Two years ago, today, was D-Day for me.
I had been slowly coming to terms with myself, and slowly realizing that I couldn’t hide any more.
About 6 years prior to this, I had been considering transitioning as well, but was stopped by my own fear, something I was forced to confront at the time, when my best friend came out as trans.
I spent most of that time, hating my friend, not for being trans, but for having had the courage to do it first. Something I had held against her at every turn, but would never admit to her. Mainly because I didn’t want to seem like a “Me too”.
So let’s take a gander back on last year, and the events that led up to my fuck-it moment.
In late August, I moved to Paris, France, for work, with the idea that the position at my company would allow me to either dual-home or move entirely back to Europe.
On the Sunday, after I arrived, I broke my foot, after falling from the stairs in my new apartment. I was in pain, listless and hopeless. I had potentially sacrificed my Girlfriend of 12 years, my house, and my fur-babies to take an opportunity of a lifetime and move to Paris and take a role with my company, that could forever change my path. And now, I’d screwed it up.
After going to the doctor, and realizing that I would need surgery and a year of Physical Therapy to recover, I opted to take a shorter route and cast up my foot, and hope for the best. (Pain meds don’t make you think good) — side note, should have opted for surgery
A few days later, I was standing on the subway platform, waiting to get on the train to go to work. I’m on crutches and in excruciating pain, and I can’t take anything , because everything that I was offered for pain was way to strong, and I needed to be able to do my job.
As I’m standing on the platform, I have this overwhelming sense of dread, and a brief, albeit intense thought that one step forward, and I would be free, free of expectations, free of lying, free of hiding, free of judgement, free of pain… free.
I will admit, it was intoxicating, and, as I’ve told before, in a way, I did it. Or rather, he did.
I think that on that day, the culmination of emotion, the clarity of being alone, and the pressure to be dishonest with myself as a survival tactic, led me to seriously consider how my life would be without those pressures.
How would I be able to survive, could I survive, could I make the changes and sacrifices to survive, to stop hiding, and stop being afraid and scared?
Could I stop being a coward, and admit to myself that I could make it, that I could, at the very least be myself.
All of this thought, all of it took less than 5 seconds in my mind. It seemed like a veritable eternity.
And so, he jumped in front of the oncoming train, (Symbolically of course) and I survived, that part of me, which I had buried for so long, that was beginning to seep out of the seams of a poorly stitched together veneer of masculinity finally emerged.
One step forward
Three months of agonizing decision-making and self-discovery took place, three months of the most brutal and honest self-evaluation.
Three months of determination, evaluation and love. Love for myself, love for my life, love for my friends that I chose to not leave behind.
I am still not complete. I am not, nor will I ever be perfect, but I can say that I have been through the eye of the needle, and that I have discovered that sometimes to take a step back, you have to take One step forward.