The air around me is suddenly crisp and clear and real and natural. I can taste it anew. Taste it in a way I don’t think I ever have before. Every drop of morning dew and a blade of grass, each little squawk of birdsong, is fresh and new and more real than it has ever been.

I’ve undergone an awakening. An awakening of sorts that is so incredibly momentous that it is so almost impossible to put it into words. And yet, there is a word for it, there is even a word for the time of life I am in, there is even a sentence to describe it.

But it is oh so much more than that.

It’s almost as though it is a second awakening.

But these are more than just mere awakenings, they are moments of truth that are so full of momentous importance that it is difficult to convey them.

Have you ever had that experience of waking in the morning and feeling as though everything has changed, everything is different?

I have, and I am fortunate enough that it is more than once occurred. Now, twice I have had that immense experience of awakening to something of myself that is so potent, so true, so important that it changes everything.

Yes, everything.

Everything, yes, the way you understood yourself and your place in the world, your relation to others, your understanding of how you fit, how you think, how you in fact are, and what your being actually is.

It possibly comes as no surprise to readers that one of these awakenings is the awakening to, the realisation of, the diagnosis as and the acceptance and celebration of being autistic. That awakening did indeed change so much. So much became clear about myself, how I understand myself, my actions, my feelings, thinkings, relationships and so the list could go on.

Yes, an awakening to being autistic, whilst in a sense was not a new thing, but in a whole other sense was, changed everything.

Suddenly, I wasn’t wrong and strange and crazy, a misfit. I was just an autistic person. Of course, the moment of diagnosis, the moment f sitting at the clinician’s rooms and hearing them make the pronouncement was not the moment of awakening. No, that was more like a moment of dread and a moment of bad news.

It wasn’t even the next day, no, it was some months down the road. It is a kind of dissonant thing in a way, as always, well for many years at least, had an attitude of acceptance of autism as simply a different way of being. Whilst “Different Not Less” was not a common phrase to fall from my lips, the essence of that phrase was congruent with my attitude to my autistic kids, to any autistic person.

But somehow when it came to self, that moment of diagnosis and the following months were somehow something a little different. A grief, a sense of loss, a sense of brokenness a little more acute than it had been in its ever-present history.

Guilt, a sense of giving autism to my kids made its presence felt too.

But then awakening.聽A moment. Clarity!

Acceptance!

Celebration!

But that’s not the awakening I intended to write about tonight. No. That is another awakening altogether. even more momentous, and yet equivalent too, in a sense, as both these awakening are in essence, an awakening to who I have always been. They are not a becoming something but an acceptance of what is.

I have awoken to the truth that I am in fact a woman!

Yes, the air is clear, the wind blows truly through me and all is right in the world as I accept myself to be who I always have been.

It’s certainly been a journey to get to this point.

So many years of trying and failing to be a man.

So much effort in trying to be one of the boys.

So many times feeling so disconnected and not quite fitting in when doing the man thing, associating with the guys.

So many years of secretly identifying wanting to be with the girls, do what the girls were doing. All that stuff.

It is such an intense awakening. Everything has truly changed.

As each day blooms a new into life I feel myself blossoming just a little more, as if my bud of life opens just a little more to the truth and reality of my true self.

Now I understand why I always wanted to play with the girls. Why I would rather associate with the girls. Why I had an inexplicable sense of disorientation when forced to be separate from other females. How it is that I felt unfairly excluded in the face of female-only activities and venues. Now I understand why I always felt an affinity with feminism, how I could never quite comprehend the chauvinist and sexism of patriarchy and the undercurrent of seething disgust at the subjugation of women that bubbled along within me.

Yes, it all makes so much sense now.

And so, yes, this is, my first post here, as Rochelle, my true name. Whilst all those other posts, were me, they were not the awakened me. Those posts that were written, not as the true me, but the me that was pretending to be a male me.

Welcome to the future. It’s bright, it’s clear, and yet it has messiness, a steep learning curve and there will, I am sure, be lots of mistakes, false starts, blunders, and falls. Just as a young girl wobbles her way through puberty to womanhood, so too do I.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks, I appreciate you sticking with it.

Join me on this journey, won’t you. I am sure it’s going to be a grand day out!