My Transgender Life: Like Dog Years

I had not seen an email like this before!

I knew they installed a new scheduling system this past year. It was great! As soon as I made my next appointment I had an email on my smartphone before I even finished paying for that session, and it popped right into my online calendar. (Yes, I have learned to be helpless without my phone and MAC being synched up behind the scenes.)

I first saw the sender's address and saw it was a message from my electrolygist. I thought it was just a reminder but then the subject said, Happy Anniversary! I stopped in my tracks!

Anniversary?

Really?

Oh my!

They never sent me a message like this before. Gosh, these new scheduling systems can be scary sometimes. I had to think back. You already know that I often will time travel a bit so this should not have been unfamiliar to me. I was a bit surprised that I had to check my inner calendar to acknowledge that this anniversary message marked seven years that I have been going to electrolysis for hair removal. Seven years!

It is said that a dog year is equivalent to seven human years, so perhaps my personal journey of removing hair from the places I didn't want it is my version of a dog year.

It was in 2009 that I made the decision to start removing my beard. I was 62 years old and just attended my first transgender conference where I learned nothing was impossible. I really did not know the path that I would ultimately follow, but thought that it might take a long time to get rid of that curly, increasingly grey/white beard, and if I choose to ever consider the idea of living as my true self, I may as well get ahead of the game. Back then I thought there was no way I could or would ever transition if there was even a single follicle still sprouting on my visage. There is no way I would have thought that I would still be burning out this growth five years after I transitioned.

At least, now in 2016 I no longer go for 1-2 hours each week, but get away with about 30 minutes every eight weeks as a bit of a clean up. Now I even use my time for a facial and some laser skin rejuvenation. Even when I feel the "burn" I think of it more as self-pampering than another task for the gatekeeper to hold me back from being me.

...

If someone told me that I would be undergoing beard removal for seven years, I am pretty sure I would have gone into a hopeless funk of dreaming the impossible dream. Now, seven years later, my relationship with time has changed so much. Back then, time was ever so slowly marching in a single forward direction. By not living my true life, and believing my dreams were impossible, it was a heavy burden day-in and day-out to just make it through each day, and try to make the requisite conversation with everyone in my life. Even during the evenings when I was alone but dressed as my true self, there was still something missing as I dwelled in the impossibility of it all.

I had no idea that by transitioning it would also change my relationship with time. Not only have I become patient, but it seems that I can ride time in almost any direction. I remember the past like it was yesterday. I can picture my dreams as no longer impossible but know they will arrive on a schedule of their own making -- as long as I take a step in their direction. I know they will arrive just when they are supposed to.

Here in the spring of 2016 I can peek through my mirror of time and see that I first got married 40 years ago. The marriage ended 15 years ago. Perhaps that day seven years ago marked the start of my transition even though I did not really know it then.

When I look at these events, I can see them as clearly as they happened yesterday. I see the good days; the challenging days; the happy days; the sad days. I see the dogs we had that lived for 16 years and for 14 years as part of the family. These days are all here for me in the here and now because I no longer live in the world of impossible dreams.

Seven years on the road to be me, and it feels like only one. Perhaps it is like a dog year after all.

I love living my life where I now know that nothing is impossible. And all the possibilities are happening now....and now...and...

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Grace Stevens transitioned at the age of 64 and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. She is the author of No! Maybe? Yes! Living My Truth, an intimate memoir of her journey to live authentically. Grace is available for speaking with Live Your Truth: Discover Paths to Improved Performance. If you have a topic that you would like Grace to think and perhaps write about, let her know. Visit her website at: http://www.graceannestevens.com/. Follow Grace on Twitter: www.twitter.com/graceonboard .