I enjoy reading posts by my fellow writers. Some of them are older than me and some are younger, but they often struggle with similar issues and offer really good insight on how to handle dysphoria and life in general. One of the issues that tends to come back is the age thing and the idea that “I should have been a success by now“. This idea is related to our perception of what “growing up” means.
When we are young, we always look forward. I remember doing the math and going like: “wow, in such and so year, I will be seventeen!“. I had this amazing vision of what I would be like at seventeen. I´d be supercool. Later on, in college, I sat through my first lecture. “Welcome to this University!” – they said, “you are now in the best university of this country and will graduate as the elite of your society“.
But guess what. It´s just a catchphrase. Every single school stands out for something in particular and will proclaim that you are the best, and that you will graduate as the cream of the crop. Notwithstanding, I know very few people who actually got jobs in the field they graduated from. Most of them moved on to something different. Some of them realized that it wasn´t their thing at all.
In life you try stuff, and when you trip and fall, you either continue trying (not always advisable) or you try something else. This search will continue until you are honestly, actually old. My point is that you will never be “done”, like a chicken on a grill. You will never achieve total perfection and this is a good thing. Life in general is about developing yourself, about finding out who you are.
We tend to imagine life as an upwards line that goes from youngster, to education, to degrees, and then awesome career. Much like wild animals, we expect ourselves to grow up after a certain period of time and then be adults. But other than the fact that you will now be of a certain maturity, and pay your rent and taxes, nothing much actually changes. Life will still be awkward and full of unexpected things.
I do not consider myself a success and I don´t think I ever will. The important thing is that people love me and support me, and I can do the same thing for them. At age thirteen, I never once thought that I would come out as transgender or do any of the other amazing things that I have done. Life has been painful and it has been a struggle, but it has been worth it. That´s all that matters.