These are some of my own thoughts and opinions which might give a bit of an insight into the kind of person I am and what I'm about. It's just me writing what's on my mind really and I might change it from time to time...
I continue to be amazed at the things that happen in ones life and the direction it can take. Sometimes (well, usually) quite unexpectedly. It just goes to show that you never really know how things are going to turn out.
Life is a continual journey of discovery and learning and it's sad to know that there are many people in this world that feel that this ever stops, and shut themselves off to new experiences. New opportunities present themselves all around us, all the time, but we won't actually be aware of them if we're not prepared to see them.
The last few years have really been an interesting and fantastic time for me, and on so many different levels. As a child I had three dreams that I always wanted to achieve, or experience. By 28 I had achieved two of them, and now I am living the third by playing as a touring professional. Everything now just seems like 'icing on the cake' so I have some wonderful things to look forward to.
The life I have had, has led me do a lot of soul searching and certainly no less so over the last few years. Life seems to be a never ending journey of challenges and growth and I enjoy embracing every moment of it. To persue my golf, I had to make a decision whether to take it to the next step, to play professionally, and prepare to deal with the media attention and controversy I was no doubt going to attract. It was hard to know if I was completely prepared for what lay ahead, but I figured I was as ready as I was ever going to be. It's been the start to an exciting new chapter in my life and the future seems limitless.
I like to be a very positive person and I might give the impression that life is all a bed of roses, but I have my ups and downs like everyone else. I like to think that every experience in life though, good or bad, is a positive experience. It lies in the individuals perception of these events and that can be challenging at times. It doesn't mean that every day is a happy and joyful time, because that's not always how it is. What I mean is that all of our experiences put together help us to grow, make us who we are, and both makes us all unique, and makes us all the same. With every experience we have, there comes a new lesson to be learnt. If we've just learnt something, then we've gained something. If we've gained something, then that can only be positive in my books. It's all in how we choose to perceive it.
I believe a lot in myself and feel that life is just too short to sit back and wonder "....what if?". I don't want my life to be filled with regrets because I think they only serve to hold us back ...to keep us in the past. If we want to live today and move forward in life, hanging on to the past is going to make that a lot harder than it needs to be. My analogy of regrets, is of having elastic bands tied from our backs to the regretful occassion at some point in the past. The further we go through life, the tighter those elastic bands get pulled, making it harder and harder to continue. By letting go of regrets we snap those elastic bands and each one is felt as a sudden release .....until the last one is snapped! All of a sudden you are free, with nothing to hold you back.
People make mistakes through life and I've certainly made my share and again, the best thing we can do is learn from them. If we have good intentions at the time, then it was the best decision we could have made. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but use it to learn from, not to beat yourself up with it! By learning from mistakes we can at least prevent the same thing happening again. That's probably stating something quite obvious, but it's amazing how many times you see people make the same mistakes, over and over again.
Be passionate in life and persue what you believe in. Make the most out of every moment and enjoy it all along the way, embrace it with everything you've got and live each day as it comes. For me this means to persue my passion and be the best that I can be .....what ever that might be.
"Today is the tomorrow, you dreamt of yesterday"...
Being open about my past and telling the world about realities of gender diversity was never a conscious decision or intention for me. Although things could have turned out differently, it's just the way my life has turned out. All through my childhood I grew up having something to hide and now that I have finally become 'myself', the last thing I want to do is hide a part of who I am from those around me ....again. Especially my family and friends.
I love the fact that people know me for who I am, for all that I am. I don't have to hide anything and I don't have to be carefulwith what I say about myself ....no fear of giving anything away. What this means to me is indescribable.
When I was first going through my treatment, I learned quite quickly that it made it much easier for those around me (and me for that matter) if I was open about what I was going through. This isn't an issue a lot of people get faced with and when it turns out to be someone you know, I can imagine it would be quite a shock. I guess this is an aspect I can't entirely relate to as I only have the perspective of dealing with the change in my life, I'm sure it's almost as big a deal for family and close friends at the time. As for my friends, it became obvious that many didn't know how to react to me and felt uncomfortable being around me ....it only served to make me uncomfortable as well. A fear of the unknown I guess? I made a point of talking to all my friends alone, to tell them what I was going through and to let them ask questions. I like to think that it took away the 'unknown' factor and helped remove that fear and uncertainty. They could see that I was still an everyday person just with some different issues to deal with.
It became evident to me that I was showing people a side of my condition that they never knew existed. They had never even thought that basic gender identity was anything that anyone would even have to think about. There is so much misunderstanding in society and I started enjoying the fact that I was able to educate people around me ...even change their opinions. After all, why would people know any different. What they knew was from portrayals in the media which were usually in the form of sensationalised stories and pictures. They were either of courageous women who had been through transition in middle age and were made fun of by society and the media, or of men in 'drag' with excessive makeup, big hair and exaggerated effeminate behaviour. What remains hidden today are the thousands of kids that are affected by gender variant and intersexed conditions
What I'm alluding to is that men and women with gender variant conditions, who live quite successful everyday lives without anyone knowing or being able to tell of their past, generally don't appear in the news. The other side of that scenario is that people who do go through life without being 'noticed' are much less inclined to draw attention to themselves, knowing the ridicule and prejudice they will face if this was to occur. The thing is, most people have absolutely no idea how many of these mend and women there are living amongst them.
There seems to be more stories of transitioned and gender variant men and women in the media these days and the issues get discussed on TV and talk-back radio. I have listened to some of it and it amazes me how often people seem to speak with such authority on a topic which they obviously know nothing about. It would be nice if people might listen to those of us that are able to speak from experience. Open your minds to a reality that may very well differ from what you think you know, or differs from that which is governed and reinforced by society's attitudes and 'the norm'. Don't judge people based on prejudice and negative stereotypes.
You know, it would be so nice if people could let go of rules and opinions set by others ...by society's stereotypes. To not be influenced so much by what other people think and to have the inner strength to befriend or even love a person just for who they are. I have quite a unique perspective on life and people, and I'm sure I have been privvy to aspects of peoples lives that they normally wouldn't share with others. It makes me feel very special and I truly cherish the life that I lead and the person I have become. I am lucky to have the wonderful family that I have who have always supported me, and still do, and to have some wonderful friends that have all helped enrich my life ...probably more than they'll ever realise.
The world can be a wonderful place.