Time consistently has a way of making fools of us all, it seems—me more so than most. I spent several years carefully combing the Internet, as one does, in hopes of finding the perfect labels that encompass the entirety of me. I picked away at the surface-level characteristics I noticed about myself and used them as key terms in this search.
“Non-binary and queer,” I thought to myself. “My journey of self-discovery is over.”
And then the pandemic hit.
And then quarantine happened.
If you ever think you know yourself, think again.
Being trapped with not much more than yourself for company leads you to greater depths of understanding than you ever believed to be possible.
You begin redefining everything you ever thought you knew.
Perhaps those days you felt like a woman were merely days you didn’t actively hate yourself—there was no love there, though. Perhaps occasionally indulging in the finer things humanity provides, such as makeup and dresses and the color pink, does not a gender make. Perhaps clinging to the remnants of womanhood for the sake of not upsetting the order of one’s surroundings does not benefit the individual. Perhaps taking “am I gay?” quizzes on the Internet as a very much femininely-raised child who was strictly into men should have been more telling.
And then your identity clicks into place.
“I’m a transman,” I think to myself now. “And this one finally feels right, not like a placeholder.”
“NOW my journey of self-discovery is over!”
You already came out to those you could once before, and now it’s been well over a year since you’ve last had to actively explain yourself to someone.
Somehow this feels worse than the first time, doesn’t it? Those that already took some convincing will probably be harder to talk to now: how solid could your identity possibly be if it’s changed again so soon? Now there are expectations that society has, like HRT. What if that isn’t what you want? What if you’re not in the right place for that?
What if you change again?
Hard or not, the journey of self-discovery is always one worth taking. The end goal will always be more fulfilling than whatever rest stop you find yourself at for an extended period of time. You’ll know the end when you reach it, no matter the label. There is no shame in moving on, no matter how long you’ve stayed at one place, and there’s no shame in retracing your steps if you realize the place you were before was indeed the right one. Life is fluid and so are we—chaining ourselves to what we think is needed only hinders us.
Don’t stop until you find what you’re looking for. You’ll be glad for the journey in the end.
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