it was time to change
It was about five years ago that I realized I needed to make a change. I was constantly trying to escape my anxiety/depression and felt pretty directionless in terms of life. I took about 4 months and went traveling to national parks, the Canadian rockies, Croatia, and Malta. This transient lifestyle came with continuously shifting landscapes and lots of time to be alone and reflect. The noise from the past 5 years of my life finally toned down and I was left with nothing but my own thoughts, feelings and experiences.
As I became more attuned to my sense of self and emotions in each new situation and context, I gained clarity about how big of a role gender played in my struggles. Being immersed in new cultures, different norms and unfamiliar stereotypes helped me recognize I wasn't happy or comfortable being in the world as just a girl.
Reaching this realization was not easy and came with countless tears, fears, and an overwhelming amount of uncertainty. I needed to come home and begin life all over again. As soon as I got back I checked into into a silent meditation retreat, which only further clarified for me that exploring my gender more deeply was necessary. This is when I really started trying on a new identity and things have just kind of continued evolving from there. Fast forward and now I can barely remember what it felt like to not know my life's direction