It’s the Journey, not the Destination

Sneakers on a road, "Your Journey Starts Here" in chalk writing

I remember the first time I gave myself a shot of Testosterone. I’d been to the clinic a few times before to get the shot administered, and to teach me how to do sub-cutaneous injections, but this seemed special.

I felt like I was on my way to the destination – to finally change into the person I wanted to be. Since that time, I’ve learned that the destination is sometimes seems to keep moving – moving until I’m not exactly sure there is one.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars… – Ithaka, CP Cavafy

Transition is a journey – a complex, unpredictable journey, full of moments of “yes, I have arrived,” and moments of “wait, what – there’s more to come?” When I stopped being misgendered by strangers was part of the destination, certainly. When my voice stabilized, and my facial hair began to fill in, I thought, “aha, yes, here I am.”

But our insistence on focusing on the destination robs us of the pleasures of the journey. The moments of first noticing changes, the emotions around newness of experience. And the willingness to love ourselves at each moment of this journey, not waiting to love ourselves until we reach that final destination robs us of joy.

Find ways to love and care for yourself at every moment of your journey, even with your dysphoria, even if you’re constantly misgendered, even if you feel you hate your body or yourself as you are. You’ve chosen a path that is brave and wonderful – love that, too.

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