I look around at where I am, where I started, but most of all those who loves me. I see my family, my friends old and new and I cannot feel like anything but an incredibly lucky girl or some would simply call it blessed. Whatever it is it is a good thing, it's a feeling that I was never able to fully embrace before these last few years. I cared about the people around me, I certainly loved them but I never felt as connected as I do now. It's so funny how internally that has changed.
I look at my wife wondering how she ever put up with such a roller coaster ride over such a long period of time. I'm amazed at the fact that her love is boundless and her acceptance unwavering. She does nothing but try and find the good in people and when she can't she simply feels bad for them. Every time I look at her and ask her how she can support what I need to do all she ever does is glances at me with her pretty blue eyes and tells me "You cannot help who you fall in love with". For her it's simple, cut and dry and there is nothing beyond that.
Years ago she had a picture of me on her desk at work, in it a long haired husband, a rocker at heart, a hidden girl but most of all the love of her life. A coworker asked her how she could possibly tolerate a husband with long hair and told her that if it was her she would make her husband cut it! Diane simply told her, it's only hair and I like it. She knew that we had the type of marriage that one would never force the other to do anything they didn't want to do. I guess some of the answer lies in that.
I look at my daughter and how far our relationship has come. She was always the apple of my eye, even if she didn't realize it back then. I had a hard time relating to her back then but wanted the best for her. Today she is a mother herself, worrying about her own child's well being. She's so good at it too, and she loves her daughter as much I love her. The nicest part is that we've finally been able to make more connections and get closer. We talk more than ever before, something I not only cherish but hope I never lose. It's such a funny thing when I see her leave a message in a comment section or discuss me by email or even on the web. It's mind boggling to read things like "I love my dad, she's so awesome!" Seems like such a twist of words in one way but in the other it's music to my ears.
Several years ago I had been talking to Annah Moore about a band audition she was waiting to hear about. She was moving back to her musical roots and trying to join a popular metal band in Austin. She was so excited and hopeful that she was over the top when she finally got word that the gig was hers. The twist came in a conversation with her son on the phone. "Dad got the gig mom, she's so excited!" He blurted in the background. Annah just had to laugh and so did I, it was such a foreign thing for me to hear. Now a few years later I hear it again but instead of Annah, I'm the she being referred too! My how times change and my how they have been a positive change.
My old friends have bent over backwards to make me feel normal, accept me and treat my transition as just an everyday event. It's rarely discussed anymore outside of an occasional joke which is totally cool by me, I know I'm loved when we are joking about it because when it stoops it means they are no longer accepting me for who I am.
My new friends have been just as awesome, I would have never thought I would be making new friends as Karyn but it seems to be happening. Cynthia has been a godsend for me, her humor, her caring nature just makes my day. Mostly her humor! It's nice having someone locally who walked where I am walking now who I can ask questions of, share experiences with or just simply laugh at life.
Lately negative people weigh on me greatly, to the point of me finding that I need to distance myself from the poison. For the first time in my life I crave positive interaction and need to totally shun the negative crap that some people can spew. I drags me down, sucks my emotions from me and just leaves me drained. I love waking up and feeling positive about my day, about my life and just anything that comes my way. I fond myself worrying less and less about life these days, something that I used to constantly do.
Not long ago Dee and I were on one of our walks talking about our lives and where they were going. When I was young I would tell her that I would never see the age of thirty. A lot of young people make those comments as a passing statement, but I meant those words back then. Suffering had done that to me. When I hit thirty it became a yearly struggle 31,32,33 making year after year wondering when I wouldn't be able to handle it anymore. On this particular day as we walked our 4 miles I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to the next 40 years. Even I was shocked to hear and feel the words pierce my lips and funny enough, they were authentic feelings. I smile even now thinking about it.
It's funny how society cannot totally justify transition and they write it off as a choice, heck I've even read some people's comments of how it should be illegal. Looking from back to forward I can honestly say the changes prove to me and my family that there is no choice here; it is what is right, it is what is needed. Every scary step and threshold turns out to be more worth it, more than even the last step. Every step creates a new sense of being, a new sense of self that I've never experienced.
For the first time in my life I can truly say that I'm beginning to love myself.