Most people think they are done ‘growing up’ in their teens or twenties. For sure I have known plenty of people who have stopped doing much of any learning past that age. I for one hope to never stop learning, but that is nothing new for me. Being in the tech industry learning new things is part of the job. But what is new for me at this stage in life is growing up.
For anyone that has read my blog regularly, as regularly as I manage to produce content, this will be somewhat of a rehash. And as much as I know that to be true, right now it feels so new, so incredibly alive to me.
I am growing up. Back so many years ago when I locked the door on my gender and pretended to be the person society wanted me to be I also locked the door on other things. I locked the door on letting my heart grow up. As most small children I was somewhat selfish and scared. And I never let my heart grow past that point, till now.
So I spent the next few decades of my life pretty much only caring about me and mine. If it didn’t affect me, my family, or a close friend I really didn’t care. As the years rolled by I got better and better about not caring. I had a myriad of excuses always at hand.
I had gotten so good at not caring that I didn’t even think of myself as uncaring. I “carried”. I would help my friends. I would even, occasionally, help friends who were helping others. But that was about as close as it ever got to reaching beyond me and mine.
I have read so many stories of other trans people where at some point they emphasize that ‘they are still the same person‘. For sure that is true in many ways for me too. But I don’t emphasize that, because in some ways it is very not true, and this is one of those ways.
I am growing up, my heart is growing up. After decades of being locked in the closet, of only caring about me and mine, now my heart is allowed to beat beyond those confines. And boy is it beating. To say I have done a 180 would be a massive understatement. It is like stepping out of a small entry closet that could bearly hold a few jackets, into a beautiful lush forest full of tall trees and wildflower and so much life.
But after decades of living in a closet sometimes my heart has trouble taking it all in. There are people beyond me and mine and I care about them, I care about them deeply. When I see an injustice it hurts and sometimes that pain is overwhelming. There are so many people in this world of ours and so many of them need help.
When George Floid was murdered it hurt so much and still does. And as things developed it became obvious that it wasn’t an isolated issue, not at all. And it hurt even more. WHY? My heart cries WHY? And I hurt and I cry and I want so much to stop it all.
Then there are the fires in the west, such devistation and loss. The forest. The trees. The animals. The people. Their house. Their lives. So much loss. And again my heart cries WHY?
And so, so much more. My heart is out of the closet. There is a beautiful world out there full of beautiful people. But so many are hurting, or having to bear injustice, or not being taking care of. I want to fix it. I want to fix it all. But I can’t and that hurts.
So I am growing up, my heart is growing up. I am learning to care. To care even when there is nothing I can do to fix things. To care even when it hurts so much. How do I survive so much pain?
But amidst all of this, even the intense pain, I realize my heart is still beating. In fact it is beating more than it ever did. I am so alive, like I have never been before. Because in the end life isn’t about having a pulse it is about being connected. It is about being part of the human race and most of all it is about caring.
Yes I hurt, sometimes very intensely, but I am growing up. I am learning to balance caring and hurting. I am learning to managing healthy emotions. I am learning to do what I can to help. My heart is out of the closet and I feel so very much ALIVE!