Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#337: THE UNCOMFORTABLE MIDDLE

Oh, my. I just about yelled I love you over my cubicle wall to one of my co-workers today. It's not that I do or do not love her, because it's neither: I like her like a co-worker. It's that yelling those words spontaneously at your co-workers is not considered normal behaviour. I yell I love you across the apartment at the Fiery One every day (because screaming it across two rooms is highly romantic, don't you know), but I definitely do not do that at work. In fact, I never have had that urge at work, and it's a little unsettling to think that if I had just the tiniest little bit less of a hold on my self control, one of my co-workers would now be scrambling for a new position somewhere very far away from me, or I would possibly be recommended for a psychiatric review.

(This reminds me of the time just before recess in grade three when I took off my shirt by the coat hooks instead of putting on my coat. I was mortified by this metathesis of action when my friend Bradley pointed at my chest and sputtered Nipple!).

Today, I am finding that I am occasionally filled with bubbling, frothy feelings of exuberance and lightness, and I don't know if this is actually an emotional state or the result of having brought enough food to the office today. It could also be the result of the toxins that must be leaking into my blood system from this monstrous growth on my cheek that several sizes ago might have been described as a pimple.

To be truthful, I do think I am more emotionally off kilter than normal. Of course I am. I have been experiencing emotions lately that I don't have pat labels for. Coming out about my gender dysphoria and pansexuality feels brilliant, and by brilliant I mean terrifying and bright and bold and blinding and bigger-than-life. At one moment, I will be standing in the hall wondering why I bother living, and at another, I will be thinking about how fantastic it feels to finally experience the feeling of physical solidity. Despite the fact that I have always known about myself, the secret left me feeling much different than the knowledge expressed. I think I've unsettled myself; my insides are the silt cloud at the bottom of a stirred stream.

Did I say bubbly and frothy earlier? Three paragraphs later and I find myself decidedly paranoid with a touch of anxiety-induced nausea.

In coming out, it seems as though I removed some kind of emotional obstruction. For the most part, I have gone through my life feeling things very strongly while at the same time experiencing a sense of removal. It has always seemed like I am here but not here, feeling but not feeling, seeing but not seeing with my nose against the glass. There has never been a solidly here-and-now feeling of physical confirmation that I am indeed sitting on this chair or walking down that street or watching that film or thinking these thoughts.

The lack of sincere physicality is still here as ever, but I feel closer to my emotions than I have since my teenage years. The distance between me and myself is lessened, and although it is a relief to at least partially close the gap, it does not feel liberating.

You cannot see the oppressions that lie in wait for you if they are outside your personal experience. Freedom is what you don't know.

Depite this, I do value the importance of what I am unearthing. I am finding anger in places that I thought it had left. I am finding a natural respect for parts of myself where I did not know I had it. I am mourning the years that I spent struggling against something that was ultimately under my own power, and I celebrate that I will not find myself living with bitterness at eighty-seven because I refused to let go of an old battle.

Most of my reasons behind coming out have to do with me and my own ways of living and dealing with myself, which means that most of the changes, at least at the moment, are internal. The ways in which I view, judge, and handle myself, as well as my expections of myself, are changing, and it makes me want to coerce a prescription for sedatives out of a mediclinic doctor and crawl under the covers for about a week. It's either that or a sunny holiday on a quiet island where there are no obligations to do anything but think and be alone for a good stretch of time.

Have I told you how hard it is to go to work every day over the last week or two? Have I mentioned how my body's exhaustion makes the two flights of stairs to my apartment feel like a monumental task?

But now I am just whining, which I shouldn't do, because the frothy and bubbly from earlier will likely re-emerge shortly with the sugar rush of lunch.

Also, life is the good whole surrounding this uncomfortable middle. The Fiery One makes me excellent suppers, which means that I get at least some vegetable matter into me once a day, and he tells me repeatedly that I am valued and loved. My iddy biddy birds chirp and squawk halloo when I come home, because I am exactly as they expect. Re-runs of any one of the CSI franchises soothes my brain with their repetitive story pablum, and I would drag them to bed with me like some kind of pooky if I could. With fall nearly here, brunch with the precious brunch folks is resuming and with it the consumption of the hashbrowns I crave.

Up and down. Down and up. Up and down. My emotions are like a freaking Ses@me Street segment.

I am off to eat butterscotch cake and survive this bout with second guesses.

Those of you who rock know who you are. Thank you.



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"A Spring Piece Left in the Middle" by Nazim Hikmet