Almost three and a half years after going full time and the impact of that decision is still sinking in! When people that don’t know me from before see me they have no clue about my background. Even if I open up and tell them that I’m trans they still don’t have a clue that it’s only been less than 4 years since I started my process; meaning they don’t know that the great majority of my life I did not appear the way I do now.
It’s the most bizarre dichotomy where on one side I’m totally aware that people cannot read me (cannot tell that I’m trans) unless I open up and on the other I feel so new at this that any confidence I may show it’s mostly me putting a brave face or being absolutely amazed at the acceptance.
It’s not so much that there two sides but rather it’s like a panoramic photo. Imagine on the left side of the wide panoramic photo you’d see people’s view of me as a cis girl and as you look to the right of the panoramic photo you were to see more and more my perspective of myself as the same person from before I started my process. It’s not one or the other and it’s not at a specific point in time. I see the whole wide image all the time.
“Awareness” or even “acute awareness” could be really good ways of condensing these feelings and perceptions. I don’t know if this “acute awareness” will ever wear down or if I’ll ever get used to it but I sure hope not! Being aware and seeing the whole panoramic photo gets me a blissful appreciation of what I have accomplished.
The thing is that though I see the whole panoramic photo all the time I do tend to pay more attention to the hue on one side or the other depending on how I’m feeling. When my feelings are on a darker shade I tend to pay more attention to the hue on the right side of the panoramic and I wish I could physically do more to “improve” my presentation. When I’m feeling sparking or cheery my attention goes to the hue on the left side and I’m extremely content with the person in the mirror.
Anytime that someone sees me they may not know where I’m paying attention on my panoramic photo. I’ll give you a couple of hints. If you ever hear me complain about my presentation, I’m totally paying more attention to the hue on the right side. And if you notice me rocking my feminine attributes, my attention is mostly on the hue of the left side. Just remember I’m seeing the whole of the panoramic at all times!