Did you ever have one of those nights that, despite the fact that you don't necessarily need validation anymore, absolutely validates everything you're doing, and makes you smile so big that your cheeks hurt? That was tonight for me. I don't even know if mere words can do justice to the way I'm feeling right now.

Tonight was one of our quarterly All Hands Meetings at work. They go over business stuff for about 90 mins., and then there's social time, drinks, apps, etc., for a couple hours. I had never even shown up for one of these during my first three years with the company, before transitioning. I woke up this morning with dread. All day I wondered how long I would stay at the social part of the meeting. How long of an "appearance" would be enough? Show my face, then go home. I thought that if I managed to stay until 6:30, that would be enough. Never been my thing, and still wasn't, after how I handled the first All Hands' Meeting that I attended a couple months ago.

The business part of the meeting started, and they worked their way to the "Employee Recognition Awards." Each quarter, one employee receives a "Super Star" award, out of about 500 people in the company, for outstanding work/commitment. There is one given to a team, as well. I've mentioned here in the past how I was working on a pro bono project, in which I ended up doing the work of two people. The person giving the award started describing the recipient of the Super Star award and her work, and as I listened, I thought, "OMG. This is me. Wow, just wow." And it was!! It was a bit surreal walking up to get this award from the CEO with my picture and name on the overhead with 500 people applauding, when a few short months ago, I feared being fired. (The recognition wasn't bad, but the $200 AMEX gift card wasn't either!!)

The business part of the meeting ended, and the social hour began. People were congratulating me on the award right and left. But still, I felt like I didn't know all that many people; that I was wandering around aimlessly amongst all the masses. My lack of self-confidence got to me. I walked around for a little bit with my glass of wine, had a couple cursory conversations, and then after about 30 minutes, decided it was too much stress, and that I had to go. So I sneaked outside, pretending to be talking on my cell phone, got into my car, and started driving home, bitterly disappointed with myself.

I approached a stoplight. As I sat there, I shook my head and thought to myself, "you know, this is your night. you won an award. people are congratulating you. and you're sitting here in your car, going home at 6 PM. And you look *good* today (it was a good hair day). Turn this car around, bitch. Turn this fucking car around now and go back, and have a good time. You can do this. You know you can."

So I did. I turned the car around and I went back. And guess what? I had a blast. I was social. I talked to lots of people. I made them laugh. I got hugs. Ended up staying, along with the young 'uns, until 9 PM, about an hour after the event was supposed to end. One guy in particular, I had worked with before, and while on travel, before I transitioned, we had a bit of a "rock star" night. Including a baseball game, casino, horse racing, a midnight run to buy alcohol, and a strip club. I figured he of all people had been pretty freaked out by my transition, and I wanted to talk with him. I sought him out, and we talked. When I transitioned, HR sent out a message to the people I had worked with, John included, disclosing my transition. The email subject was simply my name. When I talked to John tonight, he told me when he got the email, and he saw the subject, his first thought was that I had killed myself; that he knew there was something very wrong with me and that I was incredibly unhappy. Wow, just wow. I had no idea that I came across that way to people before transition. Anyway, he said that he didn't quite understand it but that he was just glad I was still around.

The last person I talked to was a woman who had just joined the company a few months ago, and for whatever reason, it was a particularly special conversation. There was nothing outstanding in what we talked about, topics we covered, but you just know when you connect with someone on a friendship level. We talked for about 20 minutes, hugs were exchanged, and I headed home.

I drove home somewhat astounded on how well I'd done; how people reacted to me and how I felt I was in my element. My element! A room full of people was never "my element." There's this new song that I heard recently on the radio, only once, that I love. I sent the radio station an email this afternoon asking them to play it again. I had the radio on in the car tonight and heard this about a third of the way home ...

"This one's for Faline..."


"Here's 1000 Ships, by Rachel Platten."


The icing on the cake. Is this my night, or what? Wow, just wow. I cannot stop smiling right now.



I'm crying tears of joy for you right now. OK, so I had some wine with dinner. But really, this is such a breakthrough! Hey, you are amazing! That's awesome that you stopped yourself from leaving, went back, and had a great time. And congratulations on your award!

And then, to have your request played. Wow! Sometimes it does seem we get all the things we need.

"Wow" barely seems sufficient! What a great night! I'm so, so proud of you. And happy! That took a lot of courage to turn around and go back. And the request is the icing on the cake. (That settles it; I'm buying her album now...)

Congratulations on the award, Faline! And, more importantly, the good hair day.

Turning aroundand going back to "face te music" iswhat this takes. You cannot hide rom yourself and others, forever.

You see, Faline...NOW, you can fly. You have left the nest. Congratulations and *Bonne Chance*


What Anne said in spades! Oh Faline, ain't it just grand! What's more, this is just a tiny taste of the pay off for all the hard work and the daring!
Keep it up girl cause it only gets better and better!

Everyone has said all there is to say. So I say DITTO!!!

You have made me cry tears of joy also.

My prayers are working.

Hugs and Blessings,


One of our mutual friends recently posted a link about waking up full of awesome. What can I say, your cup runneth over.

I am very happy that you broke through that glass wall.

You deserve this, my friend.


You’re such an inspiration. So happy for you :)

Yay, you! I'm so glad you didn't miss all of that. And your song on the radio on the drive home, to boot. The universe was speaking to you, and it LIKES you.

OMG that made me cry =) I just want to hug you and say GOOD FOR YOU for going back!!! That's so great. =) But congratz on the award too =)

Thank you, everyone. It was quite a meaningful night on many levels. I feel inclined to leave this entry up on top for a while...

That is really great Faline.. i got the Super Star award at the hospital i worked for last year.. what a shock.. it was great to be recognised after so many years.. some times you work and work and work, and wonder if anyone will ever notice that you are there.. that you are someone.. and that you go the extra step.. well Goddess Bless you Faline.. you deserve to be recognised for all you do...

I smiled big smiles just reading this post, so can only imagine that your heart was singing all night! So happy for you for where you are today, from where you've come, to where you're going.

As a side note, I love that song, too! Just stumbled upon it recently and it's been stuck in my head ever since. SBZ strikes again :).

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