Hello my darlings. I hope you are all doing well. I am, for the first time in a long time, doing really well. My last entry was about trying to reset my thought patterns to something more conducive to joyful living and I have managed to do that. There have been a few depressing days here or there, but for the most part things have been going really well in my world.
The new job I started a few weeks ago is proving to be a job I actually kind of like. I don’t love the work I do but I really enjoy the people I work with, especially my direct supervisor. She is a total sweetheart and has achieved a healthy balance of being directive without being overbearing or micro-managing. The other girl I work with is younger than I am, but with her young age she brings with her a bright and youthful optimism that’s been missing in my life. She’s from Ukraine and as a result has an awesome accent that makes her totally endearing, especially when she misspeaks and uses the wrong word (like saying ostrich instead of asterisk) and we both get to laugh together. In short, the job is essentially exactly what I was wanting for this stage in my life. It is an office job with stable hours and stable pay, but without any lawyers prancing around acting like they are god’s gift to humanity. Also, because I’m working at a non-profit instead of a for-profit company, the environment is dramatically different. It is so much more laid back than my work as a paralegal. Everything isn’t about how many billable hours I’m generating. Instead it’s the quality of help I give to the people who come into our office, which cannot really be quantified. With the exception of a few, almost everyone I work with is pleasant and friendly. There is no bickering like there ALWAYS was among the support staff in the law firms I worked at, at least none that I’ve noticed.
Outside of work I am finding that my life is also improving. Although I am busy all the time now with working 40 hours a week and having upwards of 11 hours of grad school a week, I’m finding that my time is being well spent with lovely people. In fact, just a few days ago I went on a date (well sort of) and it was fun, rewarding, and at the end of it I kissed her goodbye. It was a lovely kiss and one that I’d been longing for for some time now. While we haven’t officially decided that we are seeing each other again, Rose is back in my life and is likely to stay there. We can’t see each other very often but that hasn’t dampened either of our spirits about reconnecting. In a lot of ways this kind of relationship is precisely what I need: Something that’s not super serious, but is completely fun and rewarding. I imagine she feels the same way.
In addition to her I have either strengthened my friendship/bond with people I positively adore or I have met new people who are proving to be lovely individuals. While there are some friends who have disappointed me to an immeasurable degree, their failures have been eclipsed by the blossoming friendships and bonds I have to other people. What’s that old adage about one door shutting and another one opening? Well I’ve had one door shut and about five other doors open up, and I can say without a doubt that it is a result of my shift in consciousness. Focusing my mind and finding the peace that is at my core has allowed me to better see golden opportunities to not only improve my life, but to improve the lives of others also. Were I still stuck in a fog of depression and mired in self-destructive thought patterns I can say with certainty that I would have missed these opportunities.
And what of my transition? I am quickly closing in on two years of HRT and the differences between me and my body now, compared to when I first started is truly astounding. My darling coworker even remarked that she was struggling to imagine that the person she knows now (and met just a few weeks ago) could have ever been that person before (upon seeing pictures of me pre-HRT). Another friend told me two days ago that had she met me now rather than a year ago, she would have never even suspected I was anything but a cisgender woman. She went on to remark on how much more feminine I looked compared to then.
These outside validations are confirmed every time I look in the mirror. I don’t see Robert looking back at me anymore. I don’t even really see hints of him. That life and that body are gone, quite literally since nearly every cell in our body has been replaced since we started HRT. Just yesterday our closest friend admitted that while she knew that we still perceived masculine parts of ourself, she didn’t see them at all. She only saw the feminine parts of us, and while only seeing the feminine isn’t seeing the whole picture of who we are, we were filled with joy at her words. Her words meant that this whole thing, all of this goddamn struggle and falling apart and saying goodbye to almost everything we loved, was a successful endeavor.
Six-ish years ago we stood in the hall of our apartment wearing a black sequin skirt, a top (we forget the color) and a Halloween witches wig, and stared into the mirror at our reflection with a sense of defeat and despair. The reflection we beheld as we stood there trying on our Halloween costume for perhaps the third or fourth day in a row was a reflection that was not appealing. Sure we had the clothes and we had the hair, but everything was all wrong. We were wrong. It didn’t matter how much makeup we tried on or how many women’s clothes we bought and wore in the secret moments when we were alone, we would never be the girl we wanted to be. We wanted to be pretty. We wanted to be feminine. We wanted so very much to have been born into a different body that made more sense so we didn’t have to feel this emptiness inside.
No… we can’t do this, we thought. We can never do this. We can’t be a girl. We can’t be ourselves. We have to be a boy… we have to be a boy… we are… a boy…… *sigh*
There truly are no words to describe the pain we felt as we took off our costume in defeat. Our girlfriend (we weren’t married yet) was relieved beyond words, but we knew that we would never be happy again. We’d never know joy, not really, at least not as a full person. We would never be a girl. We would never be pretty or feminine. We would never get to wear the clothes we wanted and be seen the way we wanted to be seen. Just a few days earlier a man had mistaken us as a woman when we tried to enter the men’s bathroom at the bar we were attending a Halloween party at, and it was the single greatest moment of our lives up to that point, but it was all in the past and had to stay there. We would never allow ourselves to even really ponder that memory or why it made us feel so happy, at least not for a few years until all of this transition business started. We never even wore those clothes again, at least not that we can recall. We threw away the wig and hung up the skirt and blouse in the deepest, darkest corner of our closet. Why we didn’t just throw them out then was a mystery to us because we’d resigned ourselves to the fact that we’d never be a woman.
But now look at us! Nearly every single person we meet today perceives us as a woman. Nearly every new person we become acquainted with is utterly floored when we come out to them as transgender. Our body has that hourglass figure. Our breasts have grown to the point of completely filling our bra. Our face looks almost nothing like it did before. Our hair now hangs below our shoulders. We have dresses and skirts, and cute outfits to wear all the time. When we put on our jacket with our scarf puffing out of it we look utterly adorable (we might be biased on this one) and more than just adorable we look like a tall, beautiful woman.
What we would give to open a portal in time to that moment when we stood in that hallway looking at ourself in the mirror with dismay and simply say, this is what you could look like Robert. This is what awaits you in the future if you are brave and courageous and determined to become the person you were meant to be. Don’t turn away from your destiny, don’t throw away the wig and bury the clothes deep in the closet, throw away your fear and bury your doubts deep in the ground instead. What I would give to be able to do that, even if it only changed the timeline of that version of me.
Regardless, I do not regret my life thus far. Yes I’ve waived with doubt and wondered if transitioning was the best idea, but at the end of the day I know that it was and always will be. This is who I am. This is who I’ve become and who I will continue to become until the day I die. I am Emma, not Robert, and as long as I can remember that, I know that I’m going to be okay. The sun is in the sky, so why would I want to be anywhere else?
Well, my loves, that is all for now. Things are going well and seem to be getting better everyday. I’ll try to keep you posted as things continue to develop. I strongly suspect I’m going to have a lot of lovely and fun things to write about, so stay tuned.
Stay beautiful. Stay courageous. Stay brilliant. Stay artistic. Stay Fabulous, and remember there is no one out there quite like you, so shine bright for all the world to see.
Song of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvU5u2ZAB4s
(Me and my baby-kitty Athena, taken recently)