s unaccepting, but there’s just so little precedent for talking with him about personal matters in my life. With my dad, it’s always been all business and the few times we have delved into the personal, it makes it’s way into a business discussion. It was my dad who for years discouraged me from dating (curiously he didn’t do the same for my brother or sister) because I should “build myself, and build a career…then people would want me”. I had a feeling telling my mom was going to be bad, so I wrote up an email that was as concise as I could make it. I focused on the key elements that I thought couldn’t possibly be controversial. I was happier. I don’t do things hastily. I was excited about living my life for the first time ever.

It did not go well. It went horribly. My mom accused me of “following a bandwagon” and that I could “never be a girl” and that all of this was because of reasons X, Y and Z. It breaks my heart that she seemed to completely gloss over the most important part: me being happier. In fact, it never even came up. I blamed myself for not conveying my improved mood well enough. The hardest part is that I know now that how I feel isn’t terribly unique. I’ve read plenty of other trans people describe uncannily similar feelings of defectiveness, downward spiraling, and hopelessness on life that abated when they started transition. The only difference being the parents in those scenarios were too overjoyed that their kid was doing better to give a shit about what gender they were doing it as. My heart is truly broken. I had a single long discussion on the phone with my mom about the email a week later (which I had to bring up) that ended up devolving into a full-on blow-out argument about all kinds of old bullshit that has no relevance to me today and no relevance to my decision to transition.

I haven’t brought it up since, and I don’t intend to at least until I can come up with a better angle. I suspect she didn’t even take it seriously enough to bother telling my dad at all. At first I thought that maybe I needed to demonstrate that I was doing better, but I don’t live near my parents, so it’s hard to do that. Now though, I feel that’s an excessive burden of proof on my part, and one I don’t feel is fair. I told my mom sincerely and with great difficulty how I felt. That should be enough. That should be more than enough. I wish she knew how hard it was for me to share that with her. I wish she knew that I wanted to tell her¬†because I care about her.

To be continued…

Needs and Desires

Putting my own needs and desires first for once. It’s ok to take the time and work on becoming the real you because you want to. Not because it’ll make your parents happier, or make you a more appealing partner. I don’t think I’ve ever truly put my feelings at the forefront. There was always a what if about what others might think, or about what I was supposed to do. I’ve only got one life to live. I want to make sure I’m happy when I look into the mirror. Happy as the real me and not some shell waiting on a miracle fix that probably won’t come. I’m the only one who has to suffer the pain of the outcomes of my choices and I’m the only one who gets to experience the joy from my choices. Nobody else feels the hurt I do when I throttle or modify my life for their sake. I feel that hurt. It’s time to stop feeling that hurt. I don’t have to. I can feel happy.

New Project Idea

I try not to hate too much in the world. It’s toxic. It’s often counterproductive. It doesn’t even make sense much of the time. But if there’s one thing I’m comfortable saying that I hate, it’s when people pat themselves on the back for something they think is great, but it really isn’t that great. In this instance, I’m talking about electric cars.

What exactly is the problem here? Are my choices really a $70K+ Tesla that can generally work like a regular car or a Nissan Leaf that has seriously limited range? I call bullshit. Regular hard working people want to get in on electric cars for the savings and to help the environment. Why isn’t there an electric car out there that’s affordable and doesn’t suck?

I see a situation like that and it screams “opportunity” to me. I know I could design and build a car that could meet those requirements if I had the backing. I’d make it the greatest company too. I’d locate it near where I live now where there isn’t hardly any manufacturing industry, but there is old unused infrastructure and labor available.

This is something I really want to do, but I have no idea where to start. At first I got a sketchbook and started designing a car. I took notes on any and all random ideas I had. I felt like it worked out well. I had lots of sketches and notes about what I felt were good design ideas and things people hadn’t considered before. But that’s where it ended. It’s a huge leap from designs in a notebook to a working prototype. Not to mention I have nothing even resembling the funds or resources to get something like that built. All I have is the knowledge, the vision, and the skills.

I dropped the idea for about a year since it seemed like such a dead end. Recently though, it occurred to me that maybe there was a kind of stepping stone that could work. What if I went out and found an old go-kart frame ripped out the gas engine and built it up as an electric buggy to proof-of-concept my ideas? Used go-karts aren’t always cheap, but a frame should be super cheap. I don’t even want the bearings and wheels, since I would replace them.

My vision for this electric buggy would be to actually use a number of bicycle components because they’re easy to get, relatively cheap and I’m very familiar with them. I’d use big, meaty mountain bike tires and have all four wheels equipped with disc brakes. With an electric motor, there’s no complicated torque converter or centrifugal clutch. It can pretty much direct drive the wheels. One of the ideas for my full sized electric car was to use four motors as opposed to one. This would make the car all-wheel drive on demand basically. I wonder if it would be cheap enough that I could do it on the electric buggy as well.

Anyway, I’m starting to think this might be my next big project. My PV power station is basically in maintenance mode right now. There isn’t much to improve about it, though I often think of how I might expand its capacity and power. An electric buggy, especially one with excellent ground clearance provided by mountain bike tires, would be a fun class-4 road or just off-road toy. Though it would certainly work fine on pavement as well.

It’s so frustrating to me that the hangup in all of this is my lack of funds and time. I work full time and I don’t have the extra funds to drive something like this. How do you get to that place? How do you make ideas reality? I want people to have a choice of an electric car that they can afford, and I’m tired of people praising Tesla like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. When only super rich people can afford it, it’s not.

Vacation Day 2

Well, not my second day, but the second day of me doing something. I went to a nice lake that was seriously in the middle of nowhere. It was kind of cold out, but the water was warm. I only waded in it a bit. Kip had a great time.

IMG_0372 IMG_0374 IMG_0375