It has been two years since I came out to the world as Jasmine-Arabella. There have been some very hard times. I think I have felt the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life. At times I wasn’t sure how I was going to move forward, but I have.
I have done so much more than just move forward, I have found myself. I have been born again in a way so beyond any religious experience I have ever had. Overall I have had far more amazing days than difficult ones.
A few months after coming out in November of 2019, the covid pandemic started. But before everything got locked down I was able to get my court order for my legal name change. I was so petrified standing before the judge, but she was so wonderful. Next was all of my other legal documents getting updated. That seems like an endless process. Every time I think I am done with it something I forgot about comes along. But I am happy to say I have all of the major ones, birth cert, DL, etc. updated and looking good.
The next big thing I wanted to do was to fix things downstairs. This meant a lot of doctor visits and a lot of working with my healthcare. But there were also other things to be done before any surgery could happen.
One thing that the pandemic shinned a light on really quickly was my shift in socializing. In the past, I often tried to avoid socializing as much as I could. Now it was more of a need. As soon as the pandemic hit we were all told to work from home, so there was no more office socializing. At first, this was rather painful. I had just gotten to the point where I could enjoy socializing and then it was taken away. But I eventually learned how to make do via chat and other social media.
As the pandemic went from being a few weeks as we originally were told to being months I found I needed to be able to do something to improve me. Many of the things I had been doing were not available anymore. I finally settled on focusing on health. My operation was still at least months away but I knew the better shape I was in the better it would go. This gave me something to focus on.
I had been told that I would have to wait till November when I would have been out for a full year before I could have the surgery. But as we got to that date I found my health insurance was still having issues approving it. I felt so powerless. Here I was so desperate for something so important but there was practically nothing I could do about it.
The weeks became months but finally, in early 2021, I got a call saying we could set a date. I was so very excited. I wanted it done months ago, so I chose the soonest date they had. But that meant there was a LOT to do in the next few weeks. Sometimes I had multiple medical visits in one week. I was very busy but every visit was one step closer. Sometimes I cried in joy in the doctor’s office.
Finally, the big day came. I was literally dancing in the hospital lobby at 6 am, I was so ecstatic. A bit later they took me in to prep me for the surgery. They put the IV in and the next thing I remember was being woken up in the recovery room.
I can not recommend the University of Utah Health enough. They were so amazing in so many ways. I spent the next 7 days in the hospital as angels disguised as nurses watched over me. They, the whole hospital staff, were so amazing. I have never experienced such loving care in a medical facility.
I spent the next few months learning what the word ‘recovery’ really meant. While there was pain and difficulties those were wonderful months. Almost every day I could see some small improvement, this was less painful or that was easier to do.
Then 2021 ended with a huge discovery, I am not the introvert I always thought I was. As I said earlier when covid hit I realized how important socializing was for me, whereas before it was something I avoided. But even introverts desire socializing, so just wanting to socialize a bit didn’t change my perspective of being an introvert. But this past Fall I found I have this insatiable appetite for socializing. You can read more about that journey here, but the end of it all is not only am I not an introvert, I am an extreme extrovert.
I seem to have an endless hunger for socializing. The crowd is never big enough. The party is never long enough. And within this discovery, I also discovered how much I love dancing. For me, especially on a crowded dance floor, it is so beyond the physical. It is an amazing experience that connects me to the universe and everyone around me. I can dance all night and get up the next morning for a full day of excitement and fun.
And I am far from done. I have discovered a lot about Jasmine-Arabella, but I am quite sure she has some surprises for me still. I am so in love with life and the woman I am becoming. I want to spend the rest of my life learning and growing. Trying new things finding new friends. I want my epitaph to say, “She never stopped growing“.