It’s Friday morning and I’m having coffee with my FF friends at Starbucks for the first time in a few weeks. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, both work wise and to enjoy a nice vacation. So, this is the first gossip hour lunch I’ve had in a while. As always we talk about the usual stuff, kids, TV, clothes, just everyday things. Towards the end of the hour one of my friends asked how M and I are doing. Normally this is just a throw away line and you’d just answer fine and move on, but I know she means ‘how is M doing with my transition’. I tell them M is doing great and that the vacation was just what we needed. That it was the first time in the transition that we were really taken by everyone as just two women who happen to be a couple. That it was nice to have a glimpse of our future and that no one so much as looked at me twice. I told her that no one on our cruise ever thought I used to be a man. So she tells me that I seem to be blending in to everyday life, that no one in the store has looked at me funny and that she doesn’t think anyone even suspects.
Needless to say I was thrilled to hear that. A little later on I was thinking about that and then it occurred to me, I didn’t notice. I was sitting there at Starbucks surrounded by housewives laughing and giggling for over an hour and I never once looked around the store to see if anyone read me. And it’s not the first time. More and more I don’t seem to care.
I’m not sure ‘care’ is the right word. It’s not that I don’t care; it’s more that it’s become a needless chore. It’s only been a few months now but people just don’t see it. It's like why bother. I suppose I mean my brain has grown tired of scanning rooms and faces for that telltale giggle or double take. If no one is noticing, why spend all the effort to look for it?
And if I back up and look at the bigger picture, I can see it happening with everyday life too. More and more I’ll do some simple thing, some mundane thing thousands of women do every day, and afterwards I’ll look back and think oh my God, I’m a woman.
For years now, getting through the day meant analyzing every move, and every thought, to filter it through a man’s filter. To make sure I lived as a man would, acted as a man would, and talked as a man would. I don’t think I ever realized how much effort it took from me, how much effort it drained away.
But now, just a few months into full time that effort is gone. More and more I just walk through my day. I spend less and less time everyday making sure I’m doing the right thing, saying the right thing, walking the right way. My filter is gone now, and I just do what I need to do.
I've said before how much happier I am now, how I'm happier now then I ever knew I could be. Life is also just easier now. I'm not talking about work, or M, or the kids, or any of the things you work at throughout the day. Sure I have bad days at work. I still have thousands of things that need to be done yesterday. But I'm not working as hard just to get through the day. 'Being' is easier now.
H was asking about me a few days ago. He just wanted to know how I'm doing and if I was still OK. A curious thought popped in my head. I'm actually looking forward to the rest of my life. I go to sleep excited about tomorrow and I just want it to hurry up and get here so I can do another day as Dana.
Life is good. I'm happy. I have my bad days, and there is still a long path ahead of me, but the days are too short and I'm excited about doing it all over again tomorrow.