As I sit in the Business Class car of the Visa Rail train heading back to Ottawa from an overnight event in Toronto I have a significant amount of time to think and reflect. A few years ago the thought of having time to think without a productive target would have scared the shit out of me. I feared the unstructured mental processes going on in my mind, drifting off of useful topics and challenges onto greater internal issues which I was not ready to face.
To be bluntly honest to the world, it was after a significant period of time at work without adequate tasks which lead me to get so focused on simply avoiding thoughts related to my gender identity and sexuality that my mind and body gave up and told me “enough!” I spent a lot of time in my life up to that point trying to keep my “existence” on a recognizable track. I spent so much time keeping my life “on” the rails, I never really thought about maintaining the driving force within me….my mind and soul.
A couple of years ago I brought myself in for a long overdue overhaul. I got therapy, I opened up to myself and to those in my life about my authentic self, and set myself on a new path. This was in no way separating my previous life from my future life, it was simply changing tracks onto a parallel line heading in the same general direction as before. I cleared some of the debris from the tracks and set off cautiously on what is my transition.
I know that my views may differ from other transitioning people, but after all that I had been through, I was relatively happy riding along these rails which are the established transition path for transgender people. There was a kind of relief and peace knowing that so long as I kept myself on the rails I would eventually get to the station that marks the end of my transition. There were no set timings for arriving there, though there were speed limits and somewhat of a guarantee that as long as you stayed on track, you would get to complete your transition.
Now I will admit that I am not completely done my transition, I still healing to do. I still have to figure out if and when I get off the rails to pursue a future which is not held between two hard rigid barriers. I feel a sense of optimism and curiosity with the idea of getting off these rails and hitting the open road, going where the wind takes me without the need to seek permission or approval to switch tracks.
So…for the moment you can still wave to me as I ride past on the train, but pretty soon it’ll be much harder for you to catch a glimpse of me on the wide open and undefined roads that are my future!
Safe travels my friends!