I keep meaning to write some sort of commemorative ~*~one year on hrt~*~ post, but I can’t quite figure out how to start it or what to write about exactly.
This last year has been amazing, terrible, and everything in between.
Its interesting, I feel so much more authentic to myself now. I don’t feel like I’m constantly hiding behind some vail of trying-to-fit-other’s-expectations-of-me anymore. Slowly deconstructing that vail has really left me raw and vulnerable. But I think one of the things that I’ve learned is that I’m still growing, and there are growing pains, but I feel like my growth is honest and real now. I don’t feel like a window plant slowly suffocating within the confines of an ill-fitting, too-small pot. I’ve cut the dead leaves from myself and have set myself in brighter lit sill.
And all of the changes that have come with this new-found realness have continued to surprise me. For one—I’ve become surprisingly well known here. Before I hid away a lot and, consequently, didn’t know many people besides the one’s I had in class and the one’s who lived in my dorm. Its strange to me that I cannot go anywhere now without someone recognizing me and hollering a friendly hello to me or stopping me for a brief conversation. A year ago I felt like a nameless face amongst a sea of nameless faces. Now I feel like I’m someone worth knowing. I feel like I’m actually engaging. I gave up wearing headphones between classes the first week of classes because I was tired of constantly pulling them off to respond to friends’ greetings.
I’ve begun to take things into my own hands and I’m being honest with my needs and wants. I’m finally learning to listen to my gut instinct and act on what I feel is most right for me instead of doing something because its expected of me. I’ve taken off my pfd and am learning to swim. It was (and is) profoundly terrifying sometimes, but I feel like I’m fighting my own hard-earned path between the battering waves and undertow. I’m still finding the real me that I buried long ago behind walls and behind locked doors. And I’ve fallen in a lot of ways, but the scratches on my palms and my elbows and my knees are proof of life. I’ve learned to explore and press my boundaries and live with the understanding that it’s okay to fall. I’ve left behind the clean, safe walls of my former self.
And I’m still growing in a lot of ways.
My body is slowly, ever so slowly, beginning to reflect me. Its funny too because, early in my transition, I tried so damned hard to wear clothes that were “feminine” to make sure that I wouldn’t be mistaken for any other gender but ‘woman’. Now I don’t care so much about what I wear. Because all of my clothes are woman’s clothes because they are mine. Clothes and presentation are really important to people and that’s totally valid—in fact I used to care a lot about how I looked and how my clothes reflected me, I still do—but I can dress for my mood now and I no longer have to exert the energy hoping I’m not mistaken for a boy. True the hormones helped that to no end, but I think its also a profound change in mentality. No longer is it my material possessions that are defining me, its me who is defining me.
I guess I don’t really know how to explain it, but I feel like all of my experiences and all of my emotions have come in the last year are so much realer. Like they’re more genuine.
Life’s always going to be complicated—it won’t let me neglect that reality—but I feel like I’m truer to myself and to the world and that means all the difference to me.