I'm 44. That means that for probably the last 36 years I have been conscious that my body's gender does not match the gender of my brain/thoughts/soul/self. And, probably for the last three decades, I've known that at least some people are actually able to do something about that problem - to reconcile their body and mind, and to live publicly that way. I can't. Not yet. I'm the one ultimately holding myself back. I mean, yes there would be all kinds of consequences, some friends lost, some family estranged and so on. But in the end it's my decision whether or not I'm brave enough to deal with all of that. I can't blame anyone else for that. I guess I haven't quite got up the courage yet.
In the meantime, it occupies my thoughts any time I am not actively thinking about something else and let my guard down. I have the fortune and misfortune of living in the same (relatively small) city as my 20-something kids as well as my parents. Either are prone to drop by without much or any notice, and I'm unwilling to attempt to come up with an excuse to prevent that. I mean, as long as they've known me, my house has been open to them any time of day or night. Why should that suddenly change? That would probably set off all kinds of alarm bells in their minds anyway. Of course, that means even when I think I have a bit of time to put myself in a fully female frame of mind and state of dress, my heart is pounding and I mentally rehearse "escape routes" planned to scramble to a lockable room where I can quickly get re-dressed in drab, should I hear the front door lock turning. That is tiring. Getting ready to go to bed each night and waking up each morning looking in the mirror at sadly male visage is tiring.
But the point of this post is actually not to dwell on the negative. When I pop those little estrogen pills or anti-andogens in my mouth, I get a little zap of happy energy. I posted about Rocksmith a little while ago. In those moments when I am 99% sure that I won't be interrupted, I can get a heck of a lot of positive energy rocking out as a girl - whether that means short skirts or tight shiny leggings, high boots or high heels (or both), etc. That re-energizes me. When I wake up early enough that no one else in my family would be awake for hours, much less consider driving over for whatever reason, I do my exercise routine in running tights or yoga pants and a sports bra or bra top. That can often give me the positive mental energy to get me through another day of living in the wrong gender. And, to be perfectly candid, I can also get a little boost of the positive when I take advantage of nights when my dear wife is out of town on business, and I can sleep and perhaps play with myself sexually, as a female.
So yes, it is tiring and hard to stay stealthed, and yes, I still think I'll eventually need to transition publicly for my continued (?) sanity :-). But for now, I have ways to keep myself going.