For someone who has never followed a gender path to their authentic selves, they don't realize the path
includes many different separate transitions. Once I began to think about it, I started to equate it with a set of Russian Nesting Dolls.
The first major transition I went through was when I realized just living in the mirror looking like a girl was not enough. After the feeling of exhilaration or gender euphoria quickly faded, the true desire to actually be a girl remained. You could say I was going through the earliest realization I wasn't a cross dresser at all. My gender issues went much deeper than just dressing like a girl. I was similar to the smallest nesting doll in the picture.
As I began to follow my new gender path in life which always reminded me deep down I should have been a girl, I desperately needed to find ways to satisfy my urges. Sadly the entire process wasn't the smoothest and led me to the point of desperation when I faced the fact I would not see the light of day as my feminine self except once a year at Halloween. I compare it to being doll number five in the set. the more I learned about my feminine side, the more I wanted to learn. which included getting out into the world and escaping my mirror and very dark confining closet.
Once I began to get out of my closet, there was no going back. I began to quickly move to the bigger nesting dolls following successful journeys into the world as a novice transgender woman. Slowly and very unsurely I found my way into ever larger gender challenges. To me the fourth nesting doll from the top represents the times I had to learn to communicate with other women and men in this brave new gender world. I was trying to make my way without any of the old male privilege's I had built up over the years. Looking back, I'm lucky I didn't break this fragile doll. Many times during this period of my life, I thought I had it made to some extent but I didn't realize how much farther I had to go. I thought the biggest dolls would be the easiest to obtain.
Surprise, they weren't. I view the second to biggest doll as when I started hormone replacement therapy. HRT provided me with the chance to improve my external appearance as well as opened my internal self to a new softening I never thought possible. All in all my second doll provided me with all I needed to know to move forward to the biggest doll. The biggest doll was my ultimate goal of living full time as a transgender woman.
I managed so far to find my largest Russian nesting doll and not break it. I survived many gender transitions within a transition and I am happy for it.