[Published retroactively on 2021-09-03, with only trivial edits for privacy.]
Slowly putting things into place. Skipped work today. Going to take the weekend to square away as much as I can. Setting up a definite plan of action for starting HRT. Researching name and gender marker change laws; at the moment it's looking like I'm going to want a lawyer. Working out who I need to talk to and in what order so I can come out completely at work. Planting the first seeds for my eventual exit from [the industry I work in], into whatever lies beyond.
I didn't expect to be 33 years old and having to learn how to get dressed all over again.
I observed today that I don't really feel any kind of response to the idea of HRT being, essentially, a medical ritual I have to do every day for the rest of my life (effectively). I don't even think of that as a meaningful thing, because I made peace with taking pills every day, like a fucking decade-plus ago.
I had a brief moment of excitement earlier, thinking about vocal training. I grew up speaking a tonal language – and, if I may permit myself a rare moment of utterly self-absorbed gloating, I frequently impressed native speakers. I should have phenomenal control over my voice frequency, right? Oh, yeah, dumbass, you haven't spoken that language at all since before you finished puberty. What a weird and oddly exciting little scene in my head... how totally unusual is all this?
I've unquestionably crossed some kind of threshold. My dysphoric thoughts and general discomfort from gendered things have changed in texture; I don't wonder who I am or what I should be doing anymore. There's a clarity and intensity of purpose now. When I feel bad, it's specifically because something "tangible" doesn't properly reflect that I'm a girl.
But it isn't totally a foregone conclusion. I can still lapse back into the paralyzed uncertainty, or even the decades of socialized habits that are coded male. I still have to fight, internally, to keep sight of me. I know the truth, and I'm starting to really invest heavily in manifesting that truth, but it isn't... automatic I suppose?
It's the difference between "knowing" in the sense of "information that I can call to mind and easily regard as true" and "knowing" in the sense that people get gravity. Push someone over a small ledge and they will react very specifically – not because they "know" that there is some sort of downward-trending blah blah whatever the fuck. You shove someone off a curb and they will react to catch themselves. Automatically. Reflexively. They're not suspended there in midair for a moment thinking about Newton and whether or not those inches of height differential will be meaningful. They fucking know gravity.
Anyways, I'm still learning to know that I am Amelia.
For now, at least, I have to be careful. If I let off the gas too much I will slow down, and this week has proven that I can slow down too much. Fortunately, no real serious consequences, just a lot of inner turmoil and soul-searching and a few hours of PTO from work.
And I'm getting a lot better, at... most of life, really. It's easier to find motivation to do things. Easier to gently untangle from the snarls of over-analysis and injured thought that have come to overrun my mind over the years. Easier to maintain that momentum and stay excited by the ongoing revelation of who I am – not just to me, but to everyone.
Easier to be kind to myself when things don't quite line up the way I want.
Easier to remember that I just want to care about people, even me, and start dismantling the accumulated habits of my life before. Easier to resist the judgment and psychoanalyzing I would have subjected myself to over those habits, and just... move on. I want to grow the kind, considerate, and helpful girl. I don't need to dissect the other stuff. I just need to love her and take care of her.