What Kate spoke about clarified several issues for me. I realised that I am, a little, like Kate. Yes I am clearly a woman, love being woman. And luckily don’t have Kate’s sexual identity pain. However I do struggle to settle within the labels that I feel, or have been told, make me who I am.
We love labels. Buying them helps us to be like others who wear those labels. We understand who we are when we are labelled. Each label comes with rules and guidelines, an identity. It is a relief to know who we are. We don’t have to think about how to be. And we know the people like us, and the people who are different. Our “us” and “them” is clear. So many people, like Kate, struggle and yearn for that ease of being clear what sexual identity they are, for example. They may never find their “us” and always be judged as an outsider, never accepted.
I was in emotional pain, again, this morning. My partner tried to soothe me and asked what he could do to help. I didn’t know. I was just burdened with the emotional exhaustion of trying to do all the things I understand I am supposed to be doing in order to be the label I have chosen to take on, that of “successful business mentor”. There are a few things that are necessary to meet the rules for that label. Firstly I should have paying clients who appreciate my value, secondly I need to be earning money, I should also be focused and driven and planning and organised and offering and clear. Above all clear about my label, the label of the work I do, the label of my ideal client and my price label. My inner critic tells me “failed” on all counts. Fail. Fail. Failure.
Listening to Kate this morning helped me understand that I am Trans. Trans business identity. I am unclear about my label; coach or a consultant? Author or a speaker? What defines my success? This morning all I knew was that I was failing again, because I was not meeting the rules and guidelines of my label. Just as Kate watched other men to see how to be a man, watched other women to see how to be a woman, I watch and listen to other coaches and business gurus to see how to be them. And I fail. Of course I will fail. I am me.
I have spent my whole life in pain because I have never fitted. I have spent my life beating myself up because I couldn’t find the label that would give me the rules and the guidelines, and the friends and the support that I needed. When I found one that I was close to I tried. I tried really hard. I was a good school pupil, I was a good employee, a dutiful daughter, I did as I was told, I over gave and people pleased. And I was never perfect. So I never loved myself, became addicted to setting myself up to fail, ended up hurting again.
Hold on though. As I look back, I can see a pattern emerge. I always, sooner or later, rebel against the label I imposed on myself. I get bored. I get sulky. I resist. I try and control. Ah I know,I know! I put myself in so much pain that for my health and sanity I have to get out rather than go on. Oh my! I am, in my own screwed up way, a revolutionary!
So what is the nature of my rebellion? Acceptance of my difference, of my transitioning, the impossibility of being permanently labelled! Oh that feels so good, acceptance.
OK world. I am a Trannie. What if we all are? Trans- label, trans- identity, trans-career, trans-sexual, trans- age. We are all transitioning from one “label” to another and yet we are always who we are. An individual, a human being of love, with every human right to be accepted as we are.
Accept yourself as you are. And accept others as they are – beings of love.