March 25, 2019
in the afternoon of November 6, 2015 i began a journey i never thought i would take… yes in many ways i always dreamed of this journey… but in all those beautiful dreams i never knew how that journey would begin.. the beginning is the most fragile moment in your existence… i had no control over my fate in those moments… moments that were filled with pain and tears as “his” life came to a crashing end…. i had no prayers or dreams to cling to in those endless seconds… i had nothing…. and in that moment of emptiness i said words that never could be taken back…
and when i began my journey i promised myself i would write a journal, and in that journal i recorded every tear i would cry… every emotion, whether it be one of pain or joy, i had to write it all down so they would never be lost… i called my journal “the songs of the sirens” as it was the sirens i heard all my life, calling to me…. haunting me and luring me to some unknown… and i wrote in that journal now for three and a half years… that journal is the most precious thing i own… i love it and i am so proud of it….
i wrote in that journal never thinking that it would have an ending… that there would ever be a last entry i would write.. i just assumed that i would have to write chapter after chapter… but today i realized that journeys begin and journeys end… the carousal of life stops only to begin again… and in many ways i realize now, that this journey of transition i began, i began when i cried out in tears, afraid of the moments that would follow….. now i realize this journey is over…. the carousal will stop, but my journey of life continues… tess now will simply be tess… after all wasn’t that what that little boy always dreamed of, dreamed of and held in his heart
how many endless hours did i sit in that chair and cry, and that beautiful voice always told me, “tess it will happen”…. my therapist believed in me, more than i believed in myself…. and of all the circles of support i sat in and wondered if my tears of transition would ever end…. and in those moments i never could imagine that one day i would just be…. be tess… not tess who lived with that asterisk by her name… an asterisk that was never wanted…. i often wondered would it ever be possible to erase that mark that i felt caused me so much pain.. could i just simply be tess…
and even if i could, i would never want to forget… forget my journey….. yes deep in my heart i will always remember the journey i took to get to this day, for in remembering my journey i alway realize the blessing i now hold and i never want to forget, or just take for granted what i have been blessed with, blessed with in this special moment…
i was dressed in my formal wear…. i felt beautiful… no longer do i feel it necessary to wear my wigs, no tonight my hair was tied up in my little ballerina bun… i own a smile now that is genuine and beautiful and that smile was framed with my bright red lipstick… i stood in that room and listened, i really heard or maybe understood for the first time how so many people see this entity of tess… the Senior Officers sang praises to tess… that tess was an important member of their team and how tess was loved by all the passengers… and when in the Captain’s Farewell Party for the passengers, the Captain of this magnificent ship, the most important and respected person on board… and tonight, when on that stage they would introduced the Captain to all the guest, it was the Captain who insisted that i walk out just moments before he did…. and as he stepped on that stage and took the mic and said that tess might as well be the Captain, as she is loved so much and by so many of you…. i smiled and tried desperately to hide my tears of joy as my heart pounded out in happiness… it was then i really realized that all i really am is tess… tess is what all these people saw… what they knew or figured out of my past meant nothing to them, nothing at all for they just simply loved what they saw, this woman who has a passion and a beautiful heart for what she is doing…..
and i realized then that it’s time i too just be tess….. saying this, i know there will always be those times that i will be mis-gendered….. it will happen and i must accept this… accept this and not let that moment eat away at my happiness….
my “journey of transition” has ended tonight…. so i wonder now what words will i write to close out this part of my life…
thoughts written to a dear friend…. my journal…
thank you Mary for telling me to journal through this journey… my journal has helped me so much with my journey… it has been read often, always showing me the gains i made in my journey but also reminding me of all my tears…
the pages were empty..
without ones hands to gently turn
to stop and linger in thoughts
be they of pain or happiness…
you were unfilled
alone and empty like my broken spirit…
and then came my words
you didn’t care if they were words of pain or love
you never judged
but always accepted…
you knew my words were honest
the pain it was real,
for the tears would stain your pages…..
you taught me to hold on tight
when i was falling
being broken by ugly thoughts….
pain was all i felt for many of your pages
but you said “hold on tight you must”
for there was always another page
waiting for that smile
you promised….. just write one more page
all those words…..
pages and pages of silent words
never felt, but by your soul
and of those countless pages of words
you taught me to believe
that tears could be wiped from crying eyes
and my broken heart could mend….
you told my hand
you must go on
find those words amongst the many
for the words can heal,
they have that magic, if you believe,
and so the words continued to come….
you told me honesty can hurt,
it will stain these pages with painful tears
but write the truth
with all its pain for then the words can change
and the tears can dry
and words of joy can start to fill these pages.
today i looked at the words
and like always tears were felt…
my heart it ached
but as the words continued to fall
i realized you were right,
you promised me,
you never lied…
today these pages had joy,
joy i never knew
and as i write my tears they rain
tears of joy
tears that wash away the pain
tears that know that the many empty waiting pages
can and will be filled,
filled with beautiful words….
oh my friend
with this tired pen
and all my words,
pages and pages of words,
you hold them dear…
never oh never let them fade
but let them rest in peace
if you will,
i love those words
because with them you showed me how to smile
so i write….
thank you my dear friend
tess julianna 4/13/2016