It has been a long weekend and for once in more years than I care to remember I have not done any work. I have been self-employed for over 40 years and holidays are designed for me to catch up with whatever has not been done so that I can start the next week with less of a back log. As long as I can remember there is always a list, usually a long list, of stuff going round in my head of what I should be doing.
I had a surprise call yesterday evening from a close friend I respect and who has helped me no end and supported my transition. She told me to have a day to myself, pamper myself…… I can’t remember the last time I did that…. There is always something that needs to be done, something that I need to worry about.
So today that is what I did. Pampering might be an exaggeration, there was no bubble bath (though who knows this evening) but I did have a leisurely time, making sure I used moisturiser, fussing over my hair, eyebrows and generally making myself feel good. So what next, if I am not going to do any work. It was still cool and so I tackled some weeds I had been ignoring…they were outside the garden, on the parking space so easy to ignore. It only took 30 mins and was really satisfying. I had been looking at that for weeks, thinking I must do that but something work related always intervened. Today I did it for me.
The sun was up now and I decided to spend time quite simply chilling in the garden. Now that really is pampering myself…..actually doing nothing! Not even reading…..literally nothing. It was really quiet once you focused on the birdsong and blanked out the guy somewhere nearby who had clearly decided this was the day to fit a new kitchen (and the last two days come to think about it) and the brmm, brmm of 1000 c.c motorbike opposite as he got ready to go for a ride on his powerful beast. Truthfully all the sounds faded into background noise and did not intrude.
I found myself reflecting on how much change there has been in the last six months. I have realised I am not transitioning, I have transitioned.
For the last few months, for the first time ever, I have actually been living my truth the real me. I suppose I thought that would be easy a dream come true and yes it is. At first I found it hard to accept that all of the “stuff” , the gender chatter” which had been going on in my head all my life had gone. Then comes the hard bit looking at the life of self-deception I had been living and had existed for so long, trying not to see it as time wasted, but most importantly re-evaluating that previous time, seeing how the self-deception had impacted on not only my life but on so many other peoples’ lives.
I realise now how I had built up a complex work situation over the years which had served as a complete distraction from my gender dysphoria. I knew I had gender dysphoria, or as it is now becoming known gender incongruence. I did not need to face it. I had worked out coping mechanisms, kept myself busy. Sadly this meant I wasn’t real so how could anyone know me, engage with me properly, fully? I realise by living the lie I caused hurt and pain which I regret. A sobering process, not pretty.
I cannot change that now I can only move forward in being as honest as I can be, honest in understanding who I am and what makes me tick. To do that with the help of my friend over time I have deconstructed my former self, peeled away the layers….probably a never ending process or at the very least a continuing process to guard against future self-deception. As to work? A day off, a day to myself, a day honouring my friend for her wisdom and support and tomorrow a day of work continuing to dismantle the complex structure that once distracted me and now needs to be made simple to produce enough to keep body and soul together and to meet such obligations as I have.