I have two friends that are transitioning from one gender to another, after a long battle with gender dysphoria. Both are older adults who are just now experiencing their real adolescence. One is FTM, the other is MTF. It is gravity’s rainbow (in a terrific way) from two different directions, crossing in the middle. I love how one is discovering makeup and hair while the other discovers how uncomfortable beard stubble can be (but loves even the uncomfortable parts because it’s a daily reminder of how his body is changing). They also live in disparate parts of the country, and I’m looking forward to see how that goes, as well. Reading their writing is a daily inspiration…. and it makes me think. Everyone has to come out about something, and everyone transitions. As the Eleventh Doctor put it so perfectly, we all change, when you think about it. We are all different people all through our lives and that’s okay, that’s good you’ve got to keep moving- so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I do remember, both with others and myself, iterations long-term friends invariably experience.
Of course, the biggest transition is within me, and not because it’s noteworthy, but because it’s mine.
My friend James and I were talking about that last night (I put James’ real name in here when I’m talking about him because he searches every post for his name #shoutout). We were talking about the arc of this web site, and how it’s changed over the years. How it’s more egocentric, and that’s a good thing…. that people come here to learn about me. That line made me feel shy and vulnerable, but in a good way. He also said that I was more interesting than Argo and Dana, and I thought, hmmmm….. I’m not doing a very good job of writing about them, then……. mostly in deferential humor, but I knew what he meant.
I do have a habit of thinking that most people are more interesting than me….. and in both Argo and Dana’s cases, if you met them you’d probably like them better. Most of the time, I do. But the real reason I write about my reactions to other people is that it’s my brain trying to figure me out by the way I move in the world, both for good and for awesome. I know I’ve said this fifty times by now, but this blog means more to me in terms of being able to look back than it ever will in terms of gaining readership. It is a constant reminder of how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go, never reaching perfection, yet striving for excellence.
I don’t always have inspiration for writing, so entries are uneven. The important thing is that I keep plugging away. As I was telling my housemate earlier, writing is only about 10 percent talent. I’m a writer because I write. It’s tautology and it’s truth. Ira Glass said something similar about the key to being good at something is being crappy at it first…. and to not be discouraged by first efforts.
I am normally not this driven if I’m bad at something. I am generally embarrassed when I don’t know something. But this is different. I don’t start an entry thinking about you. I start an entry thinking about me and what I will want to remember later.
I will never want to forget my experiences- the extreme highs and lows of the last few years, even when something I read makes me cringe and/or cry…. because when I reread old entries, I remember what it was like to be that version of me.
Without this space, I would forget much more easily.