Friday, April 8, 2011

On the turning away

A wise person once said that we have friends for reasons, and for seasons, and for lifetimes. It seems that, with the new warm summer weather, my heart is entering a new season as well.

I have spent the last couple years on the periphery of a community of trans sisters, looking in. I have never been the life of the party, and have never enjoyed the spotlight, so lurking on the edge has been perfectly fine for me. I have added my two cents when I had something to add, and have enjoyed some sense of belonging - the first such feeling I have ever had in my life. And yet now, I find myself stepping away from that community, and turning in a different direction. I can't relate; I have nothing in common with most of them any longer.

Transition is a very different sort of experience from any other. As difficult as it is to understand while it's happening to oneself, looking in from the outside, I would guess that it is almost impossible to grasp. So, as the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Transitioning people seek one another to try to make sense of what is going on. For better or worse, a community forms around this crazy moth-into-butterfly activity which we have undertaken.

And then once it is done, when the changes are complete, what then? The people with whom we have associated and bonded and confided and laughed and cried for those many months, many of them have very different desires and likes and lives. And if we take a closer look, we find that there isn't anything we have to talk about - we're different people, who have been thrown together by happenstance. The circumstances have changed, so there is nothing holding us together.

I've seen several trans people who have basically disappeared after they finished with all their surgeries and big changes. They are done, and they just want to get on with their lives. Blog entries and video blogs become more and more infrequent. Their interaction with their transitioning community slows and eventually stops. The thing that has driven them for so long, to undertake this dramatic life change, is gone. They just don't have much more to say.

This is where I now find myself. I have driven over the precipice and lived to tell about it, and yet I haven't the slightest desire to tell the story. I've already told it; it's here, for all to read. I don't need to think about it any longer. There is no more danger. My heart can rest, and I can breathe, and live, and just be.


D. W. said...

Your timing of this post could not be more appropriate for me. As I type this, I have about four hours left of pretending to be that other person - once I get off work today He is gone.

Three years ago, when I took the first steps on the path to where I stand today, I didn't understand how people did "the turning away." Now I can see that day coming for me. I'm already at the point of largely keeping only connections who I find interesting for other reasons, and my involvement in the local trans community is down to just two places.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post and congratulations.