1.01.2011

Homesick Heartache

Moving forward means leaving something behind. With the dawn of a brand new year and my transition to manhood slowly becoming a reality, I find myself feeling quite lost and alone and I fear that my homesickness is getting the best of me. My home, the land, the mountains, the rivers and meadows, lakes and back roads that hold so many memories for me will always be accessible to me in my mind but only there will they remain pristine.

January in KNP
I have spent a lot of time imagining myself back home, closer to my friends, my family, and the landscape that has shaped my heart. I know returning there will be like trying to travel back in time and it will never be what I remember. Once I have completed my transition I will not be able to enter my old life again, I can not go back to the life I had when I lived as a female any more than I can re-enter my life when I was twenty-three. Returning to a small town as a man after a lengthy absence will be awkward for a lot of people and I think it will impede my ability to find work. There is no way for me to make a living in that small town nor are there any adequate facilities to exhibit my artwork or receive funding for bigger projects. There are a million reasons not to move back and only one reason that makes want to return: my heart.

This year I need to find a place where I can prosper and grow and make new friends. I need to find a place where my heart can relax, my lungs can breathe in fresh mountain air and I can grow into my new body. I need a place where I can exhibit and make art and have a fulfilling job that pays me enough to get out of debt and put a little something away. I suppose any move doesn't necessarily have to be permanent and maybe that thinking is why I am having such a hard time making up my mind. Maybe I should move west for a bit, get some experience, pay off some debt, save up some money, see what happens.

I used to have an adventurous spirit and lately I am not sure what happened to me. Transitioning is about so much more than just reorganizing your spirit into a new body it is also about learning how that new body interacts with its surroundings, culture and social expectations. It is about re-creating yourself and your life in ways you never conceived of. It presents challenges and opportunities to see things and experience life in ways that other people never will. Transitioning makes you courageous, terrifies you, validates you, threatens to destroy you and offers you bittersweet victories at every turn. The hardest thing about transitioning is that all the decisions you make are your own and right or wrong you have to live with the consequences and rewards. I am trying to figure out what happened to that strong-willed, adventurous woman I used to be and reconcile the parts of her I love into the patient, soft-spoken, shy man I am becoming. I hope the challenges I face this year will help me merge my strongest character traits into a well rounded and good person.

One day I want to return home and fish in clear glacial streams, walk among the wonderful pine and cedar scented forests, listen to the cry of the ravens, the howl of the coyotes, and the panting of my dog as he crashes through the bush. I want to be close to my family. Hopefully at the end of this journey, all of those things will be in the same place. Who knows maybe a move will find me a home I didn't even know I had....

I hope that this year you become the person you have always dreamed  by facing your own challenges and struggles with patience and grace and finally reap the treasures and rewards of your hard work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Marcus, when I read "transitioning makes you courageous...and right or wrong you have to live with the consequences and rewards", I felt I could substitute the word "pregnancy" for "transitioning"! At least that's how I felt.