Teen Angst 2.0

When people sigh ‘you can’t re-live your childhood’ they usually do so wistfully. This sentiment wraps the days of youth in a golden blanket that is an impossible dream, a bittersweet memory. The wistfulness gracefully skips past the pimples and goes straight to prom. The scrapes on the playground to senior skip days. Ah, to be young again.

As a trans person, I get to re-live some of this youthful magic. Granted, I am all of twenty-one-years-old. The fog of memory has hardly begun to round out the sharp edges of growing pains. Angst is a visceral memory. As of testosterone injection three, angst is back.

People say to expect changes in mood at the beginning of hormone therapy. Fine, I thought. Nothing I haven’t experienced before. But teen angst 2.0 is even more mind blowing the tranny time around. During puberty, we are hardly conscious of anything. Every change in our bodies is unpredictable and totally overwhelming. No one understands us and it totally sucks, dude. This time, in my twenties, all these things apply but my greater level of self-awareness translates every change into an inner discourse on gender, politics, and the surreal. I am so glad that wasn’t the case at thirteen.

Last time I wrote to you I was enamored with the restless energy I was experiencing for the first time. It’s still perplexing and new, but it is now turning into fidgeting in class and doing laps around the fine arts center during intermission to escape interpersonal interaction. Weird. The other night the “no one understands me because I’m a freak” track got so loud that I put myself to bed before things got out of hand. How long is this supposed to last?

I figure that this strange new world will at least foster some quality writing. Perhaps I will make like my teenaged self and take another stab at song writing. Perhaps I will take up running. This time around, teen angst will surely lose out.

As for feeling like a freak, I suppose that is a feeling that springs from the intersection of hormone therapy and social consciousness. My body is shifting into the form I have wished for my whole life. I know what to expect but every day is more perplexing and magical than the last. Perhaps my training in the visual arts is frustrating my growth process. The image of my ideal self is so sharp that I would be unable to ignore it if I tried. Perhaps what I really should be doing is sketching instead of whining. After all, if you’re paying attention, life just imitates art.


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