I’ve been a little leery about opening up my laptop after the last couple of blog posts. Funny; I don’t seem to have a problem writing about weight loss and subsequent maintenance but get a little more personal about gender and Aspergers and I want to shut down this blog and pretend it never existed.
But I exist.
Therefore (dot dot dot), so do some very personal things that I don’t quite know how to share with the world. I don’t mind talking/writing about addictions and mental health. I don’t mind talking/writing about the frustrations of losing weight and the sometimes more frustrating journey of maintaining significant weight loss. I don’t mind talking/writing about feeling emotions and crying through some deep dark shit but mention gender/aspergers and all of a sudden I feel like I have some sort of major defect.
As of late, the two things I want to keep secret more than anything have been at the forefront of my very being. Everyday is a journey into this whole idea of being gender-less and every second of every day is a test of my own ability to control something that most often feels uncontrollable.
I appreciate all the support my family/friends and readers have sent my way but even that feels overwhelming. Now I wonder if people are looking at me differently. Looking for tell-tale signs of that pesky old Aspergers that pulses in my body or being overly conscious about what pronoun to use in my presence.
But at the same time I’m okay with sharing these deeper/darker/more personal parts that make up the Tara/T/T-rex that’s been writing in this blog for a long long LONG time. I open up about them because I’m doing the work to make me a stronger person.
Just like in weight loss you have to do the work to see the results.
Before I embarked on this Life Long (and Life Changing) journey I would stand in the “weight loss” section of some health food store and wondered what pill I should take to get rid of the fat that was collecting in every cell in my body. I’d watch those infomercials and pull out my credit card ready to throw down $59.99 for promise of losing 30 pounds in 30 days. Countless times I prayed for the “Miracle Pill” instead of praying for the strength just to stand up and do something else with my life. I’d proclaim “this is the last time I’m going to eat fast food” only to find myself staring down the menu of another super size me option waiting for that “Welcome to (insert fast food chain here)” voice of approval.
I didn’t want to put the work into weight loss.
But I wanted to change.
The same goes for almost everything in our lives. If I don’t put the work into my gender (lessness) then I surely can’t expect any change to happen. If I don’t put the work into my Aspergers then I surely can’t expect any change. If I don’t put the work into anything…nothing will change.
When we do the work, we get stronger. Physically and mentally. When I talk about my confusion to looking in the mirror and wondering if I’m a boy or a girl I allow the confusion to be front and center. When something is front and center it gets paid attention too and when something gets paid attention too, it shifts. Things change. It’s not easy looking in the mirror and sometimes wishing something dangled between my legs and my chest was flat. More often than not that feels shameful. But sometimes that feels pretty empowering. Standing up for myself and asking to not be called “lady” or “ma’am” and instead saying “my first name is Tara but you can call me T” still feels like its more trouble than what it’s worth but I’m learning that I am in fact worth being addressed the way I prefer and I would hope some one would be honest with me if I addressed them outside their preferred pronoun (or the preference to not have a pronoun).
When I’m forth coming with my Aspergers instead of hiding it, I’m shedding light on a very prominent part of who I am. It’s hard feeling like I’m walking on egg shells with customers because maybe I didn’t smile or I was too direct in my response but it’s comforting to know that my co-workers know who I am, my commitment to work and my constant vigil to do my very best. I’m still really frustrated, and feeling shameful that I’ve had to be hyper focused on my “behaviors” since starting Costco. I’m sort of in panic mode that every time I have an interaction it’s going to turn bad and have been reduced to tears on multiple occasions. It’s embarrassing. But I’m putting the work into being more patient with myself and when you put in the work, you get stronger. I know I look pretty normal to the average Joe so I’m learning to not be afraid to say “I have Aspergers so my social filters are not the same as yours”. Instead of fighting the body ticks (rubbing my head/rocking/walking on my toes/making noises) I’m allowing myself to just do them a little more out in public because a) it feels really good b) it takes away the build up angst c) it helps me not feel so shameful.
Doing the work.
When you have to work at something, it can feel overwhelming. You don’t want to do it. You just want things to be easy. The problem with easy is you don’t learn to appreciate all the blood/sweat/tears/emotions you put into making yourself stronger. It’s not the 110 pounds that I lost that I appreciate. I value the fight I put into taking myself from morbid obesity to athletically fit. I value the confusion of wanting the body of a boy one day and wishing for a pretty little painted flowers on my toes the next. I value the frustration that builds when I know I’m about to have a communication break down with a customer but can look into the eyes of my co-workers and boss because I trust them.
I’m ready to put aside these two parts of Tara/T/T-rex for a little while on this blog. I don’t want the focus to shift just yet. I want to write about Crossfit and working out. I want to write about my disconnect with running. I want to write about food and throwing around the idea of going on a juicing cleanse. I want to write about lifting heavy shit and meeting cool people at my new box. I know the gender stuff and Aspergers is interesting but it takes a toll on my ability to feel comfortable on my blog. I’m still doing the work but not so sure this is the platform.
*taking a deep breath*
and feeling stronger.