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…
Tags: anxiety gender identity personal journey