Imagine hopping on a bus and enjoying it so much that you felt like having an out-of-body experience. That’s kind of what happened to me the very first time I rode the bus presenting female… And it happened on my way to work!
“Everything that I had always done, I was doing for the first time, all over again! Like riding the bus!”
Back in the early first days of April 2016 I started presenting female at work. During those days everything was new; again. I’d always taken the bus to work, but that April morning in 2016 it was my first time presenting female on a bus.
That morning I was really nervous. Even though I knew there would be no issue, I still had some doubts. I was hyper-aware of how I looked, how I walked, how other people looked at me, how I sounded, where everyone was, were they looking at me, etc.
It turned out to be an incredible experience. Being nervous that morning, all my senses were turned on to the ‘maximum sensitivity’ setting. Walking to the bus stop I kept looking at myself on the reflection of the storefront windows. I was making eye contact with anyone coming my way, and I was smiling. I was smiling because I was doing it.
Once at the bus stop I was totally aware of each individual around me. Where they looking? Have they noticed me? Have they noticed it was the same guy they’ve seen in the past but now in ladies’ attire? Of course the answer to each of these questions was always ‘no’. After all it’s early in the morning, everyone is minding their business and the main thing they care is getting to their work.
The Out-Of-Body Experience
Hopping on the bus for the first time was a major, really major milestone for me. I was paying attention to every single detail. I made eye contact with the bus driver as I used my transit card and said good morning. I looked at every person that was on the bus. Looked at what they were doing. Scanned every available seat and sat down. During the 15 or 20 minute ride to the office my senses were totally in tune with the bus, with the people onboard, and with all the sounds inside. I was able to hear what the people around me were saying. I managed, somehow, to keep an eye on everyone around me. I noted who was on their phone, who had headphones, who was reading, who was looking out the window, who was dozing off, etc. I could feel the road, the bumps, the stop ‘n gos, the front and rear doors opening and closing, heard people get off, and saw everyone that boarded the bus.
Externally I was quiet but smiling the whole ride. I had my head up proud. Internally I kept laughing and telling myself “Gee, you’re actually doing it!” I had never been so in tune with everything around me. It was like having a helicopter view of myself sitting down, seeing what I was doing, and seeing all my surroundings and what was happening. It felt it was an out-of-body experience!
After all that, can you imagine what happened?
Larger & Stronger
Nothing happened. All that apprehension, all that nervousness, and all that anticipation, for nothing. Well, it was not for nothing, quite the opposite. It allowed me to be switched ON. It allowed me to feel alive. It showed me that it was fine. I could see that however I looked, no one cared. It was clear to me I could do this!
When I got off the bus at my stop for the office my smile made it pretty evident that I was over the moon. The experience made me larger. It made me a stronger person. I had no idea that I could process so much information at once and still able to assimilate it.
That afternoon, on the way back home, it was a similar story but somewhat toned down. The hyper-awareness was there but not as sharp or acute as in the morning ride. The nervousness was there, but not as strong. Again, no one noticed, or if they did, no one showed they cared. It was a non-eventful trip home, but on the other hand it was yet another mayor milestone.
That day I truly felt alive. Oftentimes I’m sure this is the purpose of life: feeling alive.