Hello my darlings! I have missed you over the last few days. This past weekend (I took yesterday off, so today is my Monday) was rather busy and actually quite eventful. As some of you may recall yesterday I had an interview for the graduate program that I applied to for Marriage and Family Therapy, which went just amazing! I already had a really good chance of being accepted, since they are only interviewing 50 people for 40 spots, but after the 25 minute interview yesterday I’m not even worried anymore. Perhaps it’s bad to feel so confident, but the vibe I got from the woman who sat with me was that she was very impressed by me and my background. She seemed to really like my answers to her questions and to appreciate the perspectives I had to offer. More than that, she was very impressed that I already had some experience volunteering for a therapist, and that I had experience undergoing both individual and marriage counseling myself. Evidently seeing a therapist is very highly encouraged for anyone wanting to become one themselves.
I, of course, went as my fulltime fabulous Emma self, which I think might have scored me major brownie points, especially after I explained that I really wanted to work with the LGBT community, with particular emphasis on helping LGBT youth deal with their families. I think she really liked that I already had an idea of the population that I wanted to work with, as I suspect some of my competition probably don’t have any specific goals or communities. Overall, I am so excited. The program is only 3 years long, which is way better than the 4.5 years I thought it was originally, which means that three years from now, I could be a therapist instead of a paralegal! That just shoots me over the moon with excitement, you have no idea. Don’t get me wrong, my time as a paralegal has been highly rewarding, both monetarily and through the experiences/skills I’ve picked up along the way, but I am very eager to close this chapter of my life and begin the next one.
Speaking of the next chapter of my life, I just have to say I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy having gone full time. I just cannot even put into words the happiness and joy I feel most of the time. I get be a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I’m a girl!!
Okay… deep breaths… sorry about that I’m just so goddamned excited about this. I finally get to be a girl!! Okay, I know, I’m not binary female so maybe saying I’m a girl isn’t entirely accurate, but I don’t care. I’m a girl!! I get to look in the mirror and see a woman staring back at me! I get to actually be happy and proud of my reflection! I just can’t quite get over this, nor do I want to. I’m a girl!!
I have to say, it is friggin weird to be happy, and even more strange to feel confident in who I am. I have never experienced that before. Never, not once, could I ever say that I was proud of the person I was. Never have I been able to say that I’m proud of the way I look. Never could I say that I actually like my reflection.
Imagine, if you will, that you are in a state of chronic pain and discomfort for years and years on end. The pain isn’t excruciating, but it definitely doesn’t feel good either. At first that pain is really bad and hard to deal with. You feel so very frustrated by the endless pain that you just want to end it all, but you don’t. Eventually you learn to live with the pain. It never goes away, but the chronic exposure starts to dull the pain a bit until it is just a pervasive discomfort. You find ways of dealing with that discomfort. You find pain killers that alleviate, but never cure, the symptom. They are just Band-Aids, covering up the pain but never erasing it. This goes on for years and years, until eventually, you’ve been experiencing that chronic pain and discomfort for so long that you just become used to the pain. It’s just a part of your life, just as much as breathing air or eating food is. Eventually you forget what life was like without that pain. It’s become part of who you are, and there seems to be no escape from it.
Now imagine that you’ve somehow been cured of that pain you experienced for so long. The relief is just other-worldly. The difference is so big that it just brings tears of joy to your eyes. The pain is over, it’s gone, and it isn’t coming back. The difference is staggering and all-encompassing. How did you live with so much pain for so long, you wonder. You just want to dance and scream and shout to the heavens with joy and relief. You are finally free! Finally free of that pain, of that constant discomfort. Everything suddenly seems so bright and happy. Food tastes better, the air you breath smells sweeter, the sun shines brighter, and the stars twinkle like they’ve never twinkled before. There is nothing that has ever felt this amazing. You feel reborn, like you’ve become an entirely different person; a person you always knew you could be but had given up hope of becoming. Your dream is finally coming true, and love and joy replace that chronic pain. They run through your body like the cold relief of a salve on a wound. You can’t do anything but smile, and smile, and smile until your face begins to cramp from all the smiling, and then you smile some more. There is laughter in your heart again. There is joy instead of despair. Love instead of hate.
That is what it is like to transition from the gender you were erroneously assigned as, to the one that you really are inside. That is what going fulltime as Emma has been like for me. I’d gotten so used to the chronic pain of not looking the way I wanted, of not sounding the way I wanted, of not being perceived the way I wanted that I’d started to just assume it was part of who I was. My dysphoria had become such a dull and chronic ache, that I couldn’t remember what life was like outside of it. It pervaded every aspect of my life. It was in my dress, in the way I carried myself, in the way I thought of myself, in the way I interacted with my friends and with strangers, in the way I interacted with my wife, in the way I did my job, in the way I enjoyed my leisure time, and in the way I expressed myself through art. It encompassed every aspect of my life like a dense fog shrouding every step I took. The only time I could manage to disperse that fog was with temporary Band-Aids, like food, drugs, religion, and sex. They lifted the fog, but only ever temporarily. The fog always found its way back into my life.
I got so used to seeing everything through that fog, that I forgot what the world looked like outside of it. I forgot what it was like to see things in the bright sunlight of day. I forgot what things sounded like when they weren’t hushed by the constant dew that hung in the air. I forgot what it was like to not feel the damp, uncomfortably sticky feeling of the cold vapor on my body and clothes. It came with me everywhere I went, and surrounded everything I did, but now it is gone. Now I get to see the world the way I used to see it, before the fog consumed me.
I feel reborn. I feel like I’ve achieved that child-like state of joy and friskiness for life again. I look towards the horizon and I see so many wonderful things ahead of me. I feel empowered, I feel beautiful, I feel brilliant, I feel fabulous, and I feel so relieved. So much relief, it is literally indescribable. I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! I’m a girl!! /bursts into random and terrible dancing, singing I’m a girl over and over again.
Anyway, there is more to discuss, but we can get to those in another post. Thanks for checking in, and always remember, you are amazing, you are fabulous, and you are completely irreplaceable. Walk with your head held high and a smile on your face, because honey, you were born this way!