|Birthday flowers from my boyfriend.|
In 2009, around the time of my birthday, I was having a lot of anxiety about coming out to my spouse. By the same time in 2010 I Still had not come out to her and by then the anxiety was becoming acute. In just a few weeks I actually did come out to her, as I talked about in this blog post entitled Hello World. That brought a huge relief and not nearly as painful an aftermath as I had feared. She didn't run off and tell my parents, she didn't leave me and the ensuing year brought a lot of growth and changes. I no longer had to hide myself so I could dress freely at home and go out when and where I wanted to, with the exception of staying out very late or staying overnight somewhere. In other previous posts, Hello World Part 2 and Hello World Part 3, I go into a lot of details about what happened in my life and relationship with my spouse in 2011.
By the time my birthday got here in August 2011, the joy and relief of being able to go almost anywhere as myself almost anytime I wanted to had been replaced by the angst of still being trapped in a life I did not want to be in. More than just feeling trapped in the wrong body, I felt trapped in a wrong life. My head had cleared up and I had seen that living as myself, as Tammy, was possible. It no longer had to be just a dream, it was fast becoming a reality but still there were major obstacles to overcome. I cried by myself on that birthday and promised myself it was the last year that I would be stuck like this. I sort of knew it would be too much to accomplish for me to be full time by my next birthday, but on that day in 2011, I made a promise that within one year I would be in transition and by the following year's birthday, 2013, I would be full time and on the road to fully being myself.
During the summer of 2012, after I had already started hormones, my therapist asked me what my goal was on when to go full time. I didn't give her a date but I did give her a range. I told her I would like to transition on New Year's Eve that year and that I had set a deadline of being full time by my birthday on August 19, 2013. She told me to shoot for the end of 2012 and like any goal if you fall short at least you come closer to it than if you put everything off until the last minute. A new year and a new me is the way she put it and that is exactly what I had in mind.
Throughout my life I have been a chronic procrastinator, and at the time I really didn't think I would make my goal of being full time by the end of 2012 but I sure as heck was going to make my deadline. I had to conquer what I saw as my "Mt. Everest" first, coming out to my parents, and that created a great deal of anxiety on my birthday last year. As it turns out, I conquered my own Everest and went full time a few days after coming out to them on December 21, 2012 which was the Winter Solstice and ironically the last day of the world according to the Mayan Calender. A new era was ushered in alright, but for me it was much more of a beginning than an end.
|Sharing a kiss with my baby on Thunder Ridge as the sun sets across the Blue Ridge.|
|Enjoying a special dinner at a nice restaurant in Lynchburg, Virginia.|
|I have conquered my "Mount Everest", now the mountains are much more manageable. Here I am in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.|
|Happy to be accepted and loved. Enjoying time at my parent's home after a birthday meal at Red Lobster.|
|High on the mountain, the peaceful valley awaits me on the other side. |