One of the ideas which occurred to me was how long it actually took me to leave my male self/life behind. I literally wasted decades seeking out an answer to my gender dysphoria which I had known all along and was afraid to confront. I only knew the time I was spending as a prospective transgender woman felt increasingly natural. The changes came because the time I was spending in a feminine world had changed because of my perspective. Suddenly I was approaching my life as a transgender woman as just that...not a cross dresser. There was a huge adjustment to face when I did it.
There was also the question of what I was going to do with the decades of male baggage I carried with me. I was fortunate in that I discovered I could go to and be accepted by others with similar "hobbies" such as drinking draft beer and watching sports. In fact, back in those days, it was just becoming fashionable for all women to enjoy a craft beer and watch a game on one of the many new giant televisions in the venue.
I began to appreciate the male years which had did their best to deliver me to the spot I had finally arrived. After all, the body I inherited proved to be very resilient to health problems and provided me just enough background to not be bullied much at all. Plus, good or bad, my body had carried me through three years in the Army and provided my share of DNA to reproduce a very talented and intelligent accepting daughter.
I'm not a big fan of "what if's" but if I had it all to do over again, I would have followed through on my wife's advice to be man enough to be a woman much earlier. I was just too stubborn to do it.