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peace

"Joanne! Joanne!"

I pop out from the crowd upon hearing my name realising the girl at the cash has miswritten it and upon seeing me the barista says

"Oh Hi how are you?!"

This in a slightly syrupy yet sincere tone as if she knows me well.

"Good Thanks" I respond

I seem to get this a lot these days and maybe because people see a happy and relaxed woman.

"Remember me from the downtown Starbucks? I used to work there" She says

Then I finally recall and chalk up the memory lag to dimensia.

"I am hard to forget" I say a little ironically referring to my height while scrunching my facial expression to make my point.

"Plus you're a beautiful woman" and she surprises me and has just made my day. I tell her so. We banter a bit before I get my coffee and she wishes me a lovely day which I return in kind.

Being yourself and relaxed has no price and after years of struggle I am finally at a point where existing in the skin of a happy transgender person is simply something I cannot adequately put into words. Perhaps peace is the word that best describes it. Living with inadequately treated gender dysphoria for decades creates pressure which affects both the body and the mind and as I inch closer to how I need to live the rest of my life things continue to improve.

The contrast is stark as I look back on my life and realize how much tension I put myself through to try and fit in. Except I don't need to try anymore because I have found the secret elixir to life: be honest with yourself and live according to your own nature.

Nothing more, nothing less.

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