I sat down at the metal table that felt like it would clang like a gong as my cup of decaffeinated Americano hit the surface. The chairs equally metallic and functional. The summer sun, as they had promised for today, had departed replaced by a grey misty sky but it was still warm enough to sit outside the cafe under the cover.
I took a sip of the coffee, the texture powdery dry and bitter, and glanced across the paving stones ‘outside’. The paving was peppered with wet spots and the rain had just begun and, while I was technically outside, being under cover felt cosy. I love watching the rain when I’m in that mood. To feel the change in the air, the smell of dried salts perfuming from the ground and sometimes, if I’m sat close enough to a door or the outside, the gentle spray of a few rain drops. If I’m lucky I’ll hear the splattering of the rain on a hard floor. Best suited to dreamy days of the wandering mind.
My umbrella leant perched against my chair and so I was prepared for the walk back to work after my lunch break but I had misplaced my other umbrella last week. I don’t know whether I’d left it in the delicatessens or one of the shops where I’d purchased a birthday present for someone the week before. I tried a few places but the message was the same, it wasn’t there and I was soon impulse-buying in these places. It’s not like it should be that important, my spare umbrella was damaged on one corner capable of blinding a member of public in an instant and a little discoloured in places, but it was old and it was strong. It had survived years of strong winds. I hate loosing things, even if they should have been long retired. It got me thinking. Thinking about how I hate loosing things – loosing the past.
I get attached to things so badly but it’s not, in reality, the object I’ve lost that I’m attached to but the memories that they hold. Memories attached to objects for me are so strong, some happy, some sad or even embarrassing but the emotion is much like that brought to fruition like a smell that emotes rose tinted memories of the past.
I thought about what would happen to those male clothes that I still have left in my wardrobe in abundance should I decide to be outwardly female full-time. Would I really be able to get rid of them even if I knew I would never wear them again? I think though, much like every possession I hate to loose, throwing away my old clothes would feel like throwing away my friends, my family members, that best holiday ever, that point in my life where everything felt good or even my childhood.
It will be difficult I know but I also know that life never stands still. Our world never stands still even the most still things in life move and change even if so slowly it’s beyond our perception, but things change. The flowers grow, the stars move and the tide comes and goes. Memories only fade if we let them or we falter. We can pass on our memories to other people or record them in photographs, videos or stories. Our only challenge is to keep them preserved as best we can without letting them rule our future in some kind of shrine of denial. I think my only way to get through that is to remind myself that I don’t need possessions to keep hold of my past I just need something and that I need an ability to let-go a little. Allow the sand to filter through my fingers enough that the sensation is there but I’m not controlled or committed to it.
I didn’t have a particularly bad male past and so I don’t want to deny my past but I also have a future that I want to make mine, before it’s too late. I am a confusion of conflict between never letting go, a hoarder, with an opposite desire to move forwards and find things new whether they be possessions or the intangible like how I occupy my time. They seem almost entirely incompatible but when I think about it I am also eclectic. Sometimes people admire some of my possessions. Admire a musical instrument or a feature of furniture in my house but when you look closely, I tend to just have one of those things and if I’m happy with it I keep it. I keep things simple and enjoy things for what they are to the full rather than chase the next best thing. May be I apply that to life too. To less materialistic things like memories, emotions, and people I’ve met and all those three things together. Savouring those things much like I would with the material things.
Where does this leave me with the split between the masculine and feminine, that we all possess to some extent, and what I leave behind? It’s a difficult question to answer. I suppose as time goes on my constant introspection eventually brings together some kind of answer and allows me to cherish the parts of my masculine past but not to feel a guilt to have to continue to live that past – especially not for other people.
These things don’t have to be this complicated but they just are. I have to work through them because I know if I ignore them they’ll bite me in the future. When I’m in the right frame of mind and I think back, as I do from time to time, and I have mentioned this before, I don’t have to think that far back, five or six years the changes that have happened are huge. Changes to how I present myself to others and being honest to myself are so vast and yet subtle over time that I wouldn’t have thought in a million minutes that I would be where I am now. The thing is – I wonder now what things will be like in a years time?
Until next time,