There is no book called, So You Just Came Out As Non-Binary; Here’s What’s Next.
Those of us who identify as such are writing a living book as we go along, and it’s unique for each of us. We can all share experiences – and we do – and debate our personal choices, but ultimately, those of us who glide hither and thither on the gender spectrum are kind of…on our own, in many ways.
Pronouns? Still don’t know. Still dithering. Still referring to myself as she/her by reflex and wondering if I even could manage to change that for myself, let alone the people around me, let alone the world. Do I want to, even. I don’t know, I don’t know. I sigh when people call me “ma’am” and I’m annoyed when there aren’t more than two options for gender on a form, but I still think of myself in terms of she and her.
And then. And then this. These last months, I’ve wrestled with the relief of finally knowing there was a word for my internal gender ambiguity – and then with wondering if I’m “non-binary enough.” I am still pretty femme much of the time. And I know even when I feel like I’m matching up my appearance with how I feel on a “tomboy day” that I still appear female, and it’s not like I feel the need to go all the way to the guy side, but if I don’t, do I count?
(I do, and you do, but this is a struggle we all share for a while, I am gathering)
So. You know. There’s where I am with that, one month later. Still thinking, tossed between happiness and confusion.
And that is about when I spontaneously bought air tickets to Edinburgh, upgraded my iPhone for the first time in over two years, and dyed my hair green.
Yes, I was supposed to go to Lisbon (ticket prices kept going up, a really good deal on Edinburgh landed in my inbox, and there you have it), and no, I am not supposed to dye my hair weird colors (I may work from home, but I still work for a corporation, but at least the next office gathering isn’t until October?), and really, I probably didn’t need a new phone (but the old one was starting to run so slowly, and I didn’t have to make a down payment)…
YOLO, as the kids say. 2018 is my year for that, I guess.
I am trying to strike a balance between doing what I want and still being responsible. Living my life for me, and trying not to worry about all the things I cannot change – like what other people think of me and the things that I do. I am working really, really hard to un-tether my sense of self-worth from anyone else’s ideas and perceptions of who I am and what I do.
I have done an awful lot of living for other people in just about every aspect of my life, which is not any sort of basis for self-knowledge or a secure emotional foundation.
I still struggle with feeling like I move through the world both invisibly and unimportantly – not leaving a mark, passing through other people’s lives in a disposable, forgettable way. So much of what I have chosen to do in life has been a result of me fighting against that part of myself, to try to be acceptable and memorable and meaningful…to others.
I want to figure out what it is like to live life making my own choices for my own genuine happiness rather than other people’s opinions.
I also want to figure out how I can break myself of making a billion in-game purchases in the iTunes store, because that shit has honestly spiraled out of control, and I need to be able to buy yarn in Scotland, for heaven’s sake.
But mostly the first thing.