Thank you to the late, great Gerry Rafferty and Stealer’s Wheel for prompting me on the title of this post.
I am paraphrasing here, but I read a post on Facebook by someone where she discussed feeling a little blue. She attended her first Keystone and felt like she should be elated. “Maybe I’ve seen what I can be and want more. I’m in a much better place with my wife and our relationship and have more freedom as [XXX] yet I’m blue. I don’t understand it.” She felt she could end up lonely if she were to pursue “this” more, with the fear of losing everything. “Why can’t I be happy in the middle?”
My response, among those of many wonderfully supportive sisters, was “There is always a let down after such a wonderful experience. You look forward to it, plan for it, enjoy all of it and then…….back to every day life. Look back at those memories and friendships and cherish them and find the next experience! The middle is a tough place because we long for one way or the other and we all know being the women inside of us will draw us every day of our lives. You are not ever alone in this feeling.”
She thanked me privately for my comments and said for me to have commented “to someone you barely know to me reflects the kindness, love and quality of the people you get to meet when you have our special trait”. That line was both sweet and meaningful to me, but it said so much more. I find that I am a far more empathetic person since I allowed myself to be female and the traits generally associated with women simply flows out of me, without any need on my part to consciously exhibit them.
I like using analogies. You have not eaten for days and you are allowed to eat one of two meals, after which you will not eat again for days. On one table it a nice cobb salad, a glass of iced tea and some bread. A fine meal, one I enjoy on occasion. This meal is my male side. Sensible, responsible, grounded, safe.
On the other table is a cheesecake (with strawberries), a milkshake and some M&Ms, both plain and peanut. Which meal would you eat? Me, the cheesecake! This meal is my female side, whimsy, smiles, delight, happiness, joy, sweetness.
There is nothing wrong with either meal, nothing in the world wrong with my being born male. That has given me people in my life that I simply cannot imagine living without, family and friends. But the joy of being a fully engaged woman, it’s intoxicating! I get to do that in many of the things I do. Working the film festival as a woman, being accepted by every single person I encountered as a woman, was a high. So this draw, this ying to that yang, pulls us from the middle. Staying centered is difficult. No, it is not impossible. But the more you taste of the one, the less interesting is the other.
I will remind everyone, no one said this was easy. But boy, it is a treat! Can I have some more cheesecake?
Post-script: So here is a real example of the conundrum that I am. My recent Boston experience and the amazing kindness of my friends, the time spent with my family in a once-in-a-lifetime situation and the actual juice from competing, all firmly solidified my love for my male side. Yet, as I am on an extended Kandi drought, due mostly to circumstances, I cannot shake my desire to simply get dressed and spend a “girl” day out. And having recently gone through a long Kandi run with Keystone and the film festival, I was looking forward to a bit of a break. Never perfectly contented on either side of the fence….