07 December 2008

Seven Months to the 7th

Seven months from today....Seven months....Seven months...

The countdown continues. I can't believe it's been five months since I started this blog. Or that it's only another month to yet another milestone in the countdown.

And what kind of a countdown is this? I've used the word "milestone," which makes sense. After all, I'm on a journey. My destination is getting closer; I want the miles to go even faster. Which they probably will. Yet they seem interminable, in part because I'm anxious to get to where I'm going, but also because it's someplace new. I think now of the first long trip my family took together, to Lake George, Montreal and Niagara Falls. I had heard of all of those places, and seen a few photos, but I still could just barely imagine them. So, they were abstractions in the same way as anything else we know only through pictures.

And those signs along the way: Lake George 56. Montreal 347. (I don't remember the exact numbers now.) I'd see the signs, and the mileage markers on the sides of the highways. Mile 257, or whatever. I could look and see how far we'd gone, and how far we had to go. And I had an idea, a conceptualization, of where we were going, although I didn't know what it was like.

I guess the operation, and my life afterward, are sort of like that. I know what the operation is and why I've always wanted it. And I have a vision of the sort of life I'd like to have after the operation. I'm sure that much will be different from what I anticipate: Isn't that always the case when we try to predict the future? The time I have lived as Justine has varied, in many ways, from my what I imagined it would be like: What I have lost and what I have gained were not what I anticipated. But it's also been much, much more joyful--and fulfilling--a time than I ever imagined it would be.

And it's gone by more quickly. I know that time goes faster when you get older. But I think this isn't just a matter of age: I feel I learned, through necessity and choice, so much that I might not have ever learned, and more than I learned in the thirty or even forty years before I started my transition.

I want the time to keep on flying. Before I know it, I'll be at the six-month marker: half a year. Intellectually, I know that that date will be no more significant than any other, though I may feel something I'm not imagining right now. Will it feel like reaching some milestone birthday, as I did this year? Or will it be like a turn from which the road begins a long straightaway, climb toward the clouds or descent toward the sea?

Seven months till surgery...at least it's not forty years of depression, which is what I expereinced before my transition. If I were still depressed, I wouldn't have scheduled the surgery and had that, or anything else, to look forward to. And I wouldn't laugh or cry just because. Isn't it ironic that I almost never cried during all those years of depression? But I almost never smiled, either. For me, both have become bodily functions: I can actually feel poisons being released from my body when I shed tears or shake with laughter.

And I wouldn't be counting down, either. Seven months...I'll be there, from where I am now.

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