Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Plan-Free Life

Fortunately he had nothing resembling a plan, so he didn't have to worry about things not working according to it. He simply let them happen, unable to make up his mind whether he was losing his judgment or finally developing some perspective.
- L. J. Davis, A Meaningful Life

When I read those words, I felt, Wow, that sounds like me. No plan, just letting life dictate where you're going. No stress, no frustrations. A simple life.

But if you don't proceed down the path that's in your heart, you wind up disengaged and demoralized. I was for 42 years. Making my plans in accordance of the whims of life, not having the courage to take advantage of the opportunities in front of me.

Some things you need to plan. When you know your vision has certain requirements, you need to at least plan the stages. Because my heart was pulling me to transition, I planned in baby steps. I knew what discouraged me, and set about preparing for the journey I seemed to be on. I assumed that I was going to stay on this path until I got there, so I needed to book the hotel rooms so to speak.

If I was going to go full time, I knew I was going to have to get rid of my beard. I researched for the most opportune way to do it. What I put together is that my best bet would be to have laser treatment for the most coverage followed by electrolysis for the stragglers. I also wanted to optimize the results and laser was expensive at the time, so I chose to wait a year and a half for the hormones to have their effects, knowing it was going to be more painful.

I also knew I needed practice presenting. As I was attending two meetings a month en femme, I started wearing casual female clothes at home on the weekends. I made mandatory stops before and after the meetings to see how people reacted, and was quite surprised when they didn't. I planned to do one full-female day a month on the weekend, and slowly add in more until I was full-time on the weekends. Then I would add in weekday evenings, and finally transition on the job.

Things didn't go according to plan, because opportunity knocked. I derailed at the point where I was doing my full-female day once a month. I found a church I could attend as myself, started rehearsing for The Vagina Monologues, and a few months after the performance lost my job. I was full-time while I sat at home searching for a job. I even went to one interview in Washington in a skirt suit. Finally, after a couple of phone interviews, my male side was offered a job in Kentucky contracting for a company that scored high on the HRC index. Once I moved, leaving my family behind, I decided this was the best moment to test if I had what it took. I made a deliberate effort to live full time outside of work, and after a couple of days of no incidents, I felt very natural.

5 1/2 months later after my move, I am ready to transition on the job. I just need to know which way my contract is going before I know which company to communicate through.

So as long as the wind is going in my favor, I can enjoy it, feeling the breeze on my back. But when my intuition tells me it's starting to blow too strong or in the wrong direction, I have to make quick plans lest I sail past my point or capsize.

And that is what the character in this story is doing. He has made a major transition in his life and finally feels the wind blowing meaning into it.

Hugs and God Bless,

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