Learning To Climb
My decision to attend college started with the Gnostic teachings, and the idea of the greatest story ever written: The
Bible; was in fact a lie. A Gnostic teacher once said: “Abandon the search for god. . . instead, take yourself as the starting place.” It is said your destiny is predetermined before we are even
born, but I was done waiting for my destiny to somehow miraculously take me wherever I was suppose to be. I took it among myself to head down the path I wanted to. I was going to control my own
destiny. I can’t depend on anyone but myself. I figured I could just lay there, or I could get back up, so I got back up.
When I little I was always sure of two things: I wanted to be a writer, and I knew that the god that I was taught to believe in had made a mistake when he had created me. For as long as I could
remember I knew I was transgender. Of course being so young I could not fathom that my own journey would bring me to Idaho, let alone Idaho State University, especially since I hated High School
and never wanted to go to college. But as a teenager you think you know everything and are not open to learning. Now that I am more mature I actually want to learn. In fact my favorite channels on
television are Animal Planet, History Channel, and Science Channel.
For most of my life I lived in Utah with my mom, step dad, and sister. We would visit rest of the family every
year in Idaho. Salt Lake City is an enormous town compared to Pocatello, there are a lot of ignorant people, and there is a lot of room to get in trouble. When I came out as transgender I found a
lot of discrimination and intolerance. I worked at a pawnshop and I will let you imagine the majority of the clientele. My assistant manager decided to “out” me as female; which led to a customer
sexual assault. After this event I lost my grip, tripped and fell. I got caught up with a group of people called druggies. And we would chase the dragon all day.
I had hit rock bottom and I literally had nothing. I had pawned off pretty much all my belongings for drugs. I was on
my knees looking up at the rest of the world walking around me, passing me by. I felt alone and helpless, I felt like I had no more fight left in me.
My sobriety led me to Idaho. I left my world behind and I didn’t look back. I wanted to get away from all those who had wronged and betrayed me. I stayed with my Aunt Cory and Granny. My granny
suffered Emphysema and needed help. Aunt Cory and I would help her threw out the day chores ranging from dishes, cleaning the living room and bathroom, cooking dinner. For the first week I lived in
Idaho I was withdrawing, I spent most of the day praying to the porcelain god, the bathroom smelt like vomit, but it also had an acidy aroma to it because there was no food in my stomach only
After a few weeks I adjusted to my new life, after chores all three of us would sit around the table and puzzle. Granny was homebound and her favorite activity was putting a Thomas Kinkade puzzle
together. We usually could get one done in a week. In fact, granny was the one that taught me to make a pretty mean meatloaf.
It also gave me plenty of down time to work on an aspiring novel. Luckily no matter where ever I ventured to my characters came with me, and to a certain extent I think they helped me heal and kept
me from actually being alone. After the morning coffee and allowing my body to switch from one drug to another, but this drug was perfectly legal. Granny would encourage me to sit down and write,
whenever I suffered from writers block I would sit and talk to granny and she would tell me stories growing up in the Great Depression.
At one point in time, I engulfed myself in Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code for five days I followed Robert Langdon threw out his journey of Europe. For five days I was invincible to any guests, and
ignored the smell of garlic bread toasting in the oven. For five days I solved anagrams and searched for the holy grail, examined the beauty of the Mona Lisa. After I finished the novel my
adventure obviously did not stop there. I did an enormous amount of research regarding the truth of the novel. I became obsessed with the idea of the Jesus I was taught to believe was in fact not
divine. Of course I did this in secret because most of my family were LDS and it would be completely wrong. I even bought a little notebook to scribe down my notes and thinking I was being smart I
would write backwards and it appeared to be a mirror image, just like DaVinci wrote in his personal notebooks.
On May fourth we rushed granny to the hospital one last time. My mom came in from Utah, and my uncle from Soda Springs
and I watched without a tear I could not find, as granny took her last breath and we set her free. I knew she was going to the place she had wanted to be. She had always talked about going to
heaven to reunite with Mori, her son she lost in a car accident in 2005. But I could not bring myself to feel peace with death. For the last month of Granny did not want to lose her dignity for she
couldn’t even walk to the bathroom anymore and had to wear adult dippers; I know people ask to die with dignity but no one can. Death is always ugly, no matter what; you can live with dignity, but
you can’t die with it. I knew what I had been taught my whole life about the reason of our existence, about Jesus, perhaps maybe even god were all-false.
Before granny had past I had promised her I would stay off of drugs and if I did not she would come back from the dead and
haunt me. I also promised her I would do all in my power to finish the novel I was working on and get it published. And the most important I would search for the truth in all things, and I have. As
a famous philosopher, Socrates once said: “I prefer nothing, unless it is true.” Weather it is something that makes us wish we had never heard it or it inspires us, I have set Idaho State
University to fulfill my education and a path to truth. Because the more educated and more knowledgeable you are the more Enlightened you become.
After cleaning out granny’s house I decided to apply for college. I was able to stand back up on my feet; I wiped off my
hands and shook my past off. I was able to get back into the race, and another puzzle piece of my individual personality fell into place. I wished my adventure could take me over seas to study with
the best in the department of Theology, at Oxford. But at the present I would be unable to afford it, and it is a very prestigious school, I doubted I would be accepted. So I set my sights closer
to home and applied at Idaho State University.
I waited Impatiently for any news, and finally got accepted. I registered for my generals, and am waiting for where ever my
journey takes me. I know for sure I will do a minor in Religion in Philosophy. But I’m unsure weather to do English, or Anthropology as my major. Maybe both.
I think this has been an important step in the right direction. I no longer feel like a picture with a broken frame, or alone and helpless. Walking is easy when the road is flat,
but there is always going to be other mountains to climb; it’s always going to be an up hill battle. Sometimes I’m going to have to lose, but whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Life is
like a novel with end ripped out, but my previous chapters have been closed and resolved. After all the good lord would not have gave us mountains unless he wanted us to learn how
 Rascal Flatts “Stand”
© Copyright 2016 Toby Cruz. All rights reserved.