Sitting here with a day’s worth of makeup on my face, my skin crying out for a shower, and my heart, mind, & body exhausted to the point of tears. Today, in most respects was not a bad day at all. Yet, a certain hindsight perception tells me differently. That everything about today was wrong.
And this frustrates me.
Today, I returned to the company I was contracted for back in late November and was ejected from a week before the new year. The evening I turned in my badge, I walked out with one of my co-workers and said, “I have a feeling 2014 will be a year of change…”
“How so?” he asked.
There were a million things I could say to him. Many of them would promptly out me as trans. Some of them fairly ordinary. Like my goal to write some sort of book. Or the fact that my best friend would be married to a wonderful woman who also had become a dear friend to me. Or that I wanted to start my own business.
“I just have a feeling,” I said. “Maybe I’ll be a totally different person if we meet again.”
My thoughts were on the steps I had been taking to become a braver, more complete individual. I had no idea when that contract ended that I would return so soon and have a chance to reveal exactly what I meant.
The week before today, I had taken significant leaps in my physical transition by having my first electrolysis appointment and literally freezing & storing away one of thousands of potential children. My limited and mostly non-existent funds, along with careful budgeting made it possible to make the calls, drive hundreds of miles, and really become the person I was meant to be. And next week, I should receive a letter from my therapist which I will be taking to my first visit with an endocrinologist to talk HRT.
In mere days, significant events have transpired in the life of this introverted little girl…
And then, I stepped out as Nina to engage in an unthinkable feat. I went to work. As myself. As who I believe I am – still confused and troubled, but not questioning nearly as much anymore. The few people I interacted with acknowledged me as I presented without so much as a hitch.
‘That is a wonderful thing’, you say? Yes…yes it is, but all the while I was worried that one little mistake would out me to the two women whom I recognized from a luncheon yet never interacted with. That fear put me in a place of hesitation regarding those whom I frequently spoke & worked with; all of them a mere two rows away from my new desk that in no way qualified as “my new desk”. The remains of temporarily absent employee still cluttered the space and likely infected the very keyboard & mouse I used.
Those minute matters – like the momentary disorientation of entering the women’s restroom or catching the gaze of an outgoing former co-worker who merely smiled in my direction out of politeness for woman he saw – paralyzed my faith in them accepting me. I couldn’t go to them. I surely couldn’t allow myself to be recognized in the restroom by a female musician whom I had become friendly with and openly accepts gender fluidity. That might hurt our comradery and make things awkward.
Today, I stepped outside of myself, but I was not living freely. I took note of the genuine smiles that formed on my pink-tinted lips, but I was still afraid. I walked the crowded streets without a care, aside from not owning any proper winter shoes, but I was stiff, hiding, and still uncomfortable with who I’m supposed to be.
Today was to be my day. I was only kidding myself that I was ready…