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Laura1951:
November 27, 2021

Today marks the first anniversary of Laura living authentically full-time.  My journey is far from over, and while i never imagined i'd travel this far, I'm glad was able to experience Laura's new life. This begins a multi-part series where i reflect on the past year, one where i experienced happiness and pain, close friendship and loneliness, and several important steps forward in my transition.

One Year Full-Time Anniversary: A Reflection in Several Parts

When i came out to myself and my therapist five and a half years ago,  I knew the journey would be long and challenging but i had great difficulty imagining being Laura 24/7. Now celebrating my first anniversary of living authentically, there's so much to reflect upon. It's been a year of making grand steps forward, feeling both accepted and bullied, experiencing  brief periods where I pass but daily occurrences where people clock me and stare, making new best friends while discovering the ugliness in some people, briefly seeing Laura in pictures while rarely seeing her in the mirror, and where both my wildest dreams and my worst nightmares have come true. Going full-time is a leap of faith for all of us. Despite the challenges i face and the fear that accompanies me every day, my blessings are many. I continue to hold my head high, to try to see the best in people, to celebrate the little victories, and to be a role model for our community, all while trying to keep fear at bay.  Despite the past year's events that pushed me towards the rabbit hole, I regret nothing. Going full-time was the right decision. As my blog signature says, "When you’re ready, start living your truth. That’s when the magic happens."

On the Decision to Stay

During the summer of 2020, I had just begun coming out to a few tennis friends and Laura's need to exist had reached a point where she wanted to be seen. It was months before my FFS, and while i was projecting a spring 2021 start to Laura's new life, I had strong concerns. Could i survive in a community that received a D- for their lack of support for the LGBT community? Could i ever "pass" and blend into the crowd, or would i forever be clocked and stared at? Knowing that many MTFs move to a new city to begin their new lives, I started the Should I Stay, or Should I Go  thread, hoping to find wisdom and advice from those who came before me. The responses i received were detailed and so helpful, giving me much more information for my decision.

 Last week, i stepped outside as the sun was setting to admire the Christmas lights i'd set up on the house and in the yard. Spotting a neighbor who was just finishing putting up his lights, i walked over to strike up a conversation, something <deadname> had a harder time doing. As i chatted with his wife, i mentioned that i was closing in on my one-year anniversary, how much i loved my neighborhood what with all the kids who play in the street and in our yards, and my decision to stay. She replied that she was glad i stayed too. That pretty much sums up why i didn't move. At the time, a year ago, despite my insecurities and my fear of not passing, i was embraced by those with whom i had wanted approval. That was the closing argument for staying.

Part II tomorrow.

Onward.

Laura

Oldandcreaky:
FYI, Laura, we have the same hair, i.e. the same color and cut. White hair is so pretty!

I remember advising you to mosey. You didn't take my advice and I'm glad that's worked for you.

Laura1951:

--- Quote from: Oldandcreaky on November 27, 2021, 09:15:05 am ---FYI, Laura, we have the same hair, i.e. the same color and cut. White hair is so pretty!

I remember advising you to mosey. You didn't take my advice and I'm glad that's worked for you.

--- End quote ---

I agree that white hair rocks, @OldAndCreaky. I loved my sandy blond hair, but I'm embracing my current color. Regarding your moving advice last year, your input and advice gave me much to think about for which I'm thankful. I probably could have avoided some of the larger problems I had this past year had I moved, but when taking everything into consideration, I'm glad I stayed.

Laura

Oldandcreaky:
You can always move at any point, should you choose. I've lived on both coasts, in at least 15 towns in the Midwest, and most recently, in five places in New England. I have a neighbor who was born in his house and he'll die there too. I can't imagine knowing so little of this big, beautiful country as he knows.

Your silver sister,

O&C

Northern Star Girl:
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
I have been eagerly anticipating reading about some of your previously disclosed trials and tribulations... 
...and especially your rewarding experiences as you have navigated your transition journey into
Full Time and staying in your present town.

I liked reading your following statement that sums up your wise decision regarding "staying" and
not "going" .....
  "As i chatted with his wife, i mentioned that i was closing in on my one-year anniversary, how much i loved my neighborhood what with all the kids who play in the street and in our yards, and my decision to stay. She replied that she was glad i stayed too. That pretty much sums up why i didn't move. At the time, a year ago, despite my insecurities and my fear of not passing, i was embraced by those with whom i had wanted approval. That was the closing argument for staying."

Now that I read your 1st posting in your 3 or 4 part series I am now looking forward to reading your
next installment, Part 2 in your series.
HUGS and continued best wishes, 
Danielle

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