Five times as old as I was when I realized I could never pretend to be a girl again, believably anyway, as my Adam's apple first began to poke out and I sang soprano for the last time.
Four times my age when I had my first 'girlfriend'. She loved being with me 'because I was a good looking guy' and she felt safe (I honestly believed that was a compliment) with me, and her parents knew they could trust me too.
Three times the age when my second girlfriend broke up with me, almost certainly because she was tired of waiting for me to 'do her' and found a 'real man' who was 'up to' the job.
Twice the age when the plan to be a good man seemed to be working perfectly, with two beautiful kids, their fabulous mom and a mortgage and sixteen hour days to prove it.
Several times there has been a knock at the door, but luckily, just a courtesy call to remind me, not a come now, it's time. When someone close gets that call to move on and join the choir eternal (no links to the parrot sketch today Python fans; you know where to go for that), you remember that the day will come for you to do likewise.
So, time for what is next, before there is no more time.
Time spent on working out who is left here when we strip away layers that were the masquerade person, and beginning to get to know the unvarnished and amazingly fresh person under it all has not been wasted.
What is next in this context has, refreshingly, nothing to do with what needs to happen to continue life, and how I dress or even what sex is written on my driver's license.
Wouldn't it be a pleasant last thought on the way out the door to know that today's what's next turned out to be something lasting.
After all, when appearances end, there are things that ripple outward.
Others have said it better ~
Sic transit gloria mundi
This too shall pass