This first year I have experienced rapid body changes, weight gain, acne, an emotional roller-coaster, a break-up, severe home sickness and isolation. I spent a lot of time being introspective and self-centered and probably more often than not really really selfish. But you know what, I'm ok with that. No one else understands what it's like to be me, to go through a transition, to explain about your past, your name, your body, to field questions that are no one's business, to be betrayed by people you thought were your friends, or by your family. No one understands what it's like to hate living in your body, to feel like crying or screaming when they screw up your pronouns, slip and use your old name in front of people who have no idea about your past, or how if feels to be scared that the "lie" you are presenting to people will be found out any second. I have been a little paranoid, felt betrayed by my body, felt betrayed sometimes by my friends, and felt alone an awful lot precisely because no one can understand unless they have gone through it. As far as I know, I am the only transgender person in this city and that is lonely. It's nice to have empathetic or sympathetic people around, I would even take apathetic people most of the time but sometimes it's nice to have someone around who knows what it's like. All I want is to feel safe, to feel like I can just blend into my manhood and then into the crowd....and you know what? It's starting to happen.
Every day I feel more and more comfortable in my body despite finding new hairs and adjusting to a new body shape. I am excited to see the beginnings of a moustache slowly but surely I will soon have the sweet salt and pepper handlebar of my dreams....yes seriously. Top surgery is approaching fast, less than 3 months now and I try to imagine what it will feel like once that weight has been lifted off my chest....literally. I am finally taking a much needed vacation and going home to see my family. My grandmother turns 90 in a couple days...(I've been carrying around the best card for months) and if the weather holds I might even get to see my dog and some mountains. I really really miss my dog.
I am a little nervous about seeing my family. The last time I saw them was before I started Testosterone. Aside from a few phone calls and photos I have posted to the blog my parents, sister, aunts and uncles haven't seen me since I wrote my coming out letter to them. Some I haven't seen for years. I don't know what to expect but I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and showing them that I really am the same person, just now in a more comfortable package. I love my family very much and I am so very lucky that they are so supportive.
I am feeling more confident every day and the return of warm weather has helped me feel more like going out and being sociable. I have learned to say no, to live for me, to be independent, to be self sufficient, to be more responsible. I have learned I really am in control of my own life and like it or not I don't have to please anyone but me. So whether I get a hard time about my baby goatee or kudos for my career move, either way I'm the only one who has to be happy.
I start a new job in a couple weeks that will provide ample opportunity for growth, industry learning, creative challenges and wage bonus. I feel like I finally have a big-boy job where I can move upward within a company and actually have a career instead of just a job. Meeting new people and expanding my social circle couldn't hurt either.
So despite the fact I was unbearable for a while,and still have my despicable moments, things are looking up. The time I spent focusing on myself and being selfish was necessary to re-orient myself in the world as a man. I needed that time to reflect on who I wanted to be, how I was going to morph into a new body and still feel like me. I was afraid to lose my history; afraid that by becoming Marcus I would somehow erasing everything that came before. That hibernation time made me realize I was not eliminating anything but instead honoring the little boy who had been hiding in my heart for so long. I finally set him free instead of trying to keep him hidden for everyone. I hope that my family and friends will finally be able to see him, accept him and love him and know that all this time he has been the one protecting me.