A chance to smile, a smile at chance.

For the first time in a very long time, perhaps in as long as I can remember, I’m okay with my figure.  I’m not stressed because everybody laughs and jokes at the “twig” that might blow away in a gust.  I’m not irritated at being a bloated, tubby sausage ready to pop out of its skin.  I’m not perfect; there are a lot of things I’d love to change and improve, but right now I really am okay with the build of my body.

It’s not just my body, either.  I’m okay with my personality.  I’m comfortable with my likes, my dislikes, my opinions, feelings, and all the little quirks that make me who I am.

I don’t hate my voice!  Sure, I’ve always been able to sing decently, but I was always “too high” for what I wanted at the time, and you can only get by so long as a guy singing Alto with the girls in your church’s youth choir before things get awkward.  Beyond that though, hearing myself speak — when not through my own ears as it comes out, but recorded, something like what others must hear — has always made me cringe.  I was so obnoxious, so irritating, and I always wondered how anyone could be around me and put up with hearing that… no longer so.

Most importantly, though, I’m okay with my gender.  Sure, when life is tough, when everything seems to be going wrong, when there’s no hope for any future, no matter what the rest of the world sees — yeah, anyone will doubt themselves.  Anyone will question whether they really are doing what they want, what they thought they knew was right.  It’s a part of being human.  It’s part of who we all are.  But as much as I thought I’d made a mistake, as much as I thought there was no right answer, no decision that could make me happy, I know — I really, very truly know — that I am doing what I should.  I am doing what I need to do to be happy.  That for better or for worse, I am Sophia.  It’s not a matter of deciding whether or not I like being Scott more than Phia, or being Phia more than Scott.  It’s not like picking what fast food combo meal you feel like eating for lunch on a given day; hell, it’s not even an issue of selection at all.  It is a decision, though.  It’s a decision to be okay with who I am.  It’s a decision to accept that I am a woman, regardless of the physical aspects of the body to which I was born.  It’s a decision to live my life, my way — to be me no matter what anyone else thinks I ought to be.

It takes a lot from anyone to be able to stop and say “I am a good person.  I can be happy with who I am, with where I am and where I’m going, and with what I do.”  I think it takes much more from someone who has been told throughout life, not always directly, but from so many angles and by so many close and trusted people, “You don’t measure up.  You are a disappointment.  You can’t like those things; that’s not okay.  You’re not okay.”

It may have taken a lot to get here, but all that shows is that I am strong, that I do have my own will, my own desires and my own motivation.  And I am a good person.  Sure, I still have trouble sometimes — okay, most of the time — telling someone who says otherwise that they’re wrong, and saying it to their face.  That skill will come in time, as I let the fear go, as I find courage — and of course as I practice actually doing it!

Never cry for what might have been.
Shed a tear for yesterday,
But once you weep, dry your eyes and look ahead —
Look ahead and smile at the chances that await you.
Yes, there will be tears.
Yes, sorrow will indeed darken your door.
Yes, death will visit — he may even come for those you hold most dear.
Through it all, smile…
Because every day brings chances with it.
And there are no “bad chances” —
Just the ones you don’t greet with a smile.

–Phia… For now and always!

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