I came out to the world as Jasmine-Arabella in November of 2019, but that is far from the end of my story. Since then 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. Which makes me very fortunate as a trans person.
A few months after coming out, 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. It felt like an endless process.
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 for 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 in the Fall of 2021 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.
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. You can read my blog to see how the story continues.