Better Things

Monday, December 31, 2012

It is hard to believe that 2012 is over. "Tumultuous" is the first word that comes to mind. I can state unequivocally that this has been the most difficult year of my life. It began that way and never let up.

That said, I learned a great deal about myself as a result.

I'm much tougher than I ever realized. I was always able to endure physical pain (my therapist says that's because it couldn't compare to the mental strain I lived under for nearly all of my life), but I discovered that I have reserves of mental toughness I never imagined.

As a result of my breakdown shortly before Christmas, I also learned that it is possible to be strong and vulnerable at the same time. I've struggled with learning to let my guard down, and to let people in.

On that day, I remember making a conscious decision to let the tears come when, at long last, I felt them welling up. And I also let myself call my dear friend B afterwards when I knew I had to talk to someone. I would not have allowed either to happen a year ago. I'm proud of myself for that.

Something significant has shifted inside me since that day. I've felt as if "he" has been fighting to retain control, trying to continue to protect both of us as he has always done. That was necessary for nearly all of my life, and still is, but to a lesser extent. As I told my therapist last week, by letting myself lose control that day, I gained control.

Most of all, the past year has reinforced how determined I am once I've made up my mind to accomplish something. Not once did my commitment to finally become myself waver. In fact, each of the trials I went through only made me more determined.

I have a long, long way to go. There were things I wanted to accomplish that circumstances simply didn't allow me to do: working on my appearance, getting more comfortable presenting as myself to be myself, and taking the big step of going out in public as myself. As frustrating as it was, and at times it felt as if the universe had determined it simply was not going to let this happen,  I knew that I would not - could not - go back.

So while I have a long way to go, I will get there. I have no doubt. I can also look back and be amazed at how far I've come in barely 18 months. If you had told me I would be able to tell a total stranger that I'm transgendered, I would not have believed you. But I did. Several times, in fact. (And thank you again to my friend who gave me the courage to "claim my power as a woman," as she put it, on that day. I will be forever grateful.)

I'll end by saying thank you.

Thank you to all of the old friends who have been so incredibly supportive since meeting the real me. Even when that support is, at times, expressed in their own unique way. :c)

And thank you to all of the new friends I've made this year online. Reading your blogs, realizing how much we all have in common, and seeing how you all have made such enormous progress has been a privilege. Getting to know all of you has made my life richer in ways I never imagined possible.

So, thank you again. I send my love to all of you.

Happy New Year, everyone! To quote the great Ray Davies, I know tomorrow you'll find better things.


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