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be calm

I have always been wound tighter than a drum.

Things are always expected to go according to plan and even today i get physically affected when I am late which is why it never happens. I will leave extra early to make sure it doesn't.

Up until not that long ago being stuck in traffic was all I could bear but I am working on it. I tell myself that there is nothing I can do and distract myself with happier thoughts as my engine idles.

Sometimes there is no explaining ourselves and we suffer as a result of the conditions we have mandated to respect. Even if the world will not end there is something almost primordial that drives our compulsions.

Introspection can be positive yes but can also feed self blame when you don't perform to a standard. It is this internal makeup that made my road to self acceptance that much harder since someone like me shouldn't fail and certainly shouldn't be transgender.

It has been a hard but necessary lesson to become more maleable and forgiving of myself and that has led to a better understanding that I can espouse my foibles as forming part of my humanity and not feel I have failed.

As I sit on a plane writing this post I tell myself to forget that the previous flight has been cancelled, that I am tired and that I want to be home.

"Be calm and let it go" the voice says.


  1. "Introspection can be positive yes but can also feed self blame when you don't perform to a standard."

    Oh, I hear that big time. Though, as far as I can tell, a loop of consciousness that feeds self blame is but one of those dark things I simply find through introspection, as you were discussing yesterday when pondering the mysteries of couplehood. That I blame myself is just another thing I accept ABOUT myself. Like being trans.

    Not that I want to embrace and surrender to it like I do being trans. Being trans isn't actually bad or dark. But I have come to understand that my thoughts come as automatically to my biological makeup as breathing. I have learned not so much to find calm by distracting myself with other, happier thoughts (which are just as automatically and relentlessly generated outside my control) but by letting them happen.

    My metaphor for this is body surfing in the ocean, something one of the many locations my family dragged me to live afforded me the opportunity to do as a kid. Sometimes the waves are just too big and powerful to surf. Anxiously struggling against them does no good. Just recognizing one of them is about to overwhelm me, and letting it wash over me, as I allow my body to go limp, and drift wheteever it takes me, does the trick. The wave eventually ebbs. I may have a moment of reorientation afterward and a longer walk back to my towel in the beach, but all that is much easier having not struggled against the inevitable turbulence to begin with.

    Ever stubbed your toe? You know that little instant before you feel the pain, where you can now predict it, knowing full well you can't stop it? I find that helps as I just let the pain come. It allows me to observe the pain differently. I've stubbed toes enough times to know the way the pain will rush in, and eventually ebb. So, I just let it happen. I don't so much let it go, as much as I let it be (if I may annoyingly repurpose two pop songs).

    Anxiety and self blame (and all my other experiences my mind generated for me) can be predicted and observed just like the physical pain that accompanies a stubbed toe. Sometimes I just have to let them wash over me like a giant ocean wave. I'm not purposely doing it to myself. It's just gonna happen whether or not I struggle against it. Realizing that allows me to observe it as it happens in a different way.

    And therein lies the calm.

    1. I talk to myself and just let the disturbance affect me but just enough. I don't need to let it fester and then in time it dissipates. My pain has always come from the strong desire to control things and when they don't go my way I suffer all the more from the frustration. I think I am finally learning to just let things go much faster than I used to..

  2. This post really resonated with me too. I've been often told that I was too uptight, wound too tightly, and found myself yelling and angry at people driving their cars aggressively, and "beating" me to a turn or something. Now, as I've come out to myself as trans as well as many friends, family, and colleagues, much of that has dissipated. It's gone. I'm able to handle life's little variances with calmness and a measure of serenity.

    I used to say the Serenity Prayer to myself, over and over and over. I knew it has a lot of wisdom in it but I just couldn't turn its words into the serenity I so desperately wanted. Maybe that's where prayers fall apart.

    I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I'm just offering my 2c (you owe me, girl!).

  3. I understand. I've always been anxious and wondered if it was a by-product of being transgender in a world that didn't/doesn't accept that. Age has helped, along with conscious effort to calm down. Your description of your struggle is clear and sympathetic.


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