‘What happens after? I mean it’s not a hard border line where one life stops and the other starts.’ I thought. The rain had gone and the paths had been left with lethal soggy leaves and the temperature had dropped so much that gloves, hat and a coat were compulsory. Even though this weather had brought me the wrapped up warmth and comfort, I was still in a place of wondering, confusion and a little lost.
It doesn’t matter how far down the gender thing journey you are there are always those moments when you just wonder what next and loosing our way a little. It sometimes feeling like I need to open GenderMaps and figure out where I am and may be on occasion ask for directions because I’d forgotten them — even if I’m just asking myself and not having to see the gender identity clinician again to get that reset feeling.
The thing is if I just sit there allowing the thoughts to accumulate and race around my head I just end up feeling all fogged up. There is no coherent line of thought or planning. The gender thing ends up being all over the shop and I don’t find myself getting back on track with a clear vision and the confidence that I need to go with it.
That’s where I’ve been for a few weeks, loosing my way and not sitting down for a moment and sorting things out. I like to write lists. Not just come up with a list of things, but actually write it down on paper so it’s in blue and white, on the page, not to be forgotten and ordered. And from a list of things that are on my mind, whether it’s work, clothes, hobbies or sports and anything else that is gender-related, I can bring together a couple of paragraphs of what I want, how I should go about it or just refresh and remember the things I was going to do which had got lost in that fog in my head.
I have yet to put aside the time to do this recently. I’ve left it go so I loose my way a bit and allow the daily trudge of wake, work, dinner, bed cycle get in the way; that and cleaning the house, taking crap to the tip and generally getting other things in order rather than myself. That’s not to say de-hoarding isn’t important, it really is, and that moment when I realise I’ve cleared a whole space isn’t just cleansing of the garage but cleansing my head too — and that’s just as important.
But it’s giving enough time to both. I found myself thinking what I would want to do when all the gender thing is done and out of the way, whatever that end point actually is. I realised I would probably want to go on holiday to some of the places I’ve been to before, go to the same restaurants, cycle the same places, the only difference is I would be experiencing them all over again but as me — fully. I have this notion that it would feel as fresh and as exciting as the first time I went.
I would enjoy it with a new view point. I would feel at one with the way I present, well, either all that or I would feel awkward, uneasy and uncomfortable. May be that’s part of the planning though. Instead I would think about what could possibly be a reason for feeling uneasy and then work my way though these issues before going so I don’t feel that way. That said may be at that point insecurities would be long behind me and I would just get on with things. It would be just a matter of getting into the right frame of mind so it becomes fun, enjoyable and even needed.
I would probably want to do new things too. New pursuits much like my recent cycling on longer adventures. I would find other activities but start them with Hannah being on the booking form. “Hannah! Hook that belaying rope in or you’ll break your neck if you fall.” “Hannah, you’ve left your parachute on the chair, don’t jump yet.” “Miss James, we’ve upgraded your room to the penthouse suite, is there anything else you’d like? Champagne?”
Just talking about it feels therapeutic but yet at the same time, without writing down some realistic plans, it feels a bit like the millionaire syndrome. You know when you talk with your friends and discuss what you’d do if you won the lottery or come into millions through genuine success. You come up with ideas of where you’d go, and what car you’d arrive in while wearing something expensive bought in Kensington. That genuine exciting feeling that it could happen starts to build inside like caffeine from a strong coffee, but when it’s over and the conversation changes the excitement fades and reality draws in like dusk over a sunset.
It’s at that moment we realise the odds are so slim that the feeling fades but with the gender thing it’s not all down to luck. It’s also down to planning, confidence and the life tools to deal with whatever comes our way.
Much like the house it’s about cleaning up, getting things in order and making space so we can move. Not destroying our past but keeping the things that are important and clearing away the things that weigh us down without feeling any unfair guilt of destruction.
Its not to say that the end goal of the gender thing will cure the daily pattern. One of the first people I ever spoke to who were transgendered, some twenty five years ago or so, said “your life problems don’t go away —” and even though that was in the mid nineteen nineties when being trans was still to some extent difficult and acceptability was only just starting to bloom, and in today’s climate I guess it’s just a little easier to transition, put the gender identity problem behind us and address our life problems, they are still there. Even so with a clear vision of what we want in our future we can make it happen. We just need to want it and put time to it.
Until next time.