And it hasn’t even been a year yet.
Recently I’ve made the stupidly obvious discovery that it’s only been 11 months since I made the big leap to living as myself full-time. After recently being let go at my job, I’ve finally had some alone time to stop and reflect on my journey, which I haven’t been able to, due to crazy-hectic work pressures. No month-to-month summaries; no journalistic discoveries. And out of all the thoughts I’ve been encountering, the biggest one is: I’m kinda starting from scratch.
I’m 33 years old. I’ve paid taxes, I’ve moved, I’ve given eulogies at my parents’ funerals, I’ve said goodbye to friends, I’ve had $.81 cents in my bank account, I’ve traveled abroad, and found love. But none of them as a woman. None of them as Jasmine. None of them as my complete, coherent self. My mind houses decades of memories that I don’t understand or that no longer relate to me.
Part of my issues come from losing interest in much of what I have previously experienced: foods that no longer taste the same, textures I no longer desire, and favorite movies that don’t keep my interest. The other side I deal with is recalling a life that was lived so bizarrely and opposite of who I am. Why wouldn’t I flirt back with those winks and smirks that were sent my way? How could I pass up the endless opportunities to go dancing with my girlfriends? Why didn’t I care about the fashion I wore?!
Remembering the life I’ve lived feels like reading a book in a different language, in which every page is bound in the wrong order.
Now keep in mind, a lot of these alterations aren’t just emotional: they’re physical. So much of my body has altered, from my skin thinning, all the way down to my senses of taste and smell being adjusted. The other day my partner ordered a little pre-packaged flan at one of our favorite restaurants; a flan I’ve tried before and snubbed my nose at. But after being force-fed a piece, I discovered that cold and little wobbly gelatin actually tasted good for once. And I kinda craved it! If I had it my way, I would re-do every journey I’ve been on and every song I’ve heard to see how my tastes have altered, since everything I do now is a new experience: the fresh point of view of a child sewn-up to the tired experience of an adult.
It’s weird being this age, yet still wide-eyed. Every tiny “new” moment is a massive milestone. Reading old comic books with a new outlook has me rooting for old characters for the first time (INVISIBLE WOMAN!) and liking them from different sections of my spirit. I wanted to shout from the rooftops that I had my first job interview. And unfortunately for me, I don’t have much of an audience. The majority of my immediate family has passed on, which means the people who raised me don’t get to share in my mini triumphs. So if any of you readers gets a text or a call that’s showing off my first professional manicure or some weird fact about my period, it’s just me celebrating being alive for the first time in over 3 decades. Because with 30 years of my life behind me, every day is a scary new chance to live loudly and proudly, with no time to waste.