I never thought life was hectic, yet clearly it was. For years, the noise in my head, telling me to do something about this problem, drowned out any awareness of how very busy I had been. Yes, I was the noise in my head - a part of me, the best part too, had taken a back seat for too long. Expending way too much energy to maintain a façade that no longer suited me was the problem.
This past two years has been like a mopping up operation - clearing away the mess left behind. Now, all is neat, and very quiet.
If I imagine myself on the beach of my childhood, listening to the waves crashing and watching the clouds ...
... what I realize is, my quiet place surrounds me, all the time.
Sunday, 26 August 2018
Oh sure, I still find some things hard and I don't laugh in the face of evil. Having those feelings in the past that my life was useless and wishing it could end, makes life seem ever so sweet now.
Am I particularly gifted, feeling life is sweet now? Absolutely. Nobody else has my particular combination of joys and sorrows and, yes, I've given up so very much and from time to time I am reminded of those losses, too.
Recently two things have happened:
1. there have been some blogs around the topic of transition regret, and
2. I was reminded that it is human nature to forget the bad and hold onto the good.
So, I do know about regret, and it seems to me that if I didn't have much to be happy about right now, I'd likely be dwelling a lot on those losses. I also know that everyone has regrets in their life. Everyone.
This isn't an advice column, so what I'm about to do goes a bit against the grain, but here it is, for what it is worth -
Halle's advice on transitioning:
If you don't have to, don't.
If you do have to, document why you have to ... write down how you feel, what you think, and anything else you can to remind you in the future that the thing that drives you forward today is real.
Know that after transition, you will feel better; dysphoria done and soon a distant memory. Because you feel better, you are likely to forget how incredibly driven you were to find congruence. After a while, you will remember those things you had, but don't have any more such as male privilege, some people you thought of as friends, and, maybe, family too. If so, read what you documented. Don't allow yourself to forget who you are and what brought you to this point in your life.
Write down all the things that may, or will, go wrong when you take the path you are contemplating. Include losses that are likely to happen. Include possible things that might go wrong with the process, particularly surgical difficulties. If you don't know what those difficulties might be, find out and believe it. You are going to be in pain and it will be inconvenient for quite a while - maybe the rest of your life. Make a good decision - yes, this is a decision, whether it feels that way or not. More importantly, know that you are making a good decision.
Need I supplement with platitudes?
Know and Be Yourself!
Move forward with conviction, armed with the wisdom that comes from having examined your life fully. Hold nothing back from that examination.
Plan for the worst. Hope for the best.
Saturday, 14 July 2018
As an observer of the world (Canadian, retired, and relatively well-off), I have the luxury of time to synthesize ideas. I am the product, after all, of a liberal arts education. This doesn't mean that my leaning is anti- conservative. It means my education has left me free to apply thought that is outside the box. Liberal in this situation derives from the Latin, liberalis, meaning free.
A liberal education encourages the learner to research and synthesize their own ideas - in other words, become a free thinker.
Ironically, a liberal education for all is exactly what many politicians, especially conservative ones, would prefer to avoid. Free thinkers are harder to lead about by the nose. Someone has to be really smart and subversive to do that. Interestingly, smart, subversive people make good leaders.
Sadly too, it seems to me that people who wish to rule a docile, hard working population accidentally notice the word liberal in front of education and take an immediate dislike to it.
This past week, the newly-elected Conservative Party majority in Ontario has declared that the Health Education guideline in place since 2015 is to be replaced by the one that preceded it; written in 1998 and devoid of any mention of gay or transgender folk, and avoiding any discussion of consent or cyber-safety ... basically avoiding any discussion of sex.
Perhaps if the Liberal Party of Canada, or Ontario, or whatever, were to call themselves the Middle of the Road Party, and leave the word liberal alone, then bullies who are politicians might ignore education policy and leave it to educators. The Middle of the Road Party should do that too, by the way.
It is no coincidence to me that the majority of folks I call friends have benefitted from a liberal arts education. Even those who have gone on to acquire practical skills still manage to apply free thinking effectively.
One of the very best things about giving your children a liberal education: they don't need to listen to anyone else (yes, including you) to know what they think about a topic. They will learn to do that for themselves.
If you love someone, liberate them.