"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 - -

Friday 3 January 2014

Another Universe

The trouble with reliving the past is the predictability of it all. It would be great to be able to stop remembering, but the older I get the more those ghosts from the past seem to stop by uninvited.

There I was in this dream/reflection, walking down the hall of a building I worked in thirty years ago. I could see my thirty year old self, just as I could see that woman I have wondered about so often walking toward me. She had worked in another department for a month or so, and we had never spoken.
As I watched those two walk toward one another, I relived the feelings of indecision that had disturbed me at the time, and have haunted me so often since.
The woman had always looked slightly manly, too broad in the shoulders, with a friendly but not really attractive face.
This day she had come back after a short absence and seemed to be trying to avoid being noticed. As we got closer I had a glimpse of her red and swollen face and suddenly I knew.

I had no words to describe it ~ she was doing what I had dreamed of doing.
I felt desperate to know what she knew; facts I had never had the nerve to research, with anything like the internet a decade or more away. I'd certainly never spoken to anyone, least of all the pill pusher who was my doctor at the time.

I remember the thoughts that had tumbled in my mind that day; that if I was wrong, it would be incredibly embarrassing. If I was right, she might take offense anyway. Indecision and my own shame at wanting something that crazy that badly had driven me to walk by and try not to think these thoughts again ~ ~ stupid ~~ futile.

I turned focus back to the dream, and watched and was shocked as the dream changed.
This version of me did not walk past. Getting closer, he slowed, then stopped and reached out, said her name and initiate a conversation.

I never did that. 
 It is what I had wished I had done. 
What happened to this dream version of me then? 

Did I listen and then go back into denial? 

Did that kindred spirit and I become fast friends who supported one another fiercely? 
Did I follow her to womanhood? 

Did our marriage survive? 
How did it impact my children?

The answer to each is of course, yes and no. In some lives none of those things happened, and in others all and in most some combination.

This perspective that allows me to contemplate the infinite diversity of the personal universe gives no joy or satisfaction. The path I lived, one of fear and denial, is the only one I can be certain of.

It is a feeling that is driving me slowly crazy as I see others who I care about travel their own set of roads and wish them well, while still making my choices that will create that future set of me's.

Doing the best we all can, one day at a time.

Now I am trying too hard not to think of what happened to this braver, more optimistic version of me. A risk-taker who made a new friend I hope, and perhaps, became authentic half a lifetime ago.

Photo credit:NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScl)


  1. Sometimes I read someone's post, and although I am trusting that they will find their way through their inner darkness, there is nothing of value that I can say. Now is one such instance, and I am reminded that 'when one has nothing to say, don't say it.' Nevertheless, my thoughts are with you.

  2. Sometimes, and this is one of those times Tom, I write to attempt to release or, in high hopes, exorcise feelings that seem like demons.
    Perhaps, like so many of these letters to a younger self, this is a message to be brave and pay more attention to your heart. It may even be a message from me to me today saying that same thing.
    I am increasingly afraid of the darkness.
    Thank you for letting me know you are here.

  3. Halle, I tend to second-guess myself on anything I do. and on anything I say. Probably on this comment too, for that matter. The images of every decision in my life seem to come back to me, not in dreams but in times of stress, and I am torn by doubt and regret.

    I have wondered if that is a trans thing, or just me. But you are right either way; in the fullness of all things, all paths are chosen, all our words are spoken, and there is no room for regret. Thanks for that,

    Hugs and hopes,

    1. no room for regret
      Hugs to you too January.

  4. This post reminds me of one of my favorite songs from one of your fellow Canadians, Bruce Cockburn.


    The lyrics are some of Bruce's most thoughtful, but these lines in particular have always spoken to me:

    Little blue planet in a big universe
    Sometimes it seems blessed, sometimes it seems cursed
    Depends on what you look at, obviously
    But even more it depends on the way that you see

    Hear the wind roar beneath the bright diamond sky
    These mountains are calling, brown green and dry
    I'm too old for the term, but I'll use it anyway
    I'll be a child of the wind 'til the end of my days

    May you too be a child of the wind, Halle.

    Hugs & love,

    1. What a wonderful song

      There's roads and there's roads
      And they call, can't you hear it?
      Roads of the earth
      And roads of the spirit
      The best roads of all
      Are the ones that aren't certain
      One of those is where you'll find me
      Till they drop the big curtain

      May we all embrace the wind, Cass.

    2. Amen. :-)


      P.S. He is a treasure...

  5. I think, Halle, that you're doing now what you (and I) should have been doing then. Actually introducing yourself and meeting like-minded individuals. Now, with the Internet, it's much easier to do!

    Relish the fact that you and I walk hand-in-hand, via the ether, both wondering what might have been, but both still living with the loves of our lives. It could be worse, you know?

    1. Calie, you are so right! Thanks for the reminder Hon. :)