Happiness

Ok, so I have finally decided that the time was right for me to step up and say something here.  

Why are so many of us so afraid to feel happy?  It is guilt?  Is it that nagging feeling that everything is in the process of falling, or about to fall apart?  Do we worry so much about everyone else that we lose sight of ourselves through all of this?

Yes, transition is a stressful and often painful thing.  But why do we do it?  To be ourselves of course, but also to find personal happiness.  I find that far too often we spend the majority of our time talking about the negatives of transition and how bad things are either for ourselves or the others around us.  I’m not discounting the fact that many people lose everything to this, but in the end are we not happier than when we began?  And if not, why?

I can truly say that before transition I did not know what happiness really was.  I may have thought I did, but I really didn’t.  If I recall all of the times I thought I was happy, none of them hold a candle to how I feel now.  Now before I go on I should probably mention a few things for those who don’t know.  I’m 33 years old, MTF, been transitioning since September 2007, and have been on HRT for 7 weeks.

In the last week or so I have begun to see the world in a different way, and begun to thing differently about things.  Difficult to articulate all that I feel right now, but the overriding thing has been the tremendous amount of joy and happiness I am feeling.  Granted I have been much happier than ever before since beginning transition, but the last little while has been completely off the scale.  

It feels like living inside joy.  As if joy itself were something tangible that you could just reach out and grab!  I have my share of challenges and difficulties through all of this, but I am so happy with my life now that is doesn’t get me down for very long anymore.  I see my future, and its very bright.

People have often accused me of seeing things in an overly positive light.  To that I say, “Why not?”  Keeping a positive attitude about things has truly saved my life.  I wake up everyday and tell myself how amazing it is to be alive, and how great the day is going to be.  And you know what?  It usually is.

Take today for example.  I was standing in the flower section of my local supermarket looking for fresh flowers for my Mom when I was approached by a very nice man who, to make a long story short, told me I was beautiful and asked if I would be interested in grabbing a coffee with him at the cafe in the store.  Now even though I turned him down, it made my whole day to get that kind of attention!  It let me know that I really have arrived and my path is the right one.

So I say take the time to feel the happiness and joy that transition brings to you.  After suffering through all the dark years that we do, I think we deserve to let ourselves be happy.  Don’t let the fear and guilt stop you.  Life is too short for that.  Don’t you agree?

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9 Responses

  1. I think messages of hope and encouragement are good, but I caution you against simply assuming that people — transgender or otherwise — can just choose to be happy and become happy. Don’t assume that platitudes are enough for all people to be full of joy.

    I’m just asking you to be a little more compassionate here. You ask questions about why people might be unhappy, but instead of listening, your post charges along to basically lecture everyone that if you’re happy, they should be happy too. But it doesn’t work that way, regardless of transition. Not everyone is unhappy simply because they are “letting fear and guilt stop them.”

    Keep up the encouragement, but less lecturing, fewer platitudes, and more listening, please.

  2. I find it funny (funny strange, not funny ha ha) that we don’t always feel comfortable sharing our happiness with others. I know that at times I’ve felt bad for posting publicly about how great my family has been about my transition, or my workplace, or even just how much I love my hair. I feel like I’m bragging or something. But I don’t have any problem at all whining about my height. Maybe we all do the same thing, and that’s why we seem like such a miserable lot.

    Mostly, though, I think it’s because transition is hard. And because we set it up as the storybook ending and when it doesn’t solve all of our problems, we’re crushed with disappointment, at least for a while. Once in a while we do need to be told to stop and smell the roses.

  3. Happiness is such an abstract concept! Everyone has a different view of what happiness is and what makes them happy, and it seems that some people find it hard to relate to other people’s happiness at times. Of course, you know the old saying, “misery loves company”. I’m just as bad with that as the next person, I like to whine about “woe is me” but that’s seldom productive for me or anyone else around me.
    I will say that, like Breannarose, I’m generally happier now then I have been in a long time. I’m “impatiently content” with my transition, and I’m not really very concerned about what my family thinks about my transition, most of them have not been part of my life for a number of years anyway. Being single with adult children makes it much easier to transition, my responsibilities have been fulfilled, and I can get on with my personal life without those concerns. I think a person needs to have as positive of an attitude as possible, like Breanna says, why not? If you go far enough the other way, you might end up eating a bullet in a deep slump of depression, I know, I was almost there several times. I’ll choose to be happy, thank you!

  4. For me there seems to be a more important need at work first, and that’s survival. I know I’m doing what I feel I must, and that is contrary to what my spouse desires. Transitioning at my pace hopefully gives us both the opportunity to understand how we both can achieve happiness whether it’s together or apart. I will say that a certain level of contentment and relief was felt soon after beginning hrt. But I feel it’s just a step in the right direction.

  5. Lori, Are you sure that the path you are on is “contrary to what [your] spouse wants”? I suspect you’ve already had this conversation, probably many times, but I’m sure that, if you asked her, she would say that what she wants most of all is for you to be happy and to find a way to live in peace and joy. I’m also sure that she would say, as I know you would, that, if there was any way for you to achieve that, other than transitioning, that’s what you both would prefer. However, you are both beginning see that there IS no other way and that realization and all that it implies is painful for both of you. Nonetheless, I don’t think that your wife would have stayed with you through all that has happened over the last year and a half or so if what you were doing is truly “contrary to what [she] wants.” I urge you, and her, not to confuse the pain you feel at the prospect of transitioning with opposition.

    All my blessings,
    Abby

  6. Of course, I know that you want the same things for your wife. But, as you are rapidly learning, sacrificing the possibility of your own peace and happiness, so that she can continue to live the life she has lived and hoped to continue to live for the rest of her, and your, life, will never work. The pain of the current circumstances is extreme for both of you, but the only way past that pain is through; it cannot be bypassed. On the other side, however, lies the promise of peace, harmony and joy for both of you.

    I know I’ve said this to you before, but it bears repeating here: If there had been any way to avoid the many, many painful lessons of my life that led me to where, and who, I am today, and the peace and joy that I have found here, I would have chosen them. But the fact is that, I HAD no other choice and, so, I will be forever grateful for each and every one of those lessons. For whatever reasons, this has been my path and I am eternally grateful for where it has led me.

    Blessings,
    Abby

  7. “Now a life of leisure and a pirates treasure
    Don’t make much for tragedy
    But its a sad man my friend who’s living in his own skin
    And cant stand the company
    Every fools got a reason to feeling sorry for himself
    And turn his heart to stone
    Tonight this fools halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
    And I feel like I’m coming home”

    –Bruce Springsteen, “Better Days”

    For the last several years, I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been. Transition and all. For some reason, my therapist has it in her head that my declarations along those lines are a little bit forced, a little bit defensive, but screw it, I’m generally in a pretty good mood. Yay me.

  8. I’m pleased for you, but for me happiness goes only to those who pass. I get so much abuse because I do not pass. With that in mind, i feel happiness is a forlorn hope, for me at least. Also, my family abandoned me over 2 years ago, which does not help,

    Stephanie

  9. Define true happiness: I awake each morning thanking god that I am no longer sick, that my cyst wasn’t cancerous and my transition hasn’t stopped.

    Also I have achieved some of the most wonderful girlfriends a woman as myself could ever want. That is true happiness for me.

    Happy New Year Girls

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