“______!” Ron said. “Glad to see you, how’re you doing? Eddie will be right with you.” Ron then looked at me. “Come on in Natalie.”
“It is good to see you too!” ______ said to Ron and Eddie.
I was still staring at ______ because my old persona, my old gender presentation, had the same male name as this individual named ______.
I asked Ron why everyone seemed so happy to see ______. Ron told me that ______ was always so cheerful, and everyone enjoyed seeing him because he brightened up the place with his attitude.
It was as if my Mother in the Sky prepared a spiritual telegram just for me, and delivered the message right in front of my face, to make sure I didn’t miss the point.
______ personified the two struggles I’ve been dealing with for the past 30 years of my life: my gender transition and my former negative outlook towards life.
I was previously living in male presentation, and my old name was identical to ______’s. Hearing his name made me turn my head, as being called ______ for 30 years had built habits for me that are still in the process of being broken. But it also reminded me of how much it has become second nature to respond to Natalie as well. That I had come so far, and I am still going places I never imagined I’d be, and this new path I’m paving makes ______’s presentation and former life seem like such a distant but fond memory.
I began to envision what my life would have been like had I stayed in male presentation, with the same name as ______. Would I be as jubilant and cheerful as he was? Most certainly not.
Besides having the name in common, I had been absolutely miserable, and my attitude was constantly negative and I forgot to be grateful most of the time. There had been a big void in my life, and it seemed like there were no remedies for my blues.
It wasn’t until I transitioned and started seeing things differently that I was able to really apply a shift in attitude towards my outlook on life. I realized the power I have is in the attitude I bring to my activities and how I conduct my life. That I have a choice in how to see things: the negative or the positive, which holds the miracles in which I can learn something valuable.
Seeing someone with the same old name I had, in addition to seeing how positive and cheerful an individual he was gave me two strong reminders of how far I’ve come and what I still need to work on: getting stronger in my authentic gender identity as a woman, and knowing that I can choose to look at things in a positive manner and empower myself when I do so.
The fragments of reminders of the old me are still out there, teaching me and reminding me as I go along my journey.
Thank you ______. It was good to see you too.