Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Some Reflections on the Last Year


            I write mostly because I like writing. Nevertheless with another personal update there is a part of me that hesitates. Revealing processes, thoughts, feelings to the world at large can be both an act of vulnerability and freedom, and on the flip side of that even an act of self-sabotage. I wonder sometimes if my personal posts of the past year were a bit of both.
            Nevertheless, I feel that I started down that road for some reason last year. Writing about myself and my processes that is. Many letters came back to me. Letters of gratitude for my honesty and openness. Some were grateful to have the experience of looking through a window into processes that reflected their own, or showed them a perspective from one who walked in the feet of two genders. And then there were those that threatened my life or said things that don’t bear repeating any more. What a crazy year it has been for me…

            My divorce finalized today. Here's how it went...
Standing in front of the ‘commissioner’ with my lawyer. I answer a bunch of questions. I am supposed to say yes to them all and yet I’ve taken a vow with my hand raised to tell the truth. But part of me lies when I say yes to every question. I forgive myself for it anyway. It would have cost too much, both in money and emotion to do otherwise…
            I didn’t want it. Or did I? Is the outside world really a reflection of what I have been asking for? Perhaps. Yet I still feel anger. Frustration. Sadness and tears. A world fallen apart and dismantled that I had so obsessively tried to maintain for so many years. I have many words. And yet I almost feel that the words don't really communicate truth. Not really. I really don’t feel that I have all the answers right now. Most of the time I feel the call to just surrender to the quiet and just know that I can’t really know the whys as much as I would like to. My feelings in the matter almost feel irrelevant. A part of me a hopeless romantic, loyal to the end, still in love… I struggle sometimes to understand it. Like making a square fit through a circle, maybe my perspective has not opened wide enough yet. I have struggled so much this year wrapping my head around what I could have done different. Can we ever do anything other than our best at the time? That I suppose is the most frustrating thing. Looking back and knowing it couldn’t have been any different.
            To say that I haven’t had my moments of peace with the changes would be a lie though. There are moments. Possibilities. Things I haven’t considered that continue to dawn in this strange new sky. These windows in the sky beckon me. I know in my heart the door has to close and despite the pain I'm choosing to walk through it. Anger, sadness, possibility... It is all of the above.
            My gender. Oh what a roller coaster ride I have been on this year! There is a term in the trans community called genderfluid. This term seems to resonate with me more and more even as I'm hesitant to even use any terms anymore... Genderfluid? Because I don’t feel myself or my gender to be the same from day to day… Gender is a strange thing. Much struggle occurred with me over the year when I resisted myself. I didn’t want to be female. I didn’t want to be male. Oscillation occurred. Then a strange thing happened. I know. I use this word strange a lot. Sometimes I feel that I want to call myself ‘gender-strange’. :) Well, I started to just feel more comfortable. This began to happen as I realized the more important underlying factor. That for years, literally most of my life, I have not loved myself. When that began to happen, in other words, I began to love myself, through a lot of force and effort mind you, I began to feel more comfortable inside. I began to not rebel so much against myself. I began to relax into me.
            Then a huge wave of relief hit me. I didn’t want to ‘transition’. I didn’t have to transition. And yet, I felt the freedom that if that need hit me strongly that it would also be ok. Whatever it was, it was ok. I feel freer in the world now, not really caring what people think so much about that anymore. Well, maybe I still don’t entirely feel comfortable with stares if I go outside in a skirt, but I do feel more comfortable breaking traditional boundaries for the most part and just living more fully as I am. Genderqueer, genderfluid, genderstrange, two-spirit. And I do have moments where I feel more one than the other... Call it what you will. I guess I’ll go back to mostly just calling it me. I can’t honestly tell you what tomorrow or even the next moment will bring though… Do we ever know?
            Depression. Depression is an interesting thing. I have found that the more I am depressed, the more it seems I welcome more depression into my life. Sometimes it can take a monumental amount of faith, energy, motivation, and force to cause that track to shift. Where does the energy come from? The energy required to shift it? I think sometimes in those moments that in the call, the true wanting to be free from it, that grace dawns. Personally, I’ve already started climbing. I’m sick of sitting at the bottom of the well. Joy is my birthright and I’m ready to claim it.
            Gratitude. I’ve learned a lot by observing those who are grateful. I watch what happens in their lives. Their lives become more prosperous. They bring more into the world of what they are grateful for. I was reluctant at first. Cynical. I’ve harbored so much bitterness and blame over the years. I’d like to say that it was because of such and such or so and so but the truth is that I accept the responsibility for my own bitterness and blame. I forced myself to start keeping a journal every morning. Writing down every little thing I was grateful for. Not publicly. To myself. I began to notice things. More things. I began to see more and more the things I was grateful for. I also began to see magic again. For that, I am grateful. I've decided to keep writing in that journal...
            Public and private life. I came out to the world last year as trans/gender-strange mostly to break down the wall that I saw growing thicker around myself. It was suffocating me. I felt trapped by my own guilt, shame, and fear. Was 'coming out' necessary? I suppose so. That particular wall did have to come down. However, it did simultaneously at times feel self-sabotaging. Both from a personal and a public perspective. I attacked myself and opened myself up to attack. I can only speak from my own perspective but I think it felt this way on a personal level because I still clung to this idea of the ‘right way to be in the world’. I’m not sure what that right way is so much anymore. To react, to rebel in a strong way to fight that ‘right way’  can be simultaneously an act of freedom and an act of self-sabotage. And I do acknowledge that I have felt both in the process. I’m grateful for the lovely mirrors that have shown me the multiple facets of this. Maybe its all about finding balance anyway. And being comfortable with what my good friend calls 'the power of and'. Despite the complexities, I do feel that sometimes stories have to be told. Even if they are just stories…  And... I do believe that some things, some stories, are best left unsaid, some things still kept close. All of our lives are far more complex than any of us ever let on I think…
            Stories. Oh the stories we tell. I’m coming more and more to the place that it isn’t so much that the stories themselves are the problem. Oh the guilt that I have felt over the years about that, feeling like I was supposed to be fucking Zen or something (sorry Zenners). I think it’s really just more that it is important to pick the right stories that work for us. The ones that will feed us. The stories that resonate with our heart. The ones that help us evolve and grow. Expand. Even as we let some stories go, knowing they are just stories, we cannot entirely escape their lessons. They mold and shape new stories. Our human life is a story. A story of wonder, pain, joy, love, loss, growth, evolution and much more. And with that said, onward to the next chapter…
            Much love to you all.