So let's see, I've been on this path now for a little less then a year and as I look back on it I can see the tremendous changes that have occurred in that time. I'm living my life as Dana now. My life is so much easier now. I no longer fumble in the morning deciding who I'm going to be. I no longer worry about slipping up and exposing my secret. I'm happy.
In the beginning of this journey I wrote about not knowing where the path would lead or the steps I needed to take to get to where I wanted to be. Turns out I just didn't look at the sign posts right in from of me. The instructions for the path where simple I just didn't read them. Take 2 pills twice a day, change your patch twice a week and wait. It turns out E does all the hard work all I needed to do was wait and take life as it came.
So now what?
What do I do now? When I first started down this path my biggest worry was being stuck halfway. Stuck somewhere between Rick and Dana. Not a male and not yet female. But that worry was entirely physical. I was worried about my physical self. About how the rest of the world would see me. But that's not the case. I'm halfway between Rick and Dana in my head. In my head, how I perceive myself, I'm certainly not a man anymore but I can't really say I'm a woman either.
If someone were to ask me right now am I a man or a woman my totally honest answer would have to be that I'm transgendered. I still see things as a transgendered person does. Does a woman really walk through the supermarket and wonder if the person looking at her thinks she is a man? No, I think the thought never even enters the mind of a woman. Does a woman worry about using the restroom in a crowded airport because she might be confronted about using the wrong bathroom. No, never. Does she worry about her voice, about using the right mannerisms, about who opens the door, or sits down first, or any of the thousand of subtle differences between being a woman and a man. No, she doesn't. But I do. I worry about all of these things. Why, because I'm not yet a woman. I'm still learning. I'm still coming to terms with seeing the world as a woman.
I find myself filtering the experiences I have during the day though the lens of being transgendered. Every new experience is something to be examined and analyzed. Does a woman really get home and tell her spouse, 'guess what I used the woman's room at work today'? Do her and her spouse have deep 3 hour talks over who orders dinner first at restaurants? Or, how to handle friends who don't know or don't agree with who we are as a couple. No, straight spouses don't do that, but M and I do. We have to or we'll quickly be pulled apart by external forces. I am not a woman with a wife. I'm still a transgendered woman with a wife.
So now what?
I wait. I wait for time to do her work and change how I see myself. It's not a matter of confidence. It's deeper then that. It's a matter of actually changing my view of my myself. To actually see myself and the world outside of me in much the same way women do.
Will time and E finish the job? Will they completely change my mental image to that of a woman's? I doubt it. As I said before I won't ever be a genetic woman. I don't have the past of one, I don't have the shared experiences most woman my age would have. I've never been a mom, I've never been some one's daughter or wife. No, the real question is how far will E and time take me. Far enough so these thoughts don't even matter anymore?
So now what?
So now I just wait, I wait for the thoughts to become less important. I wait for all the new experiences to pile up. I wait for Rick's old experiences to become less powerful then Dana's new ones.
So now what?
Now I wait for E keep doing her job. To change me mentally. M and I keep working on our new dynamic until it becomes us. Until it becomes our new normal. I use time to learn the ins and outs of running a business as a woman. I wait for K and all my FF friends to not see Rick anymore. To see their friend as Dana, and remember Rick as he was.
I wait for the time when I don't frame my experiences through the lens of being transgendered but through the lens of being a woman.