Follow your dreams . . . **

| Oct 12, 2015
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Follow your dreams . . . *

cate-omalleyAll my life, and I’m sixty-five years old here in 2015, I’ve heard the phrase, “Follow your dreams”, or a variation on the statement. “Follow your heart”, “Do what you love”, “Be true to yourself”, or my personal favorite from Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss.” But after so many trips around the Sun, I’ve come up with an amended version:

** Follow your dreams, but your wife, husband, family members, associates, lovers, friends, neighbors, total strangers, and anyone else in the world might not like it. They may end up hating you, leaving, try to stop you, be jealous, embarrassed, angry, violent, standoffish, cold or any other emotion or combination of emotions. You risk losing everything you own, your family, spouse, partner, home, job and all the security you’ve ever enjoyed.

Damn! That’s harsh!

I agree my version is depressing. If what I’m saying is true, then most everyone would be living poor, miserable lives of gut-wrenching, screaming desperation. Why would anyone want to do anything like following their bliss? How dare we be happy!

It’s because you’re trans*, right?

It’s no secret I’m trans*. Is it just trans* people, or is it only me that feels this way? I know a lot of trans* people who’ve followed their dreams, experienced the anger, fear, etc. and have been left by spouses/lovers, alienated by their families and children and even experienced violence. I’ve heard about this type of treatment happening to cisgender people who have started a business, became a nun, wanted to be an actor or a writer, move far away, join the Peace Corp and a hundred thousand other dreams that someone just didn’t agree with. Search your own lives and think about it — and not just the gender stuff. We’ve all had people try to dissuade us from following a dream, a career path or a life style.

Sage advice from one of our sisters

One of our trans* sisters who is also an advocate, speaker and author told me early on, “You must be willing to give up everything, to have your hearts desire.” I remember at the time this sounded ominous. I have since learned her statement was one of the most profound and prophetic statements I’ve heard since starting my journey to living honestly. I say ‘prophetic’ because I’ve experienced loss, hurt, and disappointment too.

Why would anyone in their right mind ever do anything that would cause so much loss?

Sisters and brothers, I have asked myself that question countless times. I always come back with the same answer, because I must! Have I experienced loss? Yes. Have I hurt those I love more than anything? Yes. Do I feel following my dream, my journey to living honestly is worth it? Yes. Is our sister who gave me her sage advice correct? Yes. Not only are we following our dreams, but saving our lives, our souls and who we are. What can be more important then that?

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

I am Cate, a mature transgender woman. I am a writer, blogger, parent, grandparent, sailor, activist and happy. I am a widow, and live with my yorkiepoo, Belle. I love music, reading, cooking, outdoors, DIY, theater, antiquing and flea markets, home brewing, and seeing what is around the bend in the road or over the horizon. I own the website. It is an outreach, support and resource for mature trans* people and especially for those who, like me, came out after fifty.

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