Not long ago, a good friend of mine who’s still mostly in the closet, asked me if I was still developing breast tissue. I couldn’t answer her. My reply was “I don’t know, I haven’t measured myself lately, but I don’t think I am.”
Her question and my reply made me think how I’ve evolved throughout my process. As time has moved on, my interests and focus have also moved on. Probably she is thinking and wondering about those first stages that I myself don’t think about as much anymore. On one side she still hasn’t had many of those first time experiences and on the other I had them a little while ago.
When I started HRT back in late 2015 a lot of my attention was focused on dealing with the physical changes. A few months later the dimension of going full time was added to the mix. Next, working out surgeries, and all throughout I always developed my presentation and deportment.
Looking Inwards Then Outwards
It almost feels like the first two years after starting HRT were looking inwards into the slow changes I was doing and going through. Then things slowly shifted to looking outwards.
I refer to looking inwards as in looking at myself, almost as if a third person looking into how I was changing. Now looking outwards feels like looking out from the first person, still looking at myself, but with an expanded view of how I interact with the world.
It’s funny, because both looking inwards and outwards are all about me and my relationship with the world. But looking outwards is less about “transition” and more about “integration” in a new or different social role.
It’s Kinda Normal
Now that I’ve started my 4th year on HRT, the “new car smell” has mostly faded away, though I don’t think it will ever go away completely. Things that were outrageous the first times I did them are now either normal or becoming normal.
Somehow life is normal.
Little, or even stupid things if you want, like wearing long fingernails, looking inside my closet and seeing only women’s outfits, wearing makeup, certain mannerisms, and the way other people interact with me. All these were outrageous at the beginning and now they’re mostly normal. It’s almost a sense as if nothing has changed or that things have always been this way.
Having said this, every so often I still get shocks or snaps of reality and amazement. Looking at my reflection somewhere, or hearing someone refer to me as señorita or sitting at a restaurant, say with my mum, and being referred to us as ladies. As normal as they are, they still bring a smile to my face.
In the end my brain seems to both get used to the new normal and then in some other cases it snaps to the old ways. I actually like both a lot. When my brain snaps back I like because it highlights what I’ve done. It makes me aware and that is very rewarding. On the other hand, as things feel normal, that is also very rewarding. For example, I have gone from frequently measuring my hormone-induced breast development to having a breast augmentation. Before the surgery I had my concerns if I would regret my decision or not. Now a year after the surgery, having breasts just feels normal, with no regrets and I stopped taking regular measurements; and that normality is the rewarding part.
Somehow life is normal!
P.S. The header image is a photo of my hands showing how I’m wearing my fingernails now, long with nail polish. You know, normal. 🙂