“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
When you have so much going on in your life it is easy to forget about taking a step back, reflecting on what is actually happening. It becomes the norm to keep throwing yourself back into the fray and not taking stock as to what you are achieving.
I understand that every transition is different and everyone that decides to do it takes their own pace and prioritises different things. But one thing we all share is just how busy it becomes at times. I knew when my journey began last October that there would be lots of little things that needed doing, I knew there were some big things that needed doing, I knew there would be things that I had not thought about and would have to cram in somewhere.
You start off slow, you lay the first track, you start your engine and slowly pull out of the station. I know I started slowly, I did this on purpose so as not to build pressure or become overwhelmed. Nothing much had happened by March, I had a couple of meetings with a local mental health worker. Began growing my wardrobe and working on sensible makeup. I told all to my family in March and since then it has been full steam ahead. I look at my list and it grows more than it shrinks.
I still have one more big stage to get through this coming September. The endocrinologist appointment should see a watershed moment in my transition so I am simply waiting patiently and hope to get the critical prescription I need. This should enable me to move on with my life and hopefully finally reach the happiness I desperately seek.
While this is all good and well and gives me a focus I find myself in a strange part of any transition, the paperwork. I started at a sensible point with sorting out my name, now getting a deed poll is not as simple as it seems. Firstly getting two people together to declare in front of a solicitor who rubber stamps the whole thing. Sending it off to the court to have it sealed and registered. All very stressful but necessary to any transition. I know some will berate me for getting it registered but I had my reasons.
Once this was finally sorted, and it did have to be sent back once from the court due to a minor error, I decided to move onto my passport. Again quite simple but the work needed to change your name and gender is tricky. Finding a professional person to sign the form and photo, a letter from my doctor explaining I am not mad, the risk of putting that valuable deed poll in the postal system and hoping it will come back. But I got through it and hopefully a shiny new Faith displaying passport should be in my hands soon. Now though I turn to my list. The endless list of companies and organisations I need to contact is daunting. More annoying and time consuming than stressful but they all have different things they want from you.
I must not grumble, I made the decision to transition. It takes its toll that is for sure, I have had one or two frustrating conversations with some companies as I plough through the accounts and documents. I have managed to sort out two so far and scratching them off the list felt great. The water company are being awkward, mentioning that I may have to send a copy of my deed poll rather than emailing it?!? Why?!? A copy is a copy whether digital or paper.
Being this busy is good for transition though, where I work full time and have a busy social life, it leaves little time to think on the bad aspects. Having little odds and sods to work through keeps me positive, every little thing off the list is a small victory for my ever growing spirit. It makes me happy to have things to do. For years I would sit and ponder the what ifs. Now I have important, albeit thankless, missions to achieve. I have a plan of attack, utilities first, then banks and council stuff, quickly followed by communications, phones broadband etc. Then the insignificant things like magazine subscriptions. I will inform my GP when I pick up my latest round of blood work in a week or so. PHEW!
Nobody can know from the off how their transition will go or what will become important as the process starts to unravel. What we can know though is how we are feeling at the time and how each little victory can be the spark needed to move on with the next aspect of the journey. I know I feel more happy then at any time in my life and being busy, with lots to do, is driving that happiness into unchartered waters. Getting to the stage of real world changes, not just emotional, shows me I am succeeding and moving my life forward. It is tough and tiring but everyday as the list shortens and I reach toward the light just a little bit more I feel its warmth and know this is all worth it.
I hope to look back on this summer with fondness and with a sense of achievement. It is important that I take time to revel in everything that is going on around me and to take stock of the wonderful experiences that are coming my way. I implore all my fellow transitioners that when the heat is on and you do not have a moment to think do your best to enjoy. It beats sitting around thinking about all the negativity that came before this busy life.