I have been meaning to start this blog for over two years, but now I finally feel I know enough about myself to make it worthwhile and meaningful.
May 2013, just three months short of my 60th birthday, I finally realised why my life had always seemed in some way “removed” from my own sense of being; I had been denying my innermost thoughts and feelings and, basically, lying to myself and everyone around me.
In my early 30’s I had been spending a lot of time with a work colleague, a young lady who was very open minded and easy to talk to, and through conversations that we had I finally plucked up the courage to say to her that I felt I wished I’d been born female. Unfortunately our lives took us in different directions very soon after this and we never got the opportunity to fully explore my feelings and desires before eventually losing touch altogether. Having no other outlet for such emotions they very soon went back “under cover”, to be wrapped in a mixture of confusion, shame and denial for another 30 years.
In my late 50’s and being unable to work due to some health issues I took to online games and eventually ended up playing Settlers Online and making friends there, and one day when I logged in a couple of my friends were in mid conversation and talking about something which made no sense to me. I inquired as to the subject matter and was told that they were talking about an online “virtual world”, Second Life.
“Second Life ?!”, I replied. “Why on earth would I want a second life ?… I’m having enough trouble with this one!”, words which, as it transpired, would very soon become particularly relevant.
After hearing more and more about Second Life I eventually decided to give it a go and spent a couple of weeks wandering around in strange and lonely places, occasionally running into other people and maybe chatting for a while, and one of my Settlers friends would sometimes log in and give me some advice and tips on how to get the most out of it. Being of the mindset at that time that I was not going to invest any “real” money into it, but also wanting to “improve” my life there in some way I decided to start afresh and replace my original avatar with something else, perhaps something more “me”.
I looked up the index of pre-built avatars and then realised that I could select both male and female. Ha! Why not ?!
The basic avatars in Second Life are nothing to write home about, but that didn’t matter as the one I selected came to form in front of me, because I experienced my life changing moment.
Seeing a projection of “myself” in female form for the first time was earth shattering for me. Fill in your own analogy here to describe the myriad of memories and emotions which came flooding out … “A seed pod bursting and sending its seeds scattering in all directions” .. “Dominoes in a never ending line falling one on the other”.
I stood dumbstruck for a few moments as the enormity of the revelation began to flow through me … THIS was where everything had been wrong all these years … THIS was why I had never been comfortable in myself. But most importantly, THIS defined for me who, or what, I really am and always have been inside …
I wandered around the living room in tears, sometimes crouching on my knees, my hands held to my face as those dominoes continued to topple, as some still do to this day. Initially the tears were not of sadness, they were of unbridled joy and relief, although they did become tinged at times with regret for all the wasted years.
In the two years or more since that day a lot has happened for me, both here in the real world and in Second Life, and although I have another blog in which I occasionally detail some of my Second Life experiences, this blog is going to be devoted to the real me … Tish … the Tish who will never be “Miss World”, but who is about to embark on her first solo excursion down town “en femme”, the Tish who is waiting for her second appointment at the Gender Identity Clinic where she is so desperate to be prescribed her hormones, the Tish who has made so many discoveries about herself over the past two years, and the Tish for who, at the age of 62, life is just beginning.
Please click the “Follow” button if you would like to join me on this journey, wherever it may lead, and to hear more of how I have developed a deeper knowledge of me as a “person” since the day my truth dawned.
Stay safe, and be true to yourself.