Author Topic: It takes courage ...  (Read 2448 times)

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Jamie D

It takes courage ...
« on: November 05, 2013, 01:17:40 pm »
The poet E. E. Cummings once wrote,

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."

Discuss

Doctorwho?

Re: It takes courage ...
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 01:33:17 pm »
For sure and absolutely NOT just in gender context either.

I find some of what I am doing in my medical training ffffing TERRIFYING!

The feeling of having so much responsibility and having to deal with huge traumatic events whilst keeping professional detachment and objectivity.

The requirement to almost daily deal with blood, pus, vomit, guts, and other unspeakables, without letting it affect one.

The requirement to memorise VAST tracts of information in almost NO TIME at all - and then submit for monthly examinations in the knowledge that a single score of less than 65% in ANY exam over the 4 years could abruptly end the whole thing.

The fact that anyone tackling the 4 year accelerated course that I am on is constantly tired, constantly rushing, and constantly on the go in an unremitting schedule. Mostly though the fact that I'm doing this in my 50's because I was too scared to try in my 20's when most people do it...

All of these things scare the bejesus out of me! And yet it is who I am and I do have to do it! If I don't I will never grow up, and will die never having become whom I was meant to be.

Offline Sephirah

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Re: It takes courage ...
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 01:38:03 pm »
I think I would change that slightly. Something along the lines of:

It takes courage to find yourself, wisdom to know yourself, tenacity to see yourself, and integrity to be yourself.

Not sure about the growing up part. Sometimes that's not always necessary, lol. There's a lot to be said for that childlike inquisitiveness. :P
"It's hard to light a candle, easy to curse the dark instead." ~ Nightwish: Last Ride Of The Day

Offline Tanya W

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Re: It takes courage ...
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 02:06:44 pm »
I remember being about twenty-two years old and sitting at a kitchen table with a friend. We were having tea, the two of us. Much of the time was spent in silence, staring out the window as morning light warmed it's way through the fog that had rolled in overnight. I had been asked what I want most from life and was giving this question some thought.

"I want," I eventually replied, "the script of my life. I want to know how I am supposed to be, what I am supposed to do, and when I am supposed to do it." It was a sincere answer. As such, it was also terribly revealing. I wanted reference points that long ago day. I wanted blueprints and guarantees, templates and certainty. I wanted at the very least a road map that said, 'You're on the right track.' A compass that always pointed north.

I wanted - and still do in many ways.

The difference is, of course, that two decades have passed since that morning and after all this time I am beginning to understand there are no set reference points or compasses, not really. Not really. There is, instead, life - just life - and what she asks of me. To engage an unusual line of work, for instance. To care for a whirlwind of a daughter. To make the bed and take out the trash. To say, 'I am transgender' and figure out what comes next...

Realizing this life is my only guide is, I guess, growing up. Following this guidance is becoming who I really am. Both are about the most difficult companions I have ever encountered. Remaining even the least bit true to them requires every bit of courage I can muster - sometimes even more!

Thanks for encouraging this line of consideration, Jamie. As I was typing, my SAA sponsor (Sex Addicts Anonymous) called up. In the course of our conversation, he told me of some very difficult steps he had decided to take in his life. 'It's time to grow up,' he said. 'I need to be who I am.' I read the Cummings' quote and he was both surprised by and appreciative of the timing. I was inspired by his embodiment of Cummings' words.
 
'Though it is the nature of mind to create and delineate forms, and though forms are never perfectly consonant with reality, still there is a crucial difference between a form which closes off experience and a form which evokes and opens it.'
- Susan Griffin

ErinM

Re: It takes courage ...
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 02:20:37 pm »
I think I would change that slightly. Something along the lines of:

It takes courage to find yourself, wisdom to know yourself, tenacity to see yourself, and integrity to be yourself.

Not sure about the growing up part. Sometimes that's not always necessary, lol. There's a lot to be said for that childlike inquisitiveness. :P

That's where I find the greatest challenge. Gender and transition aside, I find myself trying to figure out who I am as a person. Everything else just seems to be logistical.

Offline suzifrommd

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Re: It takes courage ...
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 05:02:15 pm »
We're encouraged, aren't we, to conform to other people's expectations of us. The way people think a a middle-aged male-bodied person is supposed to behave, e.g. It starts at a young age. I remember people making fun of my musical tastes (because I liked girly music, though I didn't interpret it that way at the time. I just couldn't figure out what was wrong with Helen Reddy...)

Every year at the first meeting of the gay/straight alliance I sponsor at our school, I talk about the pressure to "be someone else other than who you are" and urge them to let our club be the one place where, once a week, people can be free to be who they are.

I agree with some other people said, though, that it isn't a matter of growing up. In my case, I needed the childlike sense of of possibility to even consider living my life as a different gender.
Have you read my short story The Eve of Triumph?

Offline VeronicaLynn

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Re: It takes courage ...
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 05:51:37 pm »
I had to write a paper on him in my high school English class. I got knocked down a whole letter grade for correctly quoting critics and encyclopedia articles that did not capitalize his name, as he often did not. Really took away from my appreciation of his work.

I did appreciate his nonconformance to capitalization and punctuation rules, trivial as those might be compared to gender norms.

Offline insideontheoutside

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Re: It takes courage ...
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 12:20:30 am »
Oh that whole growing up thing ... it's over rated. ;)

"Let's conspire to ignite all the souls that would die just to feel alive."

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