05-27-2009 1:27:23 PM CST
GLBTQ is a very broad class of people and I have been wondering lately how Transgender (Gender Identity) got added to GLBQ (Sexual Identity)? For those who do not know, Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Queer are the full labels that go with the initials. Every person has both a gender identity and a sexual identity, so to combine them makes no sense to me. These identities are personal as well, so you may meet a man who is every effeminate and assume he is gay, but is that fair? He may be straight or whatever and what does it really matter? The funny part is that the ones who are the most prejudice are the very people who are the target. It is like a self fulfilling prophecy created out of guilt or fear. We all use labels and that is OK to help further communication. If you don't want to be labeled by others then it is best to label yourself! Come OUT and tell your friends and family that you are what ever it is you choose to label yourself. Let go of the fear of judgment by not judging yourself. Personally I am just happy to be wearing woman’s clothing. The thought of dressing as a man makes me nauseous. Of course this is totally separate from my sexual preference which at this time remains undecided. I think realistically that most if not all Transgender persons are Bi-sexual, but again that is a personal decision to call yourself what you will. The point I am making here is just that gender identity and sexual identity are very different and should not be confused! For the record, I am straight at this time, because when I was presenting as a man I had relations with women. I have never had relations presenting as a woman so as I said the jury is still out on that one. Lately I am attracted to the individual and not their sex. I think this is a good thing as I am seeing the person and not the package. Love should be something we share with everyone and sex should be something we reserve for those select few who touch our souls in a mutual way (without limits in any form). Another way of thinking of sex is physical love. Procreation is another matter all together, which personally I have never been interested in sense the world has a vast abundance of people already. Sex can be both the most spiritually inspired connection of two souls, or it can be physical gratification, or both. Neither is wrong and both can be very fulfilling.
05-26-2009 3:33:08 AM CST
A man leans over and says, “Excuse me Ma’am, Your Vagina is showing.” And I say “What?”, so I look down and the bulge in my dress is very obvious and I think to myself oh my goodness how weird this feels to have my sexual parts on the outside! So I say to him “Thanks for noticing” and as I turn around I awaken to a loud noise in the other room….
This day dream illustrates the M to F transgender condition for those of you who wonder. In SRS (sexual reassignment surgery) the doctors take the penis and turn it outside in to make the vagina. There is a detail description on the website links page. I really did have this image come to me and it made a deep impact. I pray that soon I will be having my turn at the knife and will be able to free myself of the bonds of this physical testosterone factory between my legs. This surgery is not the cure for my condition but it is a step in the direction of balance. It is simply a feeling, but it has been with me to some degree all my life, “this bulge between my legs needs to go”. I continue to visualize my new vagina and life without male parts! I am already feeling wonderful being able to dress as I please! I am so close and yet so far.
05-25-2009 1:47:44 PM CST
'The past is over and the future is yet to come, but today is a gift for it is all we ever really have.' Are you living in the past? Expecting things to be as they were? Do you want them that way? Why? What is your deepest desire? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Are you living your habits? When we don't know what else to do we do something habitual, most of the time without even realizing it! Wake UP my dear ones! See life for what it is, A GIFT! Are you taking responsibility for your gifts and the life you have created? (anything can be a gift, even if it does not appear that way - life is what you make of it) SIGH, I am filled with so much Love and I can see it everywhere I look! It is not hard to find for those who open their hearts. I am so grateful for those who have welcomed me into their lives and for those who simply respect me for who I am. If you are one of those who have not accepted me, then I Bless you on your journey and respect you enough to honor your requests to be left alone(ignoring me, avoiding me, and not communicating with me are taken as such requests). You are not forgotten however as I always hold you in my heart. When I say "I Love You" I do so in my own way(as we all should). When I said before that I am here to Love and be Loved, I meant that from my heart. This experience of Love takes many forms and appears in many different ways, but it always feels the same(Joyful). I am more than happy to share that with anyone open enough to allow it. In God's Loving embrace forever be in Peace.
05-23-2009 4:31:28 PM CST
My journey is getting clearer as I feel more and more connected to Spirit and Life itself. Consciousness itself is awakening and I am that awareness. I realize now that it matters not what happens in this world. My journey is to stay true to myself and my values. Now that I am living the life I know I was ment to live, presenting to the world the person I know myself to be, and feeling the Joy of freedom of expression, my path is clear. Doors are opening and opportunities for that self expression are an everyday occurence. Peace and Love for all life fills my heart! It is so Simple! Why do we insist on complicating things I may never know, but if I am ment to, then I know that it will come to me. What others think of me matters not! I still laugh, although not out loud, when people tell me that I should of played basketball. Do you think the WBA would be interested in a 6'11" transgender woman? I suppose if I had made the transition at 17 like I considered, things would be different. I am sure that I would still not care for sports, lol. I see the benefit in sports but I also see that it will not take me where I want to go. My task now is to make the most of what I have been given and to share that with the world. To Love and to be Loved! Simple
05-18-2009 10:39:22 AM CST
This past weekend has been a slow one with not much going on. Money is tight right now, so my typical activity for entertainment is watching a movie on TV or playing on SecondLife. I am also doing a lot of sleeping lately. My level of Peace is wonderful. A cute kitten found us this weekend so we now have a new member to the family. My life seems a lot like his, eat, play, sleep. I guess this is the good life ;-) Having Juanita and John to share my life with makes it all that much better also. I am grateful to have them in my life. Romance seems a distant reality for others to me right now. If the right person were to show up right now, I am not sure I would be ready to act on it. With my current physical condition(pre-op), sex does not seem possible or appealing. Physical affection, cuddling, and closeness on the other hand does appeal to me. Not that I need that, but I am sure it would help my mood right now. It is a blessing to not have distractions in my life right now. I can focus on the inner journey and deepening my connection to Spirit. On a side note, I saw a program about the tallest woman in the world this weekend and she put a whole new perspective on my transition. She is a beautiful person and her voice is lower than most men, so that made me feel a little more comfortable with my voice. It is so silly the things we think about sometimes. I know that I am a beautiful and loving person, what else matters?
05-14-2009 9:21:51 PM CST
Great news, I just got a laser treatment on my face and neck! I feel so much better knowing that shaving is one more step to being gone. It will take a few weeks for all the hairs to fall out. With deep gratitude I thank Deborah of Lifetime Cosmetics for the great job she does for me. I also had my nails done today which is another great treat I give myself on a regular basis. Each day is a testament to my ability to survive and thrive. I am so grateful to be working in a place that supports me. It seems I find friends wherever I go. I have been making it a point to keep in touch with my friends, which I find is so important to maintaining perspective on life. I am now and always the person I was born to be. For this simple fact I am very grateful. It takes no effort to be yourself, you just are. I must constantly remind myself that I have all that I need and am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. This is the nature of life.
05-09-2009 12:14:35 PM CST
This journey is bringing me face to face with my own prejudices. By shining the light of awareness upon them they quickly vanish as the darkness does at dawn. The prejudices I speak of are concerning men and women stereotyped roles. The roles we were taught long ago in a different age. Each time I have a thought of women do this or men are supposed to be this way, I am bringing the past into the present and making it true! Is this what I truly want? Do I want the segregated society of men bring home the "bacon" and women are homemakers? Am I really a weak woman who does her chores to make her man happy? Am I a woman that caters to all others needs and ignores her own? Is any woman?
I think not. I am a woman that is free to be me which is transgendered, balanced, and gifted in so many ways. I need not "throw the baby out with the bathwater" so to speak. Since I am 6'11" and a giant woman by most standards I am simply living up to my training. I was raised as a man, so the process of letting that identity go is well underway, but I now realize that I need to review my "ways" and keep that which serves me and embrace that which has not change as yet. One of the habits I have learned is eating quickly and later burping a lot. Not very lady like by most definitions, but it is a part of me that I acknowledge and embrace. My body is far from petite but I can be very feminine just like a tree or a mountain is feminine. In many ways the ocean is feminine and what is larger than the ocean? Size matters not! Since my lungs are large the sound echoes quite a bit making my voice lower than average for a woman, but not for a woman of my size. The resonant temper of my voice is feminine when I am conscious of it, but sometimes slips back to old habits if I am excited or not paying attention. I hear it takes a few years to move past this habit. I can remember being taught to lower my voice and sound more masculine and project my voice with force, hmmm. Something I wish I had not learned so well. Projecting the voice to be heard is a good thing, and this I will keep. This is what re-creating ourselves is all about anyway. Keeping that which serves us and letting go the rest! I am not sure how it serves me to be transgender but I do know that this is the path I choose long before I was born. I know this to be a gift of insight that I would otherwise not enjoy. I see both male and female and know that I am neither and both. If the choice to check "other" instead of "male or female" existed on forms that is the one I would choose. At the risk of sounding prejudice, I am happy to be me and accept me as I am. I expecting nothing in particular other than humble greatness, or something I call humanness. I see women as equal to men in a opposite sort of way, for instance weakness is our greatest strength. Softness and passivity give us the ability to bend and not break. Sensitivity and intuition are natural gifts that both men and women posses but most men cannot afford to develop in the harsh world they live in. We are the way we are for a reason, guided and shaped by the environment we place ourselves in. Let us all embrace this and see it for what it is, a gift!
05-07-2009 4:08:49 PM CST
This week has been rough. I seem to have gotten "the crud" and am sleeping a lot, and little things seem to be bothering me, silly mistakes and such. I really want to go to the support group meeting tonight but don't feel like it. I so miss having someone to share my thoughts and feelings with. Oh well, I will cry - it always seems to make me feel better.
05-03-2009 11:41:40 PM CST
A quick note to check in. Work is going well. It is nice to be accepted as the person I am and supported by my peers. This is so important to me and I find that my confidence is growing daily. Since I am talking on the phone most of the time it can be difficult when the customer refers to me as "sir" but I am only getting that about half the time now, so it is a step in the right direction. What a great job to have so that I can practice my voice presentation. My physical presentation is very good these days and I feel very natural in my feminine attire. I even bought myself some pearls since I get such a great discount. Now my focus is on a full time job and getting some extra money! I need to repeat the laser treatment on my face and have some counseling sessions which I do miss. Sometimes it is a struggle to walk this path alone. I will succeed no matter what, however there is no reason to make this any more difficult than it needs to be. I know the money is coming very soon! I claim it now! I deserve it and accept it with sincere gratitude!
04-26-2009 10:36:31 PM CST
Gratitude seems to be a constant theme with this blog, but it is appropriate. It feels so good to be living my life; the one I came here to experience. All my prayers are answered! I step forward with Love in my heart to share with all whom I meet. Each day we create ourselves a new. We wake up and look ourselves in the mirror and say "I Love You"! Our lives reflect that thought - just look around. Loving what you see in the mirror is the doorway to happiness. Our lives are far more magical than most of us give credit for. I am far more wealthy today than I have ever been. I may not know what it is like to be a man or a woman, but I do know what it is like to be myself. This is each of our purposes in this world to simply be ourselves. By opening to Holy Spirit's guidance the rest is easy!
Holy Spirit, make me an instrument of your Peace.
04-23-2009 7:09:24 PM CST
All is well, Today I ordered my horomones for another month, which cost about $100. I am so grateful to be working again! Now my sights are focused on a full time job. And eventually SRS. Another great gift I gave myself today is French Manicured nails. I usually go with pink or coral colored nails but today is a new day. I feel great and am so happy for the future while being deeply grateful for all the gifts I have recieved along the way. I Love You
04-17-2009 10:58:02 PM CST
Today I attended a rally for the Gay-Straight Alliance here in Knoxville and I must say that it was an enlightening event. It is hard for me to imagine what it would have been like if I had come out at 17 instead of waiting till my 40's, however I must say that these kids are well supported. I am so glad to see the world changing and opening up to all people in Loving acceptance. The big thing is that we are realizing that our positive actions lead to a better world. Without action though nothing gets done, bridges are not crossed, walls are not brought down and new relationships are not formed. I wish it was easier for me to make friends, but it seems that my efforts are not yielding very productive results. If it wasn't for SecondLife I would not have any friends. I do have family and that is a Blessing of no small proportion. My ex and her family are so wonderful to me! I am truely Blessed to know them. My brothers are who they are and support me when I see them. It is the kind of Love that only brothers can offer. I get the sense that they still do not understand what I am going through but that is OK. My counselor tells me to not expect anyone to understand. I know that anyone can understand if they so choose to, but it is a big undertaking and I appreciate that. I love my father very much but find it hard to speak with him these days. There are several articles here on this site to help others understand what being transgender means. I hope this blog is also helping in that reguard. I appreciate you reading it ;-) Thank you for Loving me!
04-14-2009 1:37:45 PM CST
After doing some checking I realized that my one year anniversary for being on horomones is quickly approaching, and come May 1 it will be one year. Looking back I can see a few changes in my out look on life and also in my preferences. I enjoy writing far more than I used to and while I still enjoy photography that has taken a back seat to my writing. My career as a MRI tech may be over, I have applied for many jobs and yet none materialize. Since I have many things about the medical community that I don't agree with that may have something to do with it. Life so often seems like a self fulfilling prophecy and I don't like seeing sick and injured people all day long. Before I can go back to working in the medical community I must be able to see people for who they are, The Christ. Or to say that another way, to see people as the "littlest angel" here to fulfill a promise and demonstrate Love. I am getting better at doing this, so we will see where my career goes. JTV is fun and is satisfying my needs right now. Of course I am still a minister too, but just haven't decided how best to allow that to serve us all. What do you think about me being a Transgender Life Coach? or simply a life coach. I guess my greatest challenge is asking for financial reward, i.e. self worth. Saying is one thing, doing is a whole new ball game. I know a lot, and love to learn (remember), so I should be a natural.... Thank God for all my gifts!
04-09-2009 10:31:56 PM CST
Today has been a relaxing day working on the computer and just enjoying the spring weather. Now that I am back on the estrogen patches I am feeling better. I feel calm and peaceful eventhough I have been having some cramps & queasiness today. It is what I imagine a menstral cycle would be like, but since I don't have female organs I suppose it is not. I wonder if the estrogen can give me a cycle? I sense also that not only my body is changing but so is the world around me, so maybe the uncertainty is causing this menstral effect. The funny thing is that it is not unpleasent; it just is and I am Ok with it. Just to be on the safe side I am watching what I eat. The last week without the estrogen was a flash back to my days as Steven, and I did notice a little shrinkage of my breasts. Now I feel natural again. It is interesting to notice the differences between old Steven and the new Me. If you think you knew Steven, well you didn't and now I am even more different. I am getting to know myself better too in this process and this most definately feels more natural. I resist using "normal" because I dont think that even exists. Normal is a personal experience and is different for each person, so it is better to just relax and "be yourself" which to me is natural. If you are interested in getting to know me better, just write a letter! (use the comment feature) We can be pen pals ;-) I am on facebook now also and I use my full name, Sequoia Elizabeth Carpenter. New friends are always welcome! Bye for now, and ...Blessed Be ;-)
04-07-2009 2:33:37 PM CST
Today I would like to thank all the Loving souls who assist me, have assisted me and will assist me on my Journey of Love. I Love each and everyone of you! Your Love enfolds me gently and caringly keeping me going when things get tough and lifting me up when there seems no where else to go. I am humbled by the Loving and caring people I meet in my life. Smiles fill my face whenever I think of you. I sit here feeling warm and cared for. Perfection surrounds me, serenity fills me, and Peace flows from my heart. Please accept my deepest gratitude in all that you do! Love, Hugs and Kisses, Sequoia
04-06-2009 1:19:52 PM CST
If I could change my mind or my body, which would I prefer. This is an interesting question I just found on a transgender website, which I believe misses the point. Our external physical world is created by our thoughts, so as we think, so it is. I chose this journey of transformation (unconsciously, before birth) in order to experience life more fully and to deepen my awareness of existance. I believe that I am consciousness individuated, neither male, female or even human. I realize that this may confuse you a bit and that is OK. I was confused about this for a long time because I was listening to everyone else and not my inner voice. Life is a long string of choices and thoughts that equal your present appearance and life experience. So in my case, my spiritual essence is simply changing in form midway through my life. I also realize that I have a long way to go in my transition from my indoctrinated and learned maleness to a more harmonious prefered femininity. Gender, sex, and identity is very complicated and confusing to most everyone from my point of view. Where I fall on the spectrum is somewhere in the middle on the female side. As I accept my thoughts about who I am my body changes to reflect that. I am very tall and yet I feel very feminine, not dainty but soft, compassionate and gentle. There is more to being a woman than appearances anyway. This discovery and expression is my journey I think. To Be or Not to Be, that is the question! We are a sum total of our mind, body and soul, so lets not leave the soul out of the equation. I am a Spiritual Being, having a human experience!
04-01-2009 1:07:09 PM CST
The world is transitioning and each of us bring our own personal transformation to the mix. Mine is about being more than my old male body was portraying. I believe that each of us is much more that what meets the eye! You know how you feel and the thoughts that visit your mind, so is this who you are? I have asked myself this question many times! The answer is not so simple, but basically who I am is constantly changing and yet it never changes. At the core, I am an expression of GOD. (we all are) On the surface(in this life expression) however I am a beautiful, peaceful, Loving Woman(some would say transwoman). I stand tall (6'11") and am proud to be the person I am. My beliefs are only my expression in this world and not who I am. Accepting other peoples beliefs is easy when you realize that beliefs are only an expression of God, they are not permanent, and they are not who they are or who you are. What are you thinking about today? I am focused on Love! Love and acceptance of who I am in this world, and of who you are too. The most I can do is Love each and every person who enters my life. The least I can do is let you be YOU.
03-29-2009 9:41:40 PM CST
Everything is going as planned, so now I am looking forward to the surgery that I pray will take place sometime around the first of next year. I will need a lot of help with the surgery since I have no way to pay for it right now. My prayers and brainstorming on the question of how am I going to finance the surgery have lead me to simply ask for help. If you have ideas or suggestions or simply want to help out just drop me a line and we can go from there. "Ask and you shall receive", so I am asking! Please help me get sex change surgery as soon as possible in a safe, and ethical way. The horomones are doing a great job but to help reduce the amount of them my testicles must go. A trachea shave is also necessary since that feature is a sure sign of male development. I have had 30yrs to decide that a penis just does not work for me at least not while it is still attached to me. To instead be on the other end of this exchange will work. There is not one ounce of doubt in my mind as to is this the right thing to do. Even if I never "use" my vagina, at least I will be complete in this physical body. This is so hard to talk about but the time has come to ask for that which I desire! Thank you Lord for showing me the way.
03-29-2009 7:28:14 AM CST
Got my computer back a few days ago and have been reloading software and data. It is nice to have things working again. Been thinking a lot about what makes a woman and I realize that it has a lot to do with perception, or how we are percieved. To me it is a combination of factors such as behavior, appearance, sound, and feel. There are several words that go along with this such as feminine, female, and lady so I could be generalizing here some or just combining terms. With all that said, now let me just say that my goal is just to be myself, to act naturally for me, and be comfortable with who I am. WOW, now this is an amazing journey since I really don't know who I am. This is the way I see it. I have male organs, large male body, feminine attitude and behavior (most of the time), a low voice that is sometimes feminine and sometimes not, and I am very comfortable in womans attire. Based on my experiences I am a woman in a male body, no news here, but then again what is a person to do. How does one accept the truth. I can tell you that the horomones are making a world of difference in my body and that I feel more comfortable with my appearance. If you have ever worked hard to get something or somewhere and been thrilled to make it, you know the feeling of success. I feel the relief and peace that comes with reaching a goal, but very quickly a new goal arises and off we go again. I have come a long way, and I am feeling very close to my next goal, but I also know that I have a long way to go also. My challange is to let go of the behaviors I have been taught to go with the male body I was given at birth. My journey is deeper than what we see at the surface. The woman I feel inside is emerging and I am loving being myself. I release any false beliefs of who or what I am and leave the door open to the Divine Feminine. May this be in the HIGHEST AND BEST GOOD for all. My new job working in customer care sales is perfect since I will be able to practice my inner voice that for so long has been aching to emerge. I am woman and proud of it!
03-24-2009 6:11:02 PM CST
Sorry for not Blogging much lately, but my computer is off getting new parts (which I hope to be doing soon) and will be back around the first of April. I started a new Job on Monday which I just love. It involves taking orders for jewelry and I get to use the computer! Since I love gems and crystals this is a great Job for me! I will commment more on this later. For now I must be going. Happy to be here ;-)
03-13-2009 4:49:45 AM CST
Happy Friday the 13th! When I was living in california I learned some practical things about transgender living. One of those is that when dressed as a woman not only is it important to act like a lady but to live like one too (all identities are role play), meaning use the women's restroom. Even if you are not all that "passible" use the women's restroom because that is who you really are anyway. If you aren't involved with the TG world then you may not have considered this, but I want to share a few thoughts here and if you would like to comment, I welcome that. The best estimate from what I find on the internet is about 10% of the USA population is Gay/Lesbian which means that 1 in 10 people you meet are homosexual and ~1% are Transgender (1 in 100). Since many GLBT's live "closeted" this is only an estimate. Right now in the USA we have separate bathrooms for men and women. I realize that this practice has a very long history and I don't want to get into that, but just think about it. Why do we need public restrooms to be segregated? The world is a very diverse place with people of all types, different races, physical sex, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, and beliefs. The point is that we need to address this very personal issue of "releaving ourselves" in public with dignity while addressing each person's civil rights. We all have the right to be comfortable going to the bathroom! Since everyone in the world is different than you on the outside it is important to remember that we are all the same on the inside!!! The challange comes from only having two choices for restrooms. Many Transpeople don't identify as either male or female and there are intersexed people that don't fit in either. So in order to simplify as much as possible let's make this easy. Don't judge others as to what or who you think they are! (i.e. Don't judge a book by it's cover) Accept people for who they choose to present and leave it at that. So if you are living as a woman or even dressed as one, please use the womens restroom and vice versa (if you are dressed as an alien, well it is your choice which restroom to use). In the mean time let's lobby to have unisex bathrooms and stop seperating ourselves! All it takes is respecting those who are around you.
03-08-2009 7:44:46 AM CST
You always have what you need. This is what I live by and I am so grateful for all the abundance in my life. I got work last week and am feeling much more positive about the future. One thing I do realize is that in order to make my dreams come true I must rely on myself, let my ego desires go, and take action that leads to completing this transition. One of those actions is using the 23yrs of experience I have to get a job that pays enough to save the money I will need. The past 3 months have been very healing and I so needed this time to get my life in order. I have purged most of my belongings and my goal is to fit all my things in two suitcases. If it don't fit then I don't need it. I am smiling now and feel emense Love flowing through me at this moment. It is like I can feel God within me! Such Love is the reason for the season so to speak. namaste
03-02-2009 6:54:43 PM CST
Today I went out and registered at a few local job agencies and start work tomorrow. This will hold me over till I can get a more permanent job. The combination of the economy and my life changes has made it difficult to find work, however I am very hopeful and feel the spring has great things in store for me. I thank God that I have Loving family and friends who are willing to take care of me. More than ever I have my eye on my desires, and things are right on track. A windfall right now would be nice, but then we have tax refunds coming very soon; I figure mid April. If I were to have my surgery tomorrow I would go to Thailand to have it done. Although I have been looking at the local team and not having to fly so far would be nice. Then again, I love to travel and what better excuse to go to Thailand? I hear it is about the same money or a bit cheaper in Thailand after all is said and done. The surgeons are the best in the world and the whole outlook in that part of the world is more evolved in my opinion, at least in this area. Time will tell where I end up going, so as usual,...life goes on.
02-25-2009 11:08:48 PM CST
Today I felt the positive energy you have been sending me and I thank you for your support. Things are working out fine. And I look forward to all the good things that are in store for me. We drive to Nashville tomorrow and home again the same day. Glad I like driving ;-) Met with a good friend today and we caught up on each of our lives. I am so grateful to have friends like her who Love and accept me for me. Progress is being made slowly with my family. They have known me all my life, or thought they did, and it is hard for them to accept these changes. I am not in a rush, so it is one day at a time. I want them to know that I Love them, regardless of what they think. All I ask is for them to accept me as I am. It is something that I freely give to them everyday. Email is a great way to stay in touch with out the face to face challanges. Change can be good or bad and we each must decide which way we will experience it. Change is guarenteed, but our acceptance of that change is not. We can choose to make each day and all that it brings a good thing. I am making that choice right now. Thank you for the Best Day of my life.
02-24-2009 9:35:39 PM CST
Hi, I am usually pretty good at being positive here and finding the bright side to life, however tonight I am feeling pretty gloomy. I want to be positive and say I know things will work out fine. Right now surrender seems the best choice, but I am standing at what seems like the edge of the Grand Canyon with the need to get to the other side. I wonder if I can fly...?
I hear that when the mind reaches it's capacity it either evolves or dies and this definately feels like the end. I guess a new beginning is next....