“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ― Winston Churchill
The above is blatantly and starkly true. For years, I let the pessimist in me hold me back. Finally, reaching rock bottom, I reached out for help and found a therapist who helped me find the “glass half full” perspective on things. I’ve taken that initial learning and begun to apply that to more and more parts of my life. And I also learned to admit that I can’t do things alone, reaching out for help, and finding it. And finally, I learned to let go of those who didn’t want to support me instead of obsessing over losing them. I realized they had walked away from me, not the other way around, so I let them go. Yes, it hurt but once I made that admission, that they no longer wanted me in their lives, I was able to heal from that hurt.
This all comes down to “adjust your attitude”.
I see many trans folk each day saying “I can’t” or “Soandso won’t let me” and the only ones who, in my opinion, can legitimately say that are our trans youth. They are stuck with their parents and whether or not their parents accept them. But if you are an adult, you get to choose. And sometimes we have to accept that we cannot have our cake and eat it too.
When it became apparent that further fighting my inner self was going to kill me, I finally relented. I have people to whom I gave decades of my life, and literally hundreds of thousands of dollars from my total earnings who now openly despise me. But I knew that I had to be me and if they could not accept me, that was their loss.
By adjusting my attitude, by seeing the “glass half full” as often as I can, I’ve managed to move steadily forward. I’m accepted as myself anywhere in public (except occasionally around a few people I knew from before). I am full time. My legal name is now Cara, not David. I am still professionally valued and supported at work.
By realizing that nothing comes easily, by focusing on “baby steps” (thank you Paula Ult, Mia, Carolyn, and so many more for that advice!!), I have accomplished far more than I ever expected and now am on the verge of getting even more done.
All of this stems from a change in attitude. I stopped arguing with myself. I stopped accepting society’s definitions for many things and as I did so, I learned that science had already walked away from those cultural falsehoods as well. I stopped letting my rational mind limit me. I stopped letting other people define me and chose to define myself, listening to my heart, my intuition, my inner sense of self. And in doing these things, I have found personal peace.
So if there is one piece of advice I would give to each person who is unsure of themselves, it is this – adjust your attitude! I know this is not easy, but until you do, you will be just like I was – foundering in your own self-doubts and fears.
P.S. Enjoy the journey!! “Don’t be concerned about reaching your destination. Enjoy the journey and the destination will take care of itself.” Jenny Marie