I’ve always said that the word “transition” does not represent the way I feel because I don’t see my process as transitioning from one thing to another. But as I look back to my experiences in the last 2 years (2015 to 2017) I do relate to the word “transition” but in somewhat different ways.
I now visualize the concept of “transition” from multiple angles, some of which don’t represent my experience and others that do. Let me explain by first talking about one that I do NOT relate to: I call it Push Transition.
In a Push Transition an individual grows and develops with a sense that something fundamental is wrong and needs to be changed, fixed or eliminated. The person can see the what-ifs if that sense of misplacement was removed or resolved. In effect, the concept of transition pushes the person to experience life in the way they always envisioned. It’s as if the individual has to transition to experience life the way it was meant to be.
I’ve never related to this conceptualization or visualization of a transition. The main reason is that I never had a sense that something was wrong with my life or that I must transition to experience life.
In a Pull Transition an individual grows and develops in a sort of average way, meaning that there is no one fundamental aspect that must be changed to experience life. On the contrary, where life experiences happen without being bound by a sense of misplacement or that something is essentially wrong. In this Pull Transition the collection of past experiences created a super strong sense of curiosity in me. Yes, I had a question in my head since an early age, but it was just a question, not a requirement to experience life. To put it graphically, my past life experiences built myself to get to a transition.
This idea of a Pull Transition is what I relate to. My decision to present female and seek medical support was not based on necessity, it was based on curiosity. I guess one could argue that I had the necessity to answer the curiosity, otherwise I would not have made such a dramatic decision. The way I rationalize my identification with a Pull Transition instead of a Push Transition is that I strongly believe I could have gone through life without completely satisfying the curiosity I always had; without presenting female full time.
More Angles on “Transition”
If I don’t consider that I’m transitioning from anything to anything else, what is my “transition”? Agh! I get this conflict and contradiction in my head: no, I’m not transitioning from anything to anything else because I’m the same person and identity as I’ve always been, but on the other hand, I have clearly transition in many ways.
I don’t see my current self as a separate person, individual or identity of the person I used to be. I see myself as the same person as always but with a bunch of new experiences on top. I have never wanted to stop being me. I’m a continuum. It’s not that I was and now I am; I’ve always been.
Evolution vs. Revolution
Since this current self is my old self plus a bunch of new experiences, or rather, plus a bunch of unorthodox or uncommon experiences, I see my process of transition as one of evolution and not revolution. I didn’t flip from being one way to being another way but rather I’ve gained experience and practice at doing some of the things I was always curious about.
It has been a gradual iterative process. That’s what I see as my transition. As much as I had fantasized to one day being able to present myself totally different, like just turn on the female presentation, I’m glad that has not been the case.
To give a few examples, with HRT a number of physical changes have developed over the last 2 years. Things like the way my skin feels now, how some hair does not grow the way it used to grow, or the modest breast development I’ve had. I see my “transition” as this time of slow, as in slooooooow gradual changes that allowed me to settle in this new reality.
Even FFS which one day my face looked one way and then the next day it was totally different. Well, it was totally different because of the swelling, not because the final results were visible the day after. In this somewhat traumatic change there was a slow gradual change from the swollen face to the settle face, and this progressive change builds up to my transition.
A similar thing can be said about my wardrobe. At the beginning when I started openly presenting female I had little experience choosing what to wear. Looking at some of my early photos those experiments, in public, were somewhat different to the way I now choose my attire. It’s this slow progression of trial and error that has been my transition.
Almost every aspect of my physical presentation has gone through this slow gradual evolution process, and I love it. It gives me a sense of pride and fulfilment. It’s looking at the reflection in the mirror (or any surface with a reflection, really) and thinking to myself:
Fuck, that’s me; I’m doing it!
Practice, Practice, Practice
As time progresses and the new-car-smell of many experiences fades, maybe from pure repetition, I feel like life is settling. As I practice and gain experience doing things over and over there is a sense of normality that was not there 2 years ago. Waking up and applying makeup every day is an example. The way I now choose what to wear is totally different from the way I did presenting male, but now I’m more used to this “new” way. Two years ago many things were exhilarating and now they are still thrilling but the feeling is not as strong.
Everything to my external presentation has gone through this settling process. The way I walk, move, talk, dress, etc. is going from a very conscious state to requiring less mental energy. It’s similar to when I learnt to drive a car with a standard transmission. At the beginning the clutch, breaks, acceleration and gear shifting took all my mental energy. As I gained practice, and practice and practice, driving become second nature.
The beautiful thing is that as I get deeper in this process and my current self evolves and gathers new experiences, the next challenges, the next things that I’ve never done, they all become easier to tackle. Now I have to take this acquired power of tackling new challenges and do more of the things I want to do and experience.