It was a chilly evening and I had been feeling a bit low during the day. No particular reason other than allowing a couple of work issues to get to me more than was necessary. Nothing wrong with that, it is unrealistic not to expect blips from time to time. So I was not enthusiastic about going out into the cold to attend the Yoga session. I wanted to go, just not enthusiastic.
An hour later my whole mood had changed. I was glad to have gone. I felt different, my spirits lifted. The yoga group, an LGBT+ group, has a lovely feel totally unpressured, welcoming which is great as I am a beginner and my body is really not accustomed to some, well most, of the positions I attempt to put it in. Yet it doesn’t matter. There is no doubt that I am more flexible than when I first started and in this group there is no pressure to get it right, perfect. It is emphasised that we have choices, listen to our bodies, move with our own flow. I go to the Yoga with one of the friends I share the house with who does work out energetically. I think it is fair to say she has been surprised at how effective the more gentle movement, stretching is.
When I moved to Scotland my goal was to build a new life outside of being trans. Being a trans woman is who I am. I was looking not to be defined by that. I am only just putting my toe into the water and I have been looking at going to social events which are not LGBT+. There are a couple in the pipeline when the timing permits. The idea of attending them gives rise to some anxiety about whether or not I will be accepted, the need for a deep breath, “here we go”. I feel none of this going to this group, I am accepted it is a complete non-issue. Honestly, it blows my mind.
It shows me I need to be more open, less rigid. Perhaps less determined to put myself in potentially uncomfortable situations because I should. More willing just to go with the flow or as the title of one of my books which has helped guide me through life “Don’t push the river”.
This week I have needed emergency dental treatment and after failing to find a dentist willing to take new patients and only one who would but the first appointment was in six weeks time, I managed to get an appointment at the local NHS Centre for Health. Strangely, I had no anxiety at all about how I would be received and again there were absolutely no issues. A few weeks ago I went to a new hair salon. I did have anxiety before going and again there were no issues.
I suppose time will tell how it pans out. My lived experience feels different from what I am led to expect through the media where transphobia rages. I do not expect to be able to navigate life without coming across transphobic behaviour towards me. I guess I just need to go with the flow and see where it takes me.