Now that I’ve been a year on testosterone, I’ve had a lot of time for self-reflection. This year has not been as easy as I thought it would be. Transitioning has consumed more of my mental energy than I ever thought it would. When I first began transitioning, I was a full-time student, working a part-time job (~20 hours a week), and volunteering in a research lab (~20 hours a week). On top of all that, I spent A LOT of free time doing research on trans related things: reading blogs, reading scientific journal articles, watching videos, etc. I had also been accepted into my department’s contiguous B.S./M.S. program with the intention of completing a thesis by June 2014. It was overwhelming and exhausting.
Slowly, I began to realize it was probably too much for me. I couldn’t do ALL the things that I wanted to do. I quit my part-time job to focus more on research for my thesis. Even then, I felt stressed out. I kept thinking about how little time and relatively little guidance I had towards my thesis. By the end of November, I convinced myself that it would be impossible for me to complete my thesis by graduation time in June, but kept pushing along thinking that somehow I would pull through.
In August, I started CrossFit. As I got more into it, I began to realize how much all the stress was negatively impacting my health, both mentally and physically. In January, I officially quit my research position and decided that I would just take the comprehensive exam for my M.S. instead. Instantly, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. I was finally able to take the time I’ve been needing for self-care. I think what made the final push was attending T*Camp at the beginning of January. It made me realize definitively that my health was more important than trying to do ALL the things. I figured I should take this opportunity to really focus on myself while I could. It’s the first time since being in school that I haven’t had to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills, etc. I am so thankful that my husband has allowed me this time, especially before I have to get a “real” job.
But still, even though it has been somewhat stressful, transitioning is one of the best things I have done. It’s definitely not easy. Coming out to people is hard. You just never know how someone will react. Will they treat you differently even if they say they are fine with it? For the most part, I’ve had a really positive experience with coming out and just going about my life. I am thankful for this because I know a lot of people don’t have such good experiences, and I really feel for them.
The one thing I’ve learned is that even though transitioning is wonderful, it can still be exhausting and overwhelming at times. To those who are thinking about or who are transitioning, make sure to give yourself that personal time you need. Sometimes it’s easy to think you can do everything, but I think it’s healthier to take a step back and drop some of the less important things. One of the reasons most people transition is for their own mental and emotional health, so don’t overdo it.
On to my photos!
I can’t believe it’s been a year already. It went by slow and fast all at the same time. I also have less than 8 weeks until top surgery!
From now on, I’ll only be doing a photo update every other month. I feel like the changes are starting to slow down. A lot of my body composition changes from now on I think are mostly going to be from working out and eating right.
I am excited that the hair on my tummy is finally visible in these pictures without having to take a close up shot.
I’ll be posting some comparison photos either later on today or over the weekend. I also hope to get a sound clip of my voice posted.
Until then! =)