It’s a Start…or is it?

The older I get, the less I believe I’m still starting anything. There may be that rare moment when I partake on something completely new and different, but this journey that I’ve been on for nearly 50 years isn’t one of them. Every little goal that I achieve, I find myself saying, “Well, it’s a start.” The me, full of lifelong lessons and maturity responds, “Or is it?”

I think this is so because I don’t know what the ending is. I can look back over my life and point out the wayward signs that led me to this place; the multiple starts at becoming… what exactly. This is my unanswered question. Just what am I trying to become. The possibilities vary with the changing of the seasons. One day, I’m ready to jump all in, the next day I want to pull back. I can only see the haphazardly walked path forward by looking back at where I began and where I am today. Like a chart tracking years of returns on an investment, my journey has been up and down, but it seems to always and eventually keep climbing higher.

Nearly a year ago, I began helping others put their thoughts into words, helping them to share their stories as I agreed to become the resident editor on both sites. I’ve seen similarities between all of us, been amazed, heartbroken, angry, and joyful in my empathy with those who share their lives with the rest of us. We all need to see it; I need to see it. I am far from alone, and my path is my path, no matter how long it takes or whether or not I can point to a definitive end.

I’m pushing 60, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Does it matter; did it ever? I have the tendency to be introverted and filled by anxieties. My mind never shuts down—it’s why I write novels. It’s also why I over-think every detail that I see. My vision and comprehension of a particular scene is fairly vast. I notice the obvious and the not so obvious. I’ve also had to adjust my life around my diminished hearing–a result of several years working in a pressroom at a newspaper. I can become easily frustrated by other’s lack of awareness at the world around them. This isn’t a reflection on them, but on me. I see the shadows lurking and wonder what’s hiding. Most, contently walk by in happy oblivion and enjoy the sun.

This has been hard to overcome and no amount of yoga and meditation makes it easier for me. The daily stress in my shoulders causes them to sit well above the top of my head…figuratively speaking. When you add in my uncertainty about who (what) I am, there are times that my mind simply has to retreat; I’m compelled to take a nap…to reboot my system. When I’ve gotten to that point, no amount of coffee could keep me awake.

I was once a typical, cocky male with an ego, who had a fetish for high heels and lingerie. Now, I’m more feminine than male (inside); I’m kinder, more afraid, questionably uncertain, still hopeful, persistently doubtful, highly empathetic, magically wishful, and… still searching for an ending. I’ve come to the decision—though I’ve said this before, written it down on my checklist and never completed it, that it’s time to meet with a professional and potentially take the next step. I have to. My anxiety is winning out over contentment with my life–not that I have much in that regard. 

I spend too much time analyzing reasons for the thoughts and desires that I have. In the past, it was always to find some method to eradicate them. Somewhere along the way, the inward looking became more of a search for understanding and acceptance, and recently an acknowledgement that I’m neither male nor female, and I don’t know which one I want to be. I’m not sure if I would find the elusive contentment by undergoing physical and chemical alterations—would they just shift my perspectives—and anxieties? There are some stronger feelings that indicate a need to step over some lines and at least blur the two sides in shared compromise. It also means a day of reckoning with friends and family is on the horizon. My shoulders will never relax until that happens; that moment when all the fears are faced and all that’s left for me to do is to move forward. I know I can handle it…

I’m ready for a nap…


  1. Charee 1 year ago

    Oh Brina, that nail has a very flat head now hahaha
    I have lived that blurred path for a while, do I want to be male or female…I was awake nights, smoking a LOT of pot to numb out and constantly feeling obsessed with finding an answer to my question.

    Finally, I changed the question and made a statement…I Am both male and female, and I choose to dress and present more feminine than masculine according to the current general construct.

    I was trying, unwittingly, to find my label, the box I fit into, the place I fit…
    I keep asking the worlds permission; I’d ask in my mind, Can I be a transformation life coach and be trans? I don’t see anyone else doing it..
    Can I express as I choose gender-wise, respectfully, and go about the world as if I was dressed in a cowboy shirt n jeans while I am wearing skinny jeans, breasts, make up and nail polish?

    Then one day I made a new choice; I no longer ask the worlds permission in my mind,,,,I give notice…

    I walk in, head held high and speak with confidence. All the while I’m scared to death at first, but with more reps and new places, its becoming very “natural” to be authentic…where it never quite felt natural to play the act of the “man”.

    What’s more is, the more “Natural” I feel shows in how I carry myself and the more Normal, people treat me… I have had times when I thought, do they even notice at all that I have breasts or make up? Yes they do, but they say oh nice earrings or, wow what a beautiful necklace, or omg your eyes are so sexy hahaha it’s just more fun the better I get at allowing Char to merge and emerge with Charley’s body, slightly tweek’d.

    instead of thinking male or female, I chose both and I am going to have breasts; I haven’t chosen the “how” yet, HRT or implants, but I know I love having them and it’s no fun when they float up like chicken filets in the pool hahaha so they have to be non-detachable haha

    I recently clipped 57years, or 58 i don’t remember or care, and I have “finally” stopped searching for what is wrong with me. I’ve given up now on the idea that I am broken and I need to be fixed… and… opened my heart to trying on a little self-kindness and supporting Char instead. I’ve stopped treating myself like I am wrong for “being”…No more apologizing…

    Thanks Brina. for everything dear…

    I Am Grateful for you my friend
    n huggles

  2. Shanda Labonte 1 year ago

    Your statement “I’m neither male or female” prompted me to reply. I’ve always said and feel that I’m too much of a man to be a woman and too much of a woman to be a man. I feel pretty lost as a consequence💃

    • Author
      Sabrina MacTavish 1 year ago

      Exactly… it’s that disconnect that adds all the extra anxiety. I’ve received comfort from knowing that I’m not alone. Sites, such as this one make it easier to accept the things I once feared and felt as if was the only one going through it.

      Thanks for the response 🙂

      • Shanda Labonte 1 year ago

        Gotta say even on sites like these when I read about people saying they felt themselves girls as young children etc. I ask myself why didn’t I feel that way – am I just messed up in the head somehow. At the end of those recurring questions I still feel my inner girl and the better I feel the more I am her. Anyway, compliments once again on how well you articulated it 👠

    • Charee 7 months ago

      I felt the same, I decided to be both and dress how ever I feel in the moment, as best I can hehehe

  3. M Chloe Harris 1 year ago

    ” . . . just returned from a trip to Disney with my daughter and granddaughters. I loved my male time with them, but I found myself wishing . . . ”

    Sabrina I am about to be 64 and am right there with ya have 3 grandchildren I enjoy and care for constantly! If unsure “where to start”, “what to do” you do know that “self-help” is available lord knows that going to, finding a therapist can certainly be terrifying! In any event, I suggest you work on the “acceptance” part rather than jumping two feet into and worrying over the cross-dress/”passing” conundrum as “desirable” as that may seem!

    One step at a time gives everyone around you a chance to “process” and catch up! Doesn’t ‘ave to be “a big deal”

    • Charee 6 months ago

      exactly, slow and steady wins the race as they say hehe I like to think of my journey as expanding my playpen hehehe 😉

  4. CC Webb 1 year ago

    Rest well my friend. The sun will rise and you get to bask in the joy it can bring too. I know it’s hard to look at the sunny side of things when there is so much going on inside. I’ve been there. What I can say is that once you figure a few things out the vision of the path forward does get more clear and it has many possibilities that all can be wonderful.

    • Author
      Sabrina MacTavish 1 year ago

      Thanks, Cloe! 🙂

    • Stephanie Kennedy 1 year ago

      I get so sad when I read stories like yours I can relate my sister 💔. I get tired to too . I am 65 years old. I am so greatful to have company in this journey. I not only get tired I get a little pissed off that we have to make this journey. There is no one to get mad at. I get so lost. Are we on a journey to prove to ourselves that we are real? Sabrina we are real . We are woman that did not get the rite bodies. Without those bodies or at least the image of those bodies we cannot be taken serious. So put on those big girl panties as my wife would say . Please know I am there with you . This is a journey that can only be completed by strong woman and every step makes us stronger so we can take the next . All of us together can prove to society we are real. We have to learn from the woman that went before us while teaching those that are new. There is nothing wrong with having a little fun and laughing while we are crying to be heard and seen. Love Stephanie

      • Author
        Sabrina MacTavish 1 year ago

        Thank you for insights and kind encouragement! I just returned from a trip to Disney with my daughter and granddaughters. I loved my male time with them, but I found myself wishing that I could be wearing all the wonderful outfits that I saw so many women wearing and wondering what it would be like. I’ve come so far and have miles to go. Take care! 🙂

  5. April 1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing Sabrina. I can empathize with a lot of what you wrote. I recently started seeing a therapist, and it has been helpful to have someone else to talk with about all of this, especially as my wife becomes less happy with the situation. Also I like having a day where I can at least go somewhere as April. I often don’t have the courage (or time) to get ready and go somewhere. I’m getting better at that, but I like going to the therapist as April (I did that from day 1, and I’m really glad I did–it’s been nice to have someone know me only as my female self). Wherever your journey takes you next, best wishes.

    p.s. Cool professional background. I’ve been a freelance editor for years, although not of fiction or journalism. 🙂

    • Author
      Sabrina MacTavish 1 year ago


      Thanks for the comments and sharing. (I also wouldn’t be a decent author without you and your fellow freelancers!!!!) I know I’m moving ever closer to that next step; thanks for the supportive comments on seeing a therapist.

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