“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything.
Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t you
so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.
This quote was sent to me by a friend after she learnt of my transgender journey. On the same day, Eli from drugssexpolitics wrote in a post titled, I am still me…,
“If anything it [testosterone] has brought who I have always been into clearer focus. I am more me than I have ever been with all the quirks and eccentricities that I have always encompassed.”
The psychologist Carl Gustav Jung wrote on The 4 Stages of Life:
“But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung
He is referring to getting older, but it got me thinking about my own life’s journey as a trans person. Another friend said she would miss the person I had been. Have I transformed into somebody else in the afternoon of my gender journey? Has the person whom she knew in life’s morning, left the stage? In some of my sessions with my sage, one of my parts was present. She called herself, “The Girl” and in later sessions she was absent. Another part mentioned that she had gone back to the past. But she is still there and will always be, even if I wish her away.
Part of my struggle to lose weight, is rooted in my self-image. I do not see myself as overweight, as I have conditioned myself over the years to see beyond the husk in the mirror, to see a body of which I could not take ownership, as I did not realize I could. Now that I am confronted with changing physically, my focus has deepened to examine my real being and more questions have emerged, especially now that I am starting to make peace with the idea that T is not part of my future.
Simona Kapitolina writes in an article, I’m Proud of Being Trans, and I Don’t Care About Passing, “While recent trans stories in the mainstream media may help with issues around trans visibility, the way the public has engaged with these cover stories has placed an enormous emphasis on the cult of “passing.” To “pass” is to be perceived as the gender with which you identify. But our increasing obsession with it, is a dehumanizing social construct, as it hinges on other people’s idea of what trans women [people] are expected to look like.” (My brackets.)
Has my focus on external changes blinded me to the changes that have taken place internally? To a large extent, I am secure in who I am. Age does this to you. But having only learnt my true identity in the afternoon of life, has put me on shaky ground. Kat from Dandelion Fuzz writes about her son, also Kris’, transition, “When I look at Kris, I still see a work in progress. He hasn’t found his way yet, but how can he when he’s still trying to figure out who he is. He’s got a long way to go, but he’ll get there in his own sweet time.” (Post: Words don’t come easy). On the one hand, I envy him his youth and the years he has ahead to come to terms with being male. On the other hand, I am grateful that I do not have to navigate the other currents of the ocean that is adult life again, having survived and learnt to avoid most of them. But I still need to find secure ground in the knowledge that I have not physically changed, but merely awakened, and that what is, had always been.
Still I wonder: Are there aspects of my personality that will still emerge like a butterfly from a chrysalis, totally different, bearing no resemblance to what I had been before? Will the core of what I am and had been, change?
I know B is scared that the person she had grown to love, will crumble and turn to dust. It scares me a bit too. I know me, have been living with me for more than half a century. I have met a few of my parts in therapy and I like and love them. Are/will they now manifest(ing) differently, even without T? And will those who have considered me a friend, still want to be my friend?
I’d like to believe that the core me is still there, but that like a snake, I am just shedding an old skin to allow for further growth. I am but at the beginning of my inner journey. Who will awaken? Or are they already awake? The journey is not only an adventure, but a terrifying one.
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. ~ Carl Jung”