Expectations are the vampires of life. Draining the joy from spectacular moments, bringing sorrow to those merely good times and striking paralyzing fear into those about to venture forth into the unknown. Expectations are insidious and relentless.
As transgendered women our lives are filled with crippling expectations. From the earliest times we toyed with the idea of wearing woman’s clothes, expectations haunted our every thought. I can’t buy it, they’ll laugh at me. I can’t tell my parents, they’ll disown me. I can’t go out in public, the shame would be unbearable. Most of our worst fears never come true, but expectations hold us captive.
Then we overcome over fears, we venture out for the first time as our true selves and a whole new slew of expectations take hold. We expect every moment to be as magical, every outing to be wonderful, thrilling and joyful. And we miss out on the beauty of this moment. We’re disappointed that it’s just good, comfortable and liberating.
As of recently, I’m three months full time as a woman. That’s every day, every moment living my true authentic self. While it’s brought along it’s share of ups and downs, mostly it’s been wonderful. Every time I stop to think about my life, I’m amazed that it took me so long to make the leap. I think back to all the expectations I had – how transitioning would affect my job, my family, my friends. Everything I would lose, everything I would mourn. I expected that life would be lonely and difficult as I struggled up the parched hillside to claim my self. My expectations froze me in place and denied me the joy I now experience. I have deepened my best friendships, discovered new friends and for the first time I know what it’s like to be needing and needed.
At the start of every class, my yoga teacher tells us to set aside expectations. To honor where your body is today, and to experience each moment as it happens. As I finish this post, I urge you to do the same. Honor your journey where it is today. Live each moment to fullness, without regret or fear. Let the expectations of your path in womanhood slip away and give yourself the gift of just being.
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