2020 was a loooong year and I was really looking forward to flipping the calendar to 2021. I know changing the calendar was really only a psychological thing, though. However, it was still a little bit of a relief to be out of a really stressful year. There are more things to be positive and optimistic about in the next few months. Spring is sloooooowly on its way, vaccine distribution is getting better, and we are getting closer to a normal life day by day.
For many 2020 was a traumatic year and I don’t use that word lightly. Trauma is an interesting thing as we usually don’t see the impact of something until it is safe to react. When something horrible and scary is occurring our brains can shift to survival mode allowing us to simply survive what is happening and we can react emotionally to it when the threat of danger passes.
Last year we saw so many things we enjoy get put on hold, whether it was a vacation or celebrating an event or just going to the mall. The little things are important as it gives us something to look forward to. My life is filled with little things that I am excited about. But when these things aren’t an option, and it’s really unclear when we can plan something, then we realize how important they are to us.
As things start to improve, I am feeling less stressed, less anxious, less depressed. I feel the pressure and fear of last year ease its grip on me and I feel… lighter. Happier. The idea of walking around a museum this summer without a mask feels like it might actually happen. Again, its the small things.
But as the stress eases, I realize I am starting to process on an emotional level what the last year has been like. This is coinciding with getting older and feeling like I have less time to do the things I want to do more than ever before so it’s been real fun dealing with all of this. It’s not quite a mid-life crisis (at least it doesn’t feel like that) but it’s more about doing things that I want to do before it’s too late, and starting to prepare for the rest of my life. It’s like being in the eye of a hurricane. I feel calm while life and uncertainty whirl aggressively around me.
On a practical level this means making sure my affairs and finances are in order. I am not saying I am preparing my will or anything like that but when your eye doctor recommends bifocals it’s not hard to think about aging and everything that comes with that. You know, like death and making sure my wife is taken care of when that happens.
Goodness this is all so heavy for a Friday morning.
My point is that now that certain parts of life are slowly returning I can start planning things again. Or at least think about what I want to plan. Some of the things I want to do are a result of me thinking about what I want to do before it’s too late. Sure, I want to go out to dinner and try on dresses at the mall and these are things I want to do as life starts returning to normal, but what about the other things? The things I want to do while I still can? The big things, the milestone things. Part of life returning back to normal includes being able to travel again, but these days I am thinking about traveling en femme. Flying pretty is a big goal for myself. I should do that. I want to do that. I will do that. It might not be until next year when we can hopefully without a mask, but for the first time in a long time that opportunity feels more likely as each day passes.
As I get older I am more reflective and I look at things differently. And thanks goodness for that. I feel I am thinking about the smaller, more important things, but also about the big things, too. Over the last year I have really missed Hannah. I mean, I am always Hannah even in boy mode just as I am him when I am her. My clothes and attitude and confidence change as my presentation does but I can’t shut off my other gender, if that makes sense. My thoughts, feelings, emotions, hopes, fears are often jumbled together between my two genders.
This past year I’ve learned a lot and I have had a few revelations. How has this year changed you?