With all the things that have happened in my life the past few weeks, I’ve been unable to appreciate what is, in many ways, the most important thing to have happened: I’m living as myself now full time.
It’s odd. I had a plan; I had a date. September 1 was going to be an orchestrated event. It was going to be announced ahead of time, and I was planning to celebrate that evening (though with whom or how hadn’t yet been thought about).
But when I lost my job I was thrust unexpectedly into a life where I’m not going back and forth anymore. Suddenly, the “big event” of transitioning to full-time living happened without pomp or circumstance. I simply don’t have to wake up in the morning and decide who I need to be that day. I just wake up go about my day.
I am beginning to appreciate the relief in this. I’m breaking more old habits, ones that still lingered as long as He lingered. I’m beginning to get used to hearing my name spoken aloud all the time, and I’m responding to it naturally when it is. When I go grocery shopping, I’m Alison. When I visit the Post Office, I’m Alison. When I went to by a new hot water heater at Home Depot, I was Alison [more or less — I was wearing grubby jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers, because removing a hot water heater is a messy job, and I know I read as male, but damnit I didn’t mean to]. Of all the stress I’ve felt myself under recently, this was one thing that definitely has de-stressed me.
But then, am I really living as myself? Or is this just a temporary reprieve from my back-and-forth lifestyle, a weekend stretched out into weeks and weeks? There’s still the spectre of having to return to work as Him looming ever over my head. He is still on all my official documents, and I must identify as Him whenever I call the cable company or pay the water bill. My authentic life feels just a little bit like a charade even now.
Still, it’s progress. And though I never got my big announcement or my evening to celebrate, and though it may end at some point, I am Alison now. Finally.