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A Progress Report

Six months ago I broached a topic I never imagined I could (or would) and irrevocably changed my life for what I genuinely hope is the better. I began to reevaluate all facets of my life, challenging my ideologies and working toward a fuller and healthier understanding of my true self. It has been a reinvigorating experience and I have been incredibly fortunate to find myself surrounded by love and support. It is a privilege I hope to never take advantage of.

Yet over the last few months, I find myself feeling somewhat lost. The certainty I had in September almost seems like it has wavered within me and it’s been weighing heavy recently. It’s as though I’m running down a self doubt greatest hits album, with such toe-tapping barn burners as: “Help, I Have No Idea What I’m Doing,” “Have I Done The Right Thing?’ “Am I a Phony?”

Believe me, I’m not writing this piece to garner pity or anything like that. I just find myself in a sticky wicket and since writing has always been my outlet, I suppose this is where I air it out. It is true though, I am struggling with bouts of imposter syndrome. To be honest, I’m not too sure why because I still know in my heart that this is my struggle and the feelings of being born in the wrong body haven’t disappeared. I guess the question I am currently asking of myself is what am I going to do about it now? I suppose part of this stagnation I’m feeling is due in part to my focus on school. Whenever I’m in a semester, I primarily keep my attention trained on my assignments and the all around craziness of my time on campus. The only times I really discuss any of this is here on HerCampus. 

Something I know I need to do is visit the LGBTQ center on campus. I have been talking to plenty of people in my life about the thoughts I’ve been having, but I haven’t actually discussed any of this with many people in the community. I desperately have wanted to talk to someone who has struggled with dysphoria. I not only want to learn for my benefit, but to also hear their stories. Another part of my stagnation is I guess I could say I’m afraid. Shyness has hounded me for years and when it comes to a matter as paramount as this one, my anxiety spikes. There have been so many days where I have walked to just about where the LGBTQ center is, work myself up, and spin on my heel and leave.

It is in no way anything against the fine people in the center. I’m sure they are incredible people and I have seen the outstanding work they’ve done for campus. I’m just so afraid of coming off as an imposter. Who the hell am I? Some 25 year old who is suddenly realizing he isn’t happy with his body? I feel as though there are others out there who are more deserving of their time. I know it sounds so silly, but it’s a voice that won’t seem to let up. I also can’t seem to shake a shame which sometimes flares up. Is it shame of being a man? Who am I to feel that I should have been born a woman? I’ve only ever known the privileges of being a man and I am fully aware of this. I’m not proud of it and I would gladly trade in the card any day. Should I be ashamed of these things? Should I be ashamed of these revelations? I don’t feel like I should be, but something deep down in me tries to call my a liar.

Communication has never been my strong suit. I’ve touched on this in some of my other articles, but it’s especially hard when I need to ask for help. I have so much trouble with this and I can only imagine that has a load of shame loaded into it as well. However, in this situation, I know who I should be talking to and just don’t know how to. I’m hoping writing about this will finally kick my butt into gear and get me to take that step, but I would also like to open myself here as well. 

Anyone who has any advice they would like to impart, I would be very humbled and happy to speak with you. I am learning so much at this stage in my life, especially now that I am working toward challenging and changing myself. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I would try and do everything on my own and never ask for help from others. I want to change that. I understand this is not something I can do on my own. This journey is absolutely mine to make, but that does not mean I need to go it alone. I have so many people who are here to guide me along and there are plenty of resources at my disposal. No matter how low I get, I will continue this journey. I’m through with getting in the way of my own happiness.  

Salutations! My name is Tyler and welcome to my HerCampus page. Within, you will find all manner of conversations concerning gender, identity, as well critiques and challenges of toxic masculinity and male privilege. I also discuss trans rights, and highlight some books/media by creators outside of the straight white canon. I hope you find something you like!
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