Everybody changes somewhat over time. It is a normal healthy part of being alive. But most people like to think they get to an age, usually young adults, where they feel they know who they are. At this point, people still change but it is much more subtle and might be more of growing than changing. But for me, that is not so true.

I would guess everyone who transitions go through some changes even if they always knew who they are. For me, I have spent decades hiding from myself. So part of my transition has been learning who this person is inside of me.

Most of this has been wonderful. There are times when I feel like a butterfly seeing her wings and the world for the first time. I am so full of life and so overflowing with wonder. In these times it is hard to contain it all, and I so very wish I could somehow share it with others. For me the world is amazing.

I get to see myself blossom before my own eyes, and I like what I see. In many ways, I am still the same. In others, I am like a new creature just getting to know the world and I am finding my heart is much bigger than I thought it was. I am realizing there is a very sensitive and caring person inside. I have spent most of my life being rather callous, almost as if to hide the tender heart that is inside. Now there are times when I feel like decades of compassion are flooding out of me.

There are times it hurts; it hurts so much. There are times I see someone hurting, and I want so much to take the hurt away; not being able to hurts so much. There are times I want to help, but there isn’t a means for me to do so. There are times I see a person in need and whatever I do doesn’t seem like enough. There are times I read about an injustice and it hurts just knowing somewhere in the world there are these people for whom equality is a myth.

These moments are so very hard. I never knew compassion could be like this. I never knew someone could care this much. I never knew caring could so easily go so far beyond your own family and friends. I never knew there was a world out there to love and care for.

And it hurts so much.

Yet as much as it hurts, as hard as it is, I would never ever change it. I would far rather be a hurting person who cares than one who doesn’t. For through all of this pain I know we are connected and life is more than just me.