That final acceptance is like a watershed moment and you look back at your life with a different perspective. All of the clues you had are obvious when viewed via the benefit of hindsight. My friend Sherry, who transitioned at 25 and who I have chatted with on and off for the last 15 years, saw it clearly years ago and was constantly frustrated at my obtuseness. But it wasn't until I finally took my own decision to come to terms that things fell into place for me.
No solution for tackling gender dysphoria is perfect when you realize you must do something later in life and yet I wouldn't change anything because the journey, challenges and all, forges who we are. All the struggles were definitely worth it.