"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Finding Belonging

Many years ago, I read the following and for a while it was my motto:

"If you always do what you've always done, 
         you will always be who you've always been."

If you hold an idea in your heart, like magic, other ideas that give greater understanding find you, or as mom used to say, "Be careful what you wish for dear".

Ending my post one week ago, I felt tremendous frustration because Ami Kaplan is right. Nobody should be putting up with a second class life, and just as barriers are breaking down and other societal 'norms' are being challenged and are disappearing, limitations faced by transsexuals are artificial and wrong. Yet how can we expect these changes to happen if we always do what we have always done?

A few days go by and somehow I find myself doing something that should have happened years ago, subscribing to Helen Boyd's blog en|Gender. Yesterday part of the answer to the question arrived on her blog.
Allyson Robinson's TEDx talk at Columbia University is titled "You Can Be Anything You Want To Be", yet it is so much more than inspiration. It is a window into how deeply engrained the WE/THEY dichotomy is. It is a call for everyone to understand that changing how we reward those who conform with inclusion, and exclude those who are 'other' is not just a moral problem, it is ultimately damaging to the future of our species.

When years ago in a time of crisis, I told my teenaged daughter that she could "reinvent herself any time she wants to" it was not an empty promise, but words of hope for her to find a way out of a bind she had created by trying to live up to the expectations of others. I never thought of ever taking advantage of the same advise.

Silly me.


  1. It's perfectly true that anyone can draw a line on their previous life and go off in an entirely new direction. It takes courage and I think there must surely be a strong catalyst, but it doesn't matter if it comes late, so long as it does come.


  2. You and others are definitely testimony to how correct my advice was, and yes, true no matter how old we are.
    Thanks Lucy.

  3. Halle,

    I am really glad that you are (re)discovering the sage advice you gave your daughter so many years ago. Some of us tried to go in through the front door, but kept being pulled back. Eventually the drive became too great and bursting through a wall was the only option remaining. Looks you're finding your way toward a window!


    1. Bursting through a wall takes an amazing leap of faith Sarah, but yes, it is, sadly, the only way to get where many must go. Even a foggy window is an improvement.

      Great to hear from you!