The Road less Traveled

My dream vehicle

My dream vehicle

For a while now I’ve been fond of telling myself that life would’ve been so much easier if I had just been born male.  I catch my mind ruminating over how that life would have looked and where I might have ended up if my birth certificate was blue instead of pink.  I imagine all kinds of nice “what ifs” and a perfect life with the perfect wife and 2.5 kids.  Pretty boring, really, but it would have been easier for sure in many ways.

But the other day I realized that what I really desire and yearn for is not “easier”.  What I want is less complicated.  My life has been complicated in so many ways because of my gender misalignment and sexuality.  It has probably been harder too but I’m ok with hard.  Everyone’s life has its challenges so to expect an easy life is unreasonable.  But complicated is different.  I think a less complicated life would make for a more peaceful life.  I was reminded of a comment my mother made to me many years ago (when my life was actually a LOT less complicated than it is today) that she wished my life wasn’t so complicated.  What made her think that I’m not sure at this point but she was right.  It’s always been more complicated than it needed to be.

I like to day dream.  Lately my day dreams take me to a life of complete freedom.  I dream of buying a camper van and setting it up to live in, moving my bare essentials into it and hitting the road for adventure.  In other words, I dream of escaping my complicated and stressful life.  A fresh start where I am the only thing I have to worry about and I can just be me.  This isn’t the first time I’ve had these dreams.  I’ve had similar dreams of running away from home most of my life.  I think it’s a sign that I’m scared and overwhelmed and maybe a little bored too.

I guess everyone’s life is hard and complicated in some ways.  We’re all struggling with something and want things we don’t currently have.  That’s just life.  But when your whole identity is out of alignment and you’re invisible, that’s a whole other level of hard and complicated.  The choices we make in life are different because of it.  Our lives takes a lot of detours and u turns because of it.  We settle for what we can get instead of what we really wanted.  And one day we wake up and we’re middle aged and we wonder how we got here.  You trace back through your history and can see where you made certain decisions based on how things were back then and you can see the road you took.  It’s not a bad road and your current destination is actually better than you imagined in some ways.  But there is this aching in the pit of your gut that tells you that the road you traveled was not the road you really wanted to travel and you ended up in a totally different place than you intended to go.  And you think about what you might be missing.

Transition is all about alignment and living one’s truth.  In a way, it feels like I’ve been on an alternate route, a by-pass of sorts, most of my life and now I’m looking for highway signs to direct me back to my true path.  I wonder if that “true path” will be traveled alone or if I’ll have company along the way.  I’m at a cross-roads right now.  I can stay the course or I can take that exit onto a totally different road.  One thing I know is that it will not be less complicated, nor easier, either direction I choose to go.

 

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8 thoughts on “The Road less Traveled

  1. Would it really be less complicated though? I mean, I’ve certainly thought that about my life, as well, but the more I think about it and transition into a more traditionally-masculine role, the more I realize that complications abound regardless of my gendered self.

    On the one hand, it sure would be nice if the fact that I’m here didn’t send my mother into fits of tears, but on the other, if I were to be born male, who’s to say I wouldn’t have wanted to transition more towards female? (Assuming a genderqueer identity is inherent and not learned)

    On the one hand, being able to be straight and cis would be easier in a lot of ways, on the other I might have missed out on the love of my life if I were.

    Just my Sunday morning thoughts.

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    • No, you’re right. No matter what, life is complicated. It’s just that the battles I’ve had to fight, while worthy and important, were not the battles I wanted to be fighting. It’s like you know where you need to go but all of these obstacles are constantly being put in your way and detours and traffic jams and it gets frustrating and aggravating.

      And the fact that if I’d been born male I’d be a totally different person is reason enough to not want to go back and change that part of my life. This is all part of my journey and what makes it cool. But, sometimes I do wish I could just coast for a while and have things be easy or simple.

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  2. I really hear you on this. This is a feeling I’ve dealt with a lot as well–I think it’s inherent to being trans in this society. I think the stage of transition you’re at right now is a time when most people feel this acutely, so I hope you have plenty of space to inhabit this feeling. I think it’s a grieving process that is part of accepting being trans. As you follow those signs and find your way onto your true path, I think you may find that things really are less complicated–and find what is uniquely valuable about your experience.

    Like Khai, I have thought that if I were assigned male, perhaps I would have been a trans woman. Perhaps my destiny in this life is to be trans. Or not–who knows? What helped me about the thought was the realization that my life may or may not have actually been any easier if I were assigned male. Another thing that helps me is just empathizing with the many and varied problems of straight, cis people. Loss, poverty, violence, depression, trauma, pain, troubled relationships, existential angst, not knowing who the hell you are or what you want… The hard shit in life comes for everybody. The trick is seeing and accepting the particular form it has taken for you.

    I think you are on you way to the peace you seek.

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    • “The hard shit in life comes for everybody. The trick is seeing and accepting the particular form it has taken for you.”

      I loved this in your comment. It’s so true.

      I do believe that everyone has some major life lesson to overcome in their lifetime and that everyone suffers in some way. I believe this is mine and every moment of my life has been leading me to where I am today. I am taking my time and going through this process much slower than many do….faster than some. It’s my pace. Writing helps me process the bits and pieces. Hearing your voices commenting back are a huge help too and part of my process. I do think that this is part of a mourning process that I’m experiencing in order to move forward. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me.

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  3. I understand the desire to run. I’ve worked since I’m 14, and I haven’t had a summer off – never backpacked through Europe or drove cross-country. I’ve been super responsible and financially independent. I didn’t want to have to ask for help; I shouldered my burdens.

    You are probably not going to run away (and neither I am) – you are going to face all of the repercussions of your choices which is hard as hell but is the right thing to do. You are taking your time. Your body may transition but your character will remain the same.

    Our situation is reminiscent of gay married men and women in the early 1970’s post-Stonewall, trying to decide whether/how to come out. For years they had managed to survive and keep up the pretense of straightness. Then all of a sudden it was not necessary, and then it felt anachronistic to be married and closeted.

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    • Jamie, your comparison to our situation to post-Stonewall is very interesting and definitely something I had never considered. I am not a good student of our history but I get what you’re saying.

      And you’re right that I won’t be running away. I do have a side of me that really wants to live like a gypsy but if I ever do hit the road for uncharted waters it won’t be to run away from anything. I have every intention of taking responsibility for my decisions and standing my ground when the time comes.

      I appreciated what you said about my character staying the same even if my body changes. Hopefully I’ll be an improved version if anything. Thanks for commenting.

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