I remember the first times I did anything as Jess. I remember being terrified to leave the house, sitting in my car the first time I went to a Meet-up gathering. Remember the fear when I heard another girl suggest a shopping trip to a local mall. I remember the knot in the pit of my stomach on my way into the office to come out at work.
All of these things evoked strong emotions, and strong emotions get a special place in the brain.
Although I did not understand it at the time, each experience was like a workout for my confidence. The fear was the pain of my confidence being stretched out of range. Each new time growing in effort and complexity, just like a workout routine.
My life has been hectic of late and I make commitments and hope that I remember to put them in my calendar. This morning I awoke to my Alexa was sounding the alarm. I did a quick check to see if I could ‘Snooze’ a bit more. The calendar on my phone showed a meeting at 10am. with the county Sheriff, so no snooze for me.
We have a new Sheriff in Collin County, and I was not sure why he called the meeting, but he is responsible for the safety of my towns citizens, so if he wants to meet, we meet.
Entering the County Sheriffs office is a surreal experience for a newly out transgender. These are no-nonsense kind of people. They deal with life and death daily, not transgender mayors.
Yet everyone was very friendly and welcoming. The Sheriff greeted me with a smile and handshake. He asked how things were going for both the town and me, obviously well-read, he was aware of my situation, and offered genuine interest in my answers.
We sat down to business at hand: The rapid population growth of our county and it’s effects. He had a plan to increase the level of protection, both for my citizens and his officers. He laid out his figures and detailed his intentions. I found his plan logical and well thought out and will present it to my council next week. It was a good meeting.
As I left, I thought about how this whole thing would have effected me just 2 years ago. I could not have done it. But every time I have overcome a fear, I have exercised my confidence, and now it is strong enough to handle this day with ease.