This is Coles Hayes’ story.
I have so many things to achieve over the next six months. I haven’t counted, but it’s a lot!
Watching Marissa Farmer’s video this morning I realised, though, that I hadn’t noticed that I had shifted my focus to the practical simply to stop myself being overwhelmed by my to-do list. It was beautiful to hear Marissa describe not only what was happening to her, but how she was feeling at the time.
The protocol for Marissa’s surgery sounds like it will be fairly similar to mine, though I will be in hospital for 6 to 7 days (until after the equivalent of her first post-op checkup), then stay in Melbourne for another 10 or 11 days before I get the final okay for the flight home. I believe that there are also checkup trips back to Melbourne over the following year, but I’m a bit hazy on that. First things first.
It seems so very long ago that I was the scared “man” that did my utmost to remain in the shadows, lest I be seen. The concept of being seen terrified me. Being seen would inevitably result in me needing to see myself. I wasn’t ready for this, for reasons that I wasn’t yet ready to confront. To this end I avoided eye contact, publicity, crowds and intimacy to the greatest extent possible … which if you really put your mind to it, can be pretty much all of the time.
How times have changed though. There are still occasions when I need to secrete myself away, transitioning is a bumpy ride, but on the whole I am 1000% more comfortable with putting myself out there for the world to see and interact with.
In January 2019, I was interviewed by Humans of Lismore on some of the more interesting chapters of my life story. Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of the published interview. Being interviewed by Denise is a beautifully intimate experience, as intimate as being interviewed for a story that possibly might be read by 19,000 people (her page’s current follower count) can be.