What can I say about this past year? It has been a rebirth, a whole new life, the most exciting time of my life, an amazing experience. I won't rehash all the experiences that attended getting here, I've covered that pretty thoroughly already, but it is appropriate to say that this year has been more wonderful than anything I could have imagined. I smile nearly all the time now. There is a lightness to my spirit that long-time friends find remarkable. In some ways I am the same person I ever was, and in other ways I am completely new. All the memories, knowledge, experience, and core values are still there; more vivid in many cases, but I am also an utterly new person; happier, much more confident, more optimistic, more hopeful, more giving, more relaxed, completely comfortable in my own skin for the first time. I'm a much better person in so many ways than I have ever been. I know now that I was always female. I grew up as a little girl trying very hard to pretend to be a boy, without great success, terrified that someone might catch a glimpse of her. The kids that called me names, and worse, were often quite cruel, but in reality they knew me better than I knew myself. This year has been both a wondrous new life for me, and a rediscovery of that little girl that had hidden even from herself. I can now finally embrace that little girl. I love her so, and I love the woman she has finally grown into, with all my heart!
As I count down the days till my surgery next year, everything seems surreal. That miracle that I cried myself to sleep wishing for when I was little, is coming true! Except that it isn't happening as an overnight magical experience as I once imagined it might. I'm not quite waking up to discover that my old life was just some awful nightmare, and yet I have, except the nightmare was like years of sleepwalking, and now the magic is happening in slow motion, so you can see all the magician's secrets unfold. There are just as many tears as before, perhaps even more, but they're all tears of joy now, indescribable, overwhelming, incredulous at the wonder of it all. I praise my God every day for the gift of this life, and all the amazing friends who happily celebrate it with me. I could easily feel heartbroken at all the years I've lost, but I'm much too busy living the years I've regained. My fondest wish today is that I can somehow help others wake up from their secret nightmare, hopefully years sooner than I did. Life is much too wonderful to spend it hiding. -- Theresa