There are moments and events in our lives that change us. Some of them are meant to teach us important life lessons. Some of them rewrite who we were meant to be. Some shake us to the core, and remind us that life is too short. It is important to reflect on each and every one of them, so we don’t miss the underlined message. So we learn, grow and evolve as humans. I have been reflecting lately on the last two years. Looking for my lesson within my wife’s transition. This is what I have concluded.
“When I try and put myself in my wife’s shoes, I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in the wrong body.”
The first thing that comes to my mind is perspective. Most of us walk through life complaining about things like the weather, our jobs and our in-laws. When I try and put myself in my wife’s shoes, I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in the wrong body. To feel one hundred percent woman but see something totally different when I look in the mirror. To sometimes fall victim to depression and dysphoria. It makes me feel like my day-to-day gripes are insignificant. Complaining about sitting in traffic for an hour seems petty.
I often speak about and sometimes write about how brave I think my wife is. The second thing that comes to my mind is courage. In order to look your spouse and family in the face and come out takes great courage. In order for a transgender person to become who they were meant to be they undergo a total transformation. In essence, totally destroying the life they knew to rebuild the life that they should have lived all along. Transition is a huge undertaking that takes a certain level of bravery. Personally, I don’t think I could have done the same.
The third thing that comes to mind is our own individual journey. We have all gone on our own journey to get to where we are as adults. As children we gain knowledge through our experiences and being raised one gender or another. The last few years I have tried to do things with my wife that she couldn’t do as a child, things that she missed out on. Being raised male, she wasn’t able to play with dolls, paint her nails or wear pretty dresses. All simple things that almost every girl gets to experience. I get great satisfaction in watching her do all kinds of things for “the first time” as her authentic self.
“Showing another human kindness and compassion costs us nothing and takes very little effort.”
The fourth thing that comes to my mind is being kind. It’s a simple notion but it goes further than you may think. Kind not to only our friends, family, and coworkers but people we come in contact with everyday. You never know another person’s life story, where they have been or what they have experienced in their lives. Showing another human kindness and compassion costs us nothing and takes very little effort.
The last thing that comes to mind is being grateful. We have such little time on this planet. I have learned to stop and appreciate the things that I have and not yearn for the things that I don’t. Being married to my best friend who loves me unconditionally and I her. We have three smart, beautiful, and healthy daughters. I have a roof over my head and food on the table. Days when the sun is shining and I can enjoy the outdoors. The occasional snow storm when we are all snowed in the house together with a roaring fire. I am grateful for all of it.