Futility

Rain, hail and thunder, it’s done it all today. A change in direction being processed by the universe I expect. The clouds so dark and grey at midday huddling up to each other closely to let out a huge release on us all shouting, “It’s November!” It’s a Friday and I find myself sat in another cafe over a pot of tea, every now and then huge rumbles of thunder being felt running along the floor and up through the chair legs like minor earthquake aftershocks. I finally, after many years of promising myself, started my christmas shopping early. I braved one shop before the cafe with faces of shoppers dull and drawn waiting to be served and staff rushing back and forth in confused state with all their processes of service falling apart. Christmas tunes chiming out of the shops speakers did little to make it feel Christmasy, it was just commercial, industrialised trading of brands and cheap toys being passed in exchange for money or debt; as grey and dull as the sky outside but without joy, art or substance.

During the week I decided, finally, to write back to the GIC. I was a little confused over some of the processes and who I needed to see about what and that blood test that hadn’t been done. I piled it down in some kind of order into a letter to the clinician I’d seen in London when I was there a few months ago, clearly asking what I needed to know. It wasn’t a moan but just so I knew what was what. A short trip to the post office to have the recorded delivery sticker added and it was off. Just an administrative thing that needed to be done so I could get on with things; it was surprisingly positive.

There was something about sending the letter that later on had lifted some weight off me about my uncertainty about where I was. Because I knew that I would likely get answers to the boring stuff it meant I didn’t have to think about it. Within a day the clinician had kindly rung me and spoke to me about what I needed to know one-by-one answering every point I’d had. Things were being sorted out and it wasn’t just how quickly he phoned me back but the understanding that was given had helped me clarify everything; he even spoke about how they might be changing things a little to help those who attend the GIC with these types of queries by giving us information to take away after a session with them.

While the clouds outside are still clustered together and producing the noise of war through the windows and walls of the cafe I don’t feel phased by them. The weather is passing me by because it’s part of the joy of the seasons adding depth to the winter while we go about our lives. It does of course help that I am, to some extent, my own boss and work for who I want when I want and because I have unshackled the way I live from the nine ‘til five to something that is more, well, nine ‘til five during some parts of the year and ten ‘til whenever when I ‘work’ for myself. Shopping for food when I want, taking in the surrounding people of a cafe and making time for those moments ensuring that my life isn’t a week-weekend of binary living. It can be hard because setting my own challenges to make life interesting is a challenge itself. Without that I wouldn’t probably get out of bed except for meals and the other.

Despite the more free living the question is still there. Don’t think for a minute that anything that makes life supposedly easier would make that question about whether the gender thing is the right things to do or the other question of whether it’s real rather than some learnt behaviour, besides, what is learnt behaviour. The problem with the question is that it’s impossible to answer without just accepting who you want to be and I think after acceptance and being then the question is self answered over time, there isn’t a scientific test that will answer it, at least not yet. Even if there was a scientific test a new question would be asked ‘Is the test right?’ Answers to the questions will never be one hundred percent. I find that the constant self questioning is a futile one. There is no winning answer. There will always be a leap of faith involved without huge amounts of evidence that satisfies our curiosity. Some people are able to commit to their change of gender without question. I don’t think this is down to the strength of those feelings though, I think some people are able to just make that leap without the need to question their own decisions – may be some are just inherent gamblers.

I don’t know where things are heading and from time to time just like anyone I have moments of doubt or uncertainty, especially without life that is particularly routine, mundane or monogamous. Restoring some order though and reminding myself of what matters to me goes some way to restoring my path. Whether it’s apparently frivolous things like tidying the house, discovering my favourite clothes again or how I occupy my time and how I ration myself to others, these are all things that can make things clear again.

Until next time.

x

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4 thoughts on “Futility

  1. The hardest thing I find is…

    I know how I feel, I haven’t felt any different my entire life, this is what I have always felt. But how do I know this is what it feels like to be a woman? Am I justified in saying that’s what I feel like, when nobody knows what anyone else truly feels? Does it all just come down to identity? I have never identified myself as male, when anyone uses male pronouns or stereotypes towards me it hurts, because it’s not how I feel, and I can’t correct them yet.

    It’s like I need other people to validate my gender before I can declare it, which is maybe not the best thing, or the healthiest thing. So here I am, trying to meet society in the middle, before I cross over to the other side, where I feel I belong but don’t feel I have the right to say I deserve to be there.

    R.

    • That’s exactly it isn’t it. I think the only way to know what is genuine is relying on the innate feeling. Whatever the true feeling is that comes from the core unadulterated by anyone else or outside influences. It’s just trusting that feeling that I guess is the difficult thing.

  2. You know Hannah I think that the strength of feelings is what allowed me to make up my mind in the end. I agree that some people might be natural gamblers but from my own experience I found I couldn’t calculate or work through the scenarios to understand what would happen to my life. So there was a bit of a leap of faith but it was driven by strength of feeling. To have done nothing was… well I can’t imagine what would have happened next.

    I went through the same doubt; is what I feel a genuine feeling of being female? How do I know that what I feel isn’t some kind of false image? Do I feel different now years later? Well I don’t feel troubled by it any more.
    We don’t know what other women feel like or men for that matter, we are all islands from that point of view. There are the outward emotional signs but if I cry at a movie is that much different from a man crying at holding his first born or at some other highly emotional moment? Probably not. I waited for justification, maybe too long, I don’t think anyone is able to give it, it comes from within.
    Some of the doubt maybe comes from the feeling that if left alone my body would have looked different from a female, and the question was if that’s the natural course of events am I justified to cross over. My answer has to be yes, of course I am justified, as nobody really needs anyone’s permission, and once a few of the physical hurdles are cleared life settles down.
    It is a big step and it has to be your own decision as only you know your personal circumstances, it’s a major thing for a while but it quickly returns to the quiescent state. I can still feel that sense of relief that came when I finally made the decision to transition, it was a huge weight lifted from me. Everything after that was just so much easier.
    Whatever your decision the world continues on. If you make a big splash then the ripples soon ebb.

    As usual I am enjoying your writing, so please keep it up. Reading this blog is always a treat for me when it pops up in my email 🙂

    Take care
    x Debs x

    • True beautiful words, Debbie. I think when it comes down to timing or the ‘when’ then it’s down to the individual to do it when they feel the moment is right. As a psychologist once said to me, you can regret not doing it when you were 18 but then you had reasons that you shouldn’t beat yourself up with, I paraphrase with lots of creative license.

      Thanks for the positive thoughts.

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