What’s in a name?

I wrote this in 12th August 2013…

“Hey gidday, call me Pete
“As in “Peta”” they ask?
Or just look…like I am mad
Few accepted…like you’re a girl
Outside sure…not in my mind
Even then I was quick to say
“It’s just a name; not like I’m trans…”
Too scared to accept that myself
…but the knowing feeling builds
It “fits”…I have always been…a Boi
Not in that stereotypical “butch” way
…earliest memory is around 4…
I named myself “Peter”…in my imaginary games
…and of course I was always the “boi” in those
“games” we played…it felt “normal”…
But conventions…catholic guilt…and
just being simply scared…kept “Pete”
Hidden away…
36 I was when I came out as “lesbian”
After all, I love women…times had changed
Being gay seemingly more acceptable…but
Something missing…in my psyche…
Takes being torn down…rebuilding oneself
Past two years…much self discovery…personnel growth
…acceptance…and finally remembering…Pete
I’m still scared…but ready.

What’s in a name?
My life, my being…honesty with self
Stealing that cliche…a rebirth at 46…
“Be true to thine self”
The time has come to live those words.”

New Beginnings

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“Part of the process of beginning anew, or changing directions is to know where you want to go. I know this sounds simplistic and easy, but this is one of the most difficult of choices to make with clarity.”

~ Byron Pulsifer, May Is Not Just For Flowers

Following the end of my last long term relationship, I was forced to face past demons…to get help for the black dog suffocating me…whilst the loss attached to a relationship ending was incredibly painful at the time, it also allowed me to finally be who I am.

I had been deeply lost…a shadow of who I am now. It has not been an easy road…some of that attributed to poor decisions as well as living with depression, where some days just getting out of bed was an achievement. In 2012 I was very unsettled. I didn’t know whether I wanted to stay in NZ or move to Aus. The lack of focus in my business cost me financially…I was disconnected as far as that goes but started to learn who I was spiritually. Many lessons followed…both of the heart as well as the head.

2013 I had slipped back into a depressive cycle…brought on by my financial position primarily. It was a horrible year as far as cash flow went…ultimately I sold my home before I was forced too…best decision ever & I am finally turning a corner on that front.

During those 2.5 years I met some amazing people…many whom remain close to my heart. A few more lessons finally learnt…and of course clarity in abundance; becoming “Pete” once again…I wake up smiling for each new day…still the usual stresses of work and dollars…overall though I have an inner peace quite unlike anything I have experienced. I have grown exponentially. I have met many beautiful souls & feel privileged to count them as friends…also the friendships made via FB…deep connections with so many even though we have not met in the flesh…humbling to be so blessed. My “life’s purpose” has become clearer & my more recent decisions have placed me in the ideal position to see it to fruition.

Watch this space!

2014 – following my passions…finding my purpose…

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In less than 3 weeks I begin a new journey…living in a kombi with Zara & Jaspa; learning a new topic with the Cert in Sustainability level 5 – food forest design & build and traveling the road.

I’ll still be active in my business as well; it’s an important period of rebuilding in so many facets of my life.

My first appointment with the transgender clinic in 2 weeks…many changes afoot with much to do between now and then…I’ll admit to having moments of feeling overwhelmed…breathe…1…2…3…

Feeling a little lonely too…more so of late…ah for the right reasons & that too will pass. Trick is not to dwell on the past…not to think to much of the future…just be. Take each day, hell each moment as it comes.

I find it has become increasingly important for me to take time just for me…whether it be a walk, a coffee break or just sitting quietly on my back step for a short while…to centre oneself.

I have a tendency to think too much…not a healthy trait overall…but recognising that within yourself is 80% of the battle…easier for me now to say “STOP”.

My passions are many…I’m at a stage of my life where in some respects I am making it more complicated and in others quite simplified (at least in my head it’s simplified!). For the moment, my passions lie in learning and doing with respect to Food Forests; how to design and build with ideally getting some practical experience along the way via woofing on properties that have commenced such a program on their land.

Living on the road no doubt will have its complications; not least getting two 10 year old kittehs settled into such a lifestyle! It is to me though the simplification of my life. Travelling around my country, meeting new people, experiencing many new adventures.

Learning my keyboard too is a passion; one I’ve neglected of late…not for much longer though…

Complications…well transitioning overlays all of this. Academically I know what is ahead…somewhat different though is experiencing the process and physical changes…the mental changes are already in full flow. I have no doubts about it…I know this is right…it’s me becoming me externally…and allowing myself to be me within…letting those layers of expectations fall away…the layers of guilt and fear based attitudes of what is black and white.

Gender is fluid. There is no black and white…shades of grey abound. Sexuality then flows from that determination…be it gay, straight, bi, asexual…it is amusing though to think as being a straight male…but heck that is what I am…now to “appear” like that is the end game. It does throw up all sorts of doubts though as to the community you belong…before I even came out as lesbian…I always felt more at ease within the gay community…now I’m not sure where I fit…shit there is so much prejudice within that community which I do struggle with given all that has been fought for mainstream…still people are people no matter their gender and/or sexual orientation (let alone race or religion!). Disappointing in many respects that whilst so much has been gained there are factions within that undermine all the good work done.

As to my purpose…the most important is to be happy. To be grateful each and every day for what is and what may be. Other than that I do not know. I do believe wholeheartedly though that will be enough.

Light and love.

Courage…no just finally being me.

Does it take “courage” to be your true self?

It depends…for some appear to be naturally in full flight of being themselves…perhaps in what society refers to as “normal”.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

~ Nelson Mandela

Back in 2003, my “coming out” as lesbian was…well one day my colleagues and some friends thought I was “normal”, the next I wasn’t…and I didn’t care what people thought. I was still “me”. In my mind the only change was my partner was female…it was “natural, normal” to me…I had overcome the fear…likely more so the fact that NZ is often at the forefront of significant changes…and standing up, being heard.

Then I was with EY…I remember the day after I brought my girlfriend along to a work quiz night at a local pub…one of the partners said to me how brave I was…I guess it was in the sense that I didn’t give a shit what the “ole boys network” thought. Heck never had…

Remembering “Pete”, a name I hadn’t really thought about in decades really came to the forefront of my mind…it was like an “illumination” in my heart…sounded so right when I spoke it aloud to a friend…a random conversation and it was a lightning bolt…the clarity of suddenly knowing who I am…not Marianne…I am and have since I was around 4 (my earliest memory) been Pete. And no, not “Peter”.

Memories of pre pubescent years “playing” with a friend; the innocence of being a child…it all seem quite natural…I naturally felt I was a boy…my whole mindset was always on being a boy.

Later, I recalled being caught and the significance of that event. I closed off “Pete”…to feel…to be…well that was all wrong, a sin…and I tried being a girl…

It wasn’t so bad…I have been always nonplussed about my breasts…they are “there” but aren’t so big to bother me…B cup though so slightly more than a handful…parents asked if I was a lesbian when I was about 14/15…I adamantly said no. Ha…was terrified that being a lesbian meant being incredibly unhappy or acted more butch than guys…well that had been my exposure as it were to lesbians plus the stereotypes.

First boyfriend at 15…he was 19…when he French kissed me I said yuk. Nah didn’t see him much after that…then 16 I got the hang of this kissing lark…virginity gone at 17 1/2…with that guy 7.5 yrs though (some brief periods split)…then was pretty much checking out both sides…was I Bi I thought…still women did it more for me…in all aspects…then alas met the psycho…with him for 8…see it’s not true about Saggis…we can commit…perhaps not wisely in wonderful hindsight. Then my first girlfriend…4 yrs…my last was 4 yrs too…and on my own the past 2.5 years…some fleeting dalliances…

I am Pete…a man…I’d like to believe that I am a good man (I will always strive to be a better person) and will be outwardly as I my appearance becomes more masculine.

As I made sense of my memories…and it didn’t become clearer for some months later, the magnitude of the “shift” at times overwhelming that I consciously played devils advocate and also occupied my mind as best I could…fear was hurdle…even now, 2013…with all the great strides made in the gay/lesbian arena…there remains a gap even between LGBT, let alone the “mainstream”.

My first girlfriend’s sister is MtF (statistically the higher number than FtM) past 30 yrs now. To me she was a woman from day one. End of. I had never before then meet someone who had changed to be who they always were inside.

I digress…over the past 2.5 years I have worked on myself both mentally, physically and spiritually…really worked through past events that had left a scar deep in my core. I have been blessed to meet (both online and in person) beautiful souls whom I love and respect…they taught me much…helped me see the lessons I needed to learn…I know now that I needed to experience this so that my true self would be able to surface…over this period I also have experience a few depressive periods brought on by past events not healed and then later emotional and financial hardships…remembering me, Pete ( yeah I love my name), I awake with a smile…a feeling deep within of happiness, even though there still remains the stresses (work, money) I know deep down that I will get through this and will be all that I can be.

“Courage” is overcoming fear…so yeah I have in my life and now…I am once again having the courage to push past fears and just be.

My first appointment with the trans clinic is 31 January. I was so ecstatic receiving that call…second step on my journey to show the world “Pete”!

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Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island

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Onetangi Beach or “weeping sands” for me is a place I come to listen, feel…my peace.

Back in the 1800s it was the site of much bloodshed as Hongi Heke & his tribe killed the last of the original Maoris that made this Island their home.

I find solace here. She embraces me…calms me. The clutter of my mind becomes still…so I can hear my inner voice…I can hear my guides…my guardian angels pass on what I already know to be true for me & the path I am on.

I will leave this island in the New Year…not until late March…I will always return…though I know in my heart not for good. My place is elsewhere…what I do know is the ocean will never be far away from wherever “home” is.

It’s an exiting journey ahead…

A year later…12 December 2013…

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…a year ago today…if anyone had said…

1. You will sell your house privately
2. You will finally know who you are
3. You will embark on an adventure…

Fook…dreamin!

…and now I know it to be true.

Today I turned 47 earth years…frankly I truly do not feel an exact age…if I had to choose I would say 30s…not for any particular reason apart from fact that is how I feel…some realism I guess 😀

The picture above is my sanctuary…Onetangi beach on Waiheke Island…today Gaia put on a spesh day for me. Even Dolphins playing in the bay this afternoon..had a wonderful lunch with mum…and a wonderful evening with friends…hats off to my bestie, Jill ::mwahs sweets::

I have truly been humbled by the outpouring of love for me today…I have had a wonderful birthday,

Namaste<3

Omdanne – Danish for “Transformation”

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It is only in one’s own eyes that perspectives are created. To illustrate my perspective…this photo instantly spoke to me of a man not yet fully transformed physically. It may only be due to the angle in which the photograph was taken. However, for me it touched the very essence of ftm or transman.

Mentally and spiritually I have been awaken…cliche yes…very much so. Nevertheless, a truth. Recalling my name given to ME by ME when I was only about 4 opened up deeply buried memories. The name in itself was comforting…it “fitted” and I embraced it wholeheartedly. Five months later, it is legally my name (big smiles). Other memories took time to work through…nothing unpleasant…more the fact that being a boy (or rather behaving as one) was so “normal” until an event that occurred when I was around ten. I buried those feelings…thoughts under layer upon layer of FEARS.

I played devil’s advocate with myself…talked it out with a few trusted friends…I wanted to be a boy…or rather a man (by age definition only lol). The “knowing” feeling deep in my gut, my intuition, wasn’t going away…if anything the belief that it was the right path for me became stronger. Close friends knew first, then I finally got the courage to tell my sister, then my mum. It is a relief to know that they are supportive of my decision (even though they may not “get it”).

So…end of November my journey of transformation began…Doctor’s referral & baseline blood tests completed. The “wait” begins. Could be a good 3-4 months before I’ll get an appointment. The transition though is happening subtlety in other ways. My hair is short in a masculine style, my eyebrows are re shaping…I haven’t shaved in months. Slowly switching my wardrobe to more male / unisex. The cupboard is very bare! I’ll be living in tees, jeans, shirts & shorts for a few more months yet! Next is working out more. Running, cycling, weights & swimming.

It’s not only my very being that is changing…2014 brings new journeys…moving…travelling…living on the road…it is going to be a real adventure!