In the interests of full disclosure, let me say before we continue, that I am so guilty of this myself. I am working on it, and getting better. And since I am what can best be described as a “work in progress”, I will no doubt be working on it for a long time. And it’s not just me.
What do I mean by being my own worst enemy? Our own worst enemy? It means that we are really, really good at pointing out and focusing on our own shortcomings. Who is “we” exactly? Glad you asked. Many, many trans people that I talk with or interact with on social media etc are really hard on themselves. Mostly around appearance. So essentially, “we” equals a certain percentage of the trans population. At least in my experience. However, let me also state that I would venture to guess that it also includes a large percentage of the CIS female community. Many of my CIS gendered women friends are constantly bringing up what they perceive to be their negative attributes. Negative body image abounds.
I am trying really hard to break that cycle. I start with me, but I also try to expand the radius of that effort to include all people I interact with. Because we all seem to have this issue. We focus on one thing, okay maybe two, what we perceive as negative attributes and obsess about them. We constantly berate ourselves about being to small or to big or thin or fat or whatever. That one thing that we really don’t like about ourselves.
My message is ENOUGH. Look. There’s not a lot of things we can control in our lives, in particular how transitioning and HRT will impact us. But, we can control what we focus on and what we say to ourselves. Our internal self talk. Okay, so I’m not a ravishing beauty on the outside. I get that. No need for my inner demon to point that out, or anyone else for that matter. But do I have to obsess about it?? Stare at it, critically review that one thing that I feel is a source of angst for me. Answer? NO. No, No, No, No. Enough.
Why not focus on what is good? Life’s to short. Stop bitching about it. I know, I know, easier said than done. But isn’t it worth at least a try? Aren’t I at least worth a try? Aren’t we all at least worth a try? I am telling myself, and anyone else that is taking the time out of their busy day to read this, that yes, I AM. Yes, You Are! OMG, of course you are, we all are.
I remember before I transitioned that I would see a woman and automatically find at least one, if not two or three things that would jump out at me that I was envious of. “Oh, I wish I had her eyes, or legs, or hair, or smile, or complexion, or nails”, etc, etc, etc. Essentially, I just wanted to be the woman I am now. So I was ridiculously envious. Now that I am full time and have transitioned, you know what? I still am. I still see something beautiful in every woman I see. Why can’t I do that with myself? Holy crap, we are, as a society, so wrapped up in body image it’s disgusting. Because it is to the detriment of so many people.
It’s time to stop. It’s time for me to stop. To stop being my own worst enemy. Time to focus on what I like about myself and celebrate that. To take that negative body image and toss it in the incinerator. Make sure it’s good and gone, and not tossed in the recycle pile to show up somewhere else. So that is what I am going to do. And it doesn’t mean your conceited or arrogant. Not at all. It is something that you keep inside, your own personal mantra. All that matters is that you believe it, believe in you. That I believe in me.
Come on. We owe ourselves at least that much. Being Trans is hard enough. Being a woman is hard enough. Why make it harder? And you know what? Celebrate the best in others as well. Help to break that negative self talk “spiral of doom”. Let someone else know what is awesome about them. How many people don’t like to get a compliment every now and then? Something sincere. The smallest of positive statements can turn someone’s day around. Why not make today the day you turn yours around….turn someone else’s around. This may sound trite and cute and superficial. But I don’t think so.
And you know, that’s what matters. What I think about me. Time to stop being my own worst enemy. How about you?