We spend our whole lives becoming something different than what we were when we started. It’s all about what we become. We begin as children and we become teens and then adults. Not done yet, we eventually become middle-aged and elders. When we leave that progression, we become a memory. We begin as a single person and may become married. In some cases, we may then become single again or divorced.
We are novices at our craft and then become experts. We may become lonely or become joyful. The possibilities are endless. For our whole lives we are on a path of becoming something different. We never question that. Of course, we’re not static; of course we’re changing! That’s the way it is, right?
What happens when someone becomes something unexpected? Do we still congratulate them? Yes, we do. My youngest child, a girl, left home a few years ago to go to college about 45 minutes away. During that commute across town, she changed her name and soon, her pronouns. My daughter became my son.
We’ve had lunch every week during that time, and I’ve seen the changes. After many conversations the years preceding his name change, it was not a surprise to hear his decision. It was nonetheless a bit of a shock. We moved quickly through that as I understand that it isn’t my job to approve or disapprove, but to love and support. There is nothing more for me to do but help him become what feels right for him.
I have seen him become happier, more outgoing, and more confidant. He used to be painfully shy, but now he is more socially adept. He has found friends to hang out with and acceptance at his school. He navigated through a few difficult situations rather maturely; it makes me proud.
Back when he was a toddler girl, it was obvious that she didn’t approach things the same way as my other daughters. We all rolled with it; how could we not? As she grew older, the different outlook was more pronounced, and she seemed a bit surprised and confused about the boy-crazy girls she knew in school. Her father and I tried to provide some of the social support she needed while she figured things out. Honestly, we expected her to turn out to be a butch lesbian, but she had a surprise in mind. So, another son it is!
For all of you who are in the process of becoming, I applaud your efforts. Some things take a long time and others take less, but they should all be meaningful. I hope that whatever you are becoming, it makes you happy. Be authentic and fly your true colors.