Live Your Truth, by Grace Stevens
Maybe yes…maybe no.
Whether they were referring my gender transition to live my true self at 64, or the 9 hours of facial surgery that provided me the peace of mind essential to that leap, at no time did I feel either brave or courageous. As I said in No! Maybe? Yes! Living My Truth:
Skydivers and base jumpers look forward to jumping into the void. Perhaps they are adrenaline junkies and get a great "rush" both leading up to and during their flight through the air. The people who do this love their rush, but they are also secure in their skills and their equipment and they--I hope--fully understand the risks they are taking and have a pretty good idea where they are planning to land.
I too, was reaching the edge of a cliff and was preparing to take a leap. However I did not have a parachute strapped to my back. No matter how much I was preparing to take this leap, I had no equipment, no security and had no idea where I would land!
I knew that the risks included leaving everything and everyone behind, and that I had no guarantee what would still be there. I also knew that for the first time in my life, I chose to live my own life, not the one that others wanted for me, or the one I thought others wanted for me, or the one that the culture was telling me I was supposed to live.
Some months after my transition, my youngest son called. He was living and teaching in a middle school in Tucson Arizona. He shared there were many men in their fifties who kept repeating stories about how they got married young and never really got to do what they wanted to do.
My son then shared with me that he did not want to get to be my age and realize he had gone down the wrong path in life.
Apparently my leap, my transition to live my truth had an impact on my son, to inspire him to live his true life.
It took me years of internal battling with all of my inner voices and the pain of losing every one of those battles before I found the inner strength to acknowledge that I was the only one who knew what was best for me. When I was on the edge of that “cliff” and ready to leap, I did not feel brave or courageous. I only felt that this was my truth and I no longer had the choice to deny it. I jumped!
As Viktor Frankl says in his classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning:
Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.