Life is funny. It seems to have chosen the last 13 months – and counting, to throw me curveballs like I have never seen before!
I’m not complaining – I’m marveling.
In my 50+ years on this planet, I’ve seen my share of change. The usual upsets in life that most people face. Parents and relatives passing, job loss and re-location (Kind of to an excess, having lived in 13 cities in 7 states) friends coming and going, the joys of children and the loss of beloved pets. The usual stuff.
If asked to describe myself even fairly recently (5 years ago) I would have probably used descriptors like: Husband, father, Republican, hard worker, homeowner, sports fan, loyal, stressed, successful and good provider.
If the person I am today were to describe myself from 5 years ago, I would add the following descriptors and observations: Corporate apologist, ruled by fear, not happy, lacking compassion, judgmental, uncomfortable around people different from myself. Hiding a very big secret.
I think sometimes politicians get a bad rap for having “flip flopped” on an issue. To me, that could be the mark of someone who is pandering or one who is indecisive, but I’d like to think it is because they have information or perspective now that they didn’t have initially. Because I may have become the poster child for flip flops.
In just the last 13 months:
- I am no longer a husband. (My divorce was final in March)
- I am technically a “father” still, but neither of my daughters call me Dad anymore.
- I still work hard, but I do it for ME not anyone else. (Sadly, “me” doesn’t pay a decent wage!)
- The Republican party has nothing for me anymore
- I am no longer a homeowner and almost couldn’t find someone to rent to me.
- I am still a sports fan but nothing like I used to be.
- I am still loyal – perhaps more-so and to a larger number of people and for better reasons.
- I am no longer employed, but successful in other areas that provide more satisfaction.
- I am no longer a good provider. It pains me that I couldn’t have been more generous to my ex-wife but my situation has changed and thus, so has hers.
There is almost nothing left of that person. It’s like I was made of straw. It’s also frightening to think I built an entire life using those beliefs.
During a recent trip to Atlanta my oldest daughter mentioned the trip she took to see me in Dallas in December of 2011, she said she didn’t know at the time it was the last time she would see her dad. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I was speechless because there is no response that matters. What do I say? “Yeah, sorry about that?” I never wanted to rob my children of their father. I know they loved him. They are still getting used to whoever it is I am now. I’m sure it’s more than a little unsettling.
It’s not like I was a scoundrel, I did a lot of cool and charitable things and hopefully for the right reasons. I was as good a dad and husband as I knew how to be.
Perhaps someday I can explain to them the kind of torment I was experiencing. I loved being their dad, but couldn’t continue to live as a man. I tried, I really did. I made it a long time but I just couldn’t go one day more. I am finally happy now…happy with me. I’m at peace. The Testosterone that was poisoning my mind and body is gone now. Replaced by the proper hormones.
However, the changes listed above only scratch the surface!
- Instead of living as a man, I now live as a woman. (Doesn’t get much bigger than that) I’m not entirely sure how the “me” of 5 years ago would even handle meeting the “me” of today.
- I am into my 11th month of hormone therapy and those have done wondrous things to my mind and body.
- Instead of living in my own domain, I now share a townhouse with my roommate, Katie.
- She is a cat person; I was always a dog person. I am growing to love her kitties.
- I identify more Libertarian but also embrace more of the Democratic agenda than ever before, especially socially.
- I am a Buddhist.
- I am comfortable and very much at home with all people as long as they are non-violent. I have seemingly as many LGBT friends than straight ones these days.
- Instead of working in the yard, I much prefer the kitchen and have become a fairly accomplished cook!
- More than ever, people have been gravitating to me and sharing intimate details of their lives or problems they need help with. I feel much more patient and at ease in helping them. I have much more compassion than ever before. I still have no tolerance for bullshit. (Some things don’t change)
As you might imagine, these changes have been momentous to me. I truly feel I am living my heart more than my head. I also stand in awe that I have been able to handle all of this without completely unraveling!
So often, the things we dream of having or achieving are often much greater in the wishing than they are in the experiencing.
All my life, I have dreamed of living my life as a woman. I have been living that dream since last April and the experience has exceeded even my imagination. I couldn’t conceive the inner peace, love of life and mental clarity that I now experience.
How’s this for flipping my life on its head? When I was young, I found love and a career without ever coming to grips with who I was.
Today, I have a beautiful understanding and acceptance of who I am. Now, I’m looking to find love and a way to pay the bills.
To me, I finally have my priorities in order.