Triumph is a quiet thing. There is a beauty in the stillness, but also a loneliness. The noise of distress had been a companion for so long…
That is the only thing I’ve written in the last two weeks. I’ve been relishing my recent progress. I was planning on expanding on it tonight. Then I got punched in the gut this morning.
I had forgotten my exile.
My entire life I have struggled with masculine identity. The last 2 decades I have been actively working on it, the past few years the pace has quicken, the last few months the changes in my self perception have been nothing short of astonishing.
This morning my trainer and I were talking about identity. He commented that there was a time when I couldn’t have spoken to a man like him, a straight muscle head. I corrected him, I wouldn’t even have allowed myself in his presence. I went to extremes to avoid being near what I wanted so desperately to be.
I wanted to fit in, maybe even to been someone other guys looked up to. But the bottom line is I just wanted to belong, to be comfortable with other guys. I was terrified I would be discovered as the imposter I knew I was. Deep inside I was so Other.
Today I remembered that desperation, that bleak loneliness I could never speak of.
I had things going for me, I was smart, artistically gifted and resourceful. I was average height and weight, not cute nor hideous. But I was isolated in a shame driven vacuum. I couldn’t let anyone know. Without revealing my failings it wouldn’t have made sense. What I didn’t have was any real boy in me, no hope of it, no chance. That fact was welded to my soul.
Now that I am mostly on the other side, I can see all the time wasted and that hit me hard. I could have been doing this all along. I went to bed excited last night because I had dips in my workout today. I wake up looking forward to the challenges of my training program. This is part of who I am. I try to do my best, but that almost doesn’t matter. I am being in my life. Ironically despite what I thought, I am a real boy.