I have seen life described as a river or a line. Even describing it as a path or journey suggests it has a beginning and an end, yet this isn’t completely my experience.
In many ways life is a series of circles. My thoughts and steps coming around to where I started. Sometimes I find myself caught in one of these, going around and round again until something breaks the cycle and I move into a new circle. There are times when movement is quick and sure, moving from one moment to the next, while other times it seems I will never break free. Then there are the layers of circles which make up months, even years. Cycles of my life which, when I have thought them done and over, somehow are ahead of me again.
Over the past several years I have seen this happen time and again. Old thoughts and fears I thought behind me rear up to be faced again. There are times when I feel as if I have gone nowhere at all, even though the truth is, I have travel miles.
This is the secret I am finally understanding, though I am a bit thick headed and sometimes I think I have to be beaten over the head with something to finally get it…
You see, even when I have travelled in a circle to arrive someplace I recognize; it isn’t really the same any more than I am the same person who passed this way before. Things have changed. I have changed. It is only my perception which deceives me into thinking otherwise.
An example is this; in the not so distant past I said my fear was in not being seen as my true self. I feared being mocked, ridiculed, or worse. The thought of being myself outside of my own house or at work was beyond my comprehension.
Now I have found these fears to be unfounded. It’s to the point where I realize I am having trouble being seen, heard, and accepted as anything other than female. At least by those with whom I don’t have a long history.
Sunday A and I went shopping. While at the store, I went to get some things from the frozen dinner section. On either side of me, at two different doors was an older couple. When I turned to go to my cart, an item slipped out of my hand and hit the floor. The man who was in front of me jokingly called out to his wife, “Did you throw that at me?” to which she answer “No”. “Well,” He said, “This lady sure didn’t do it!” His wife replied with something I missed, but you get the idea.
Why is this important? Because I was suppose to be out in “boy mode.” I have forgotten to charge my shaver the night before and so I hadn’t shaved. I sure wasn’t going to do anything to present as anything but male with my face feeling like sandpaper. So I was wearing just t T-shirt and jeans, with a baseball cap to hold my hair down. To me I was as scruffy as scruffy gets and I was still tagged as female.
Once we were out of earshot, I asked A, “What do I have to do to be seen as male; grow a full beard?” Maybe so…
I have mentioned this before, something has changed in a way I cannot put my finger on. I think it is a good change yet it is mystifying. For so many years I was seen as male even when I didn’t want to be, now all people see is a woman.
Please note I am NOT complaining, nor do I really wish to be seen as a guy… it’s just a strange place to find myself upon reaching the end of one of those circles I spoke about.
Before I was afraid of not being accepted as female, now I can’t get accepted as male and I suppose this does irritate me for some reason.
Maybe it’s a matter of seeing all those years of trying to be something, of trying to mimic others, of suppressing my true self, and in the end it is proving to have been a total waste of time and energy when I could have followed just one simple question to its logical conclusion decades ago… “Can I walk out the door and be accepted as a woman?”
I think I have the answer now…
Of course, if I had, then I never would have met A abad we wouldn’t have three boys I love with all my heart… Still, it’s annoying to think of what might have been had I not been caught in yet another circle…
I have lived my whole life in fear to one extent to another… fear of my parents, fear of the kids around me. Fear of failure… fear of success. Fear of relationships and fears of being alone.
Fear, fear, fear, and more fear… this has been a defining feature of my life for as long as I can remember and now I am standing here looking at it again. Not the same really; too much has changed for that, but fear none the less…
It is the fear of leaving the confines of the gilded cage. Of leaving the comfort of the known behind.
All of what I had built to try and pass as male has been left in ruins. Ripped down by my own hands and yet there is a part of me which wishes to hold on to the tatters even as they are torn away by the winds of change.
I can’t hide there anymore and so I feel exposed and naked before the world… and yes, it scares me to death. I can admit to such a thing now, there is no shame in feeling fear, only in allowing yourself to be controlled by it.