First posted on November 22, 2013 by AIPdaily.com
Life is tricky, it doesn’t come with instructions. If we are lucky those that walk the path ahead of us send back word of what to expect and guidance on how to navigate the twists and turns. No matter who you are or what your situation is, we all need those words of wisdom to keep us on track, and, well, sane.
Transitioning is no different. There are very few people who have transitioned publicly and in the past it was encouraged to stay in the shadows. With no written rules and no one to look to it can be easy to get lost and confused. Trust me. So, since I’m completely exposed already, I thought I would use the column this week to give my advice to other TS women. I know I’m still a work in progress, as all of us are, but here’s 5 things I know to be absolutely true:
1.Find your foundation. Know who you are, what you are, and how you are. How can you possibly know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand your emotions, behaviors, and insecurities before you begin your first course of hormones so you know how to anticipate the sometimes extreme effects. Take time to soul search and find out what will drive your inspirations, aspirations, and passions when you encounter society and life challenges.
2. Build your support. Prepare yourself for your new life by seeking possible education and information resources for yourself .Talk to your doctors honestly, leave no question unasked. Get your legal affairs in order ahead of time to have your id and passport reflect your new gender. Find a GLBT center and engage in peer support groups. These groups can help you do everything from find the best make up advice to discovering employment opportunities post transition. Not everyone is going to celebrate the new you but you need to surround yourself with those who do.
3.Empower yourself. The most important thing I’ve learned thus far is to not be afraid to take risks. Test the boundaries of your new life. Dress appropriate to your style and mood, it will give you the confidence to go out with friends or just take a stroll in the park. Do what will make you feel personally empowered and strong and remember the feelings you get from those activities as often reflecting on them will be your crutch during hard times.
4. Connect. Reestablishing a new life will be difficult , especially on hormones, but don’t let that get in your way. Find a social hobby. Do a job you’ve always wanted to try. Surround yourself with new friends you can be yourself around and connect with modern society. Transitioning should be a celebration! Share yourself with the world!
5. Surround yourself with Love. Love yourself. Never doubt yourself unless you are hurting others. Reward yourself for this journey you have taken to get to where you are today. You are brave. Recognize your achievements and accomplishments. Be proud to be who you are. One of life’s greatest feats is to have lived two lives and found happiness. If you can’t love yourself, who’s going to love you? Loving and putting yourself out there will open all the doors to being loved for just being you.