You know, you would think that normies would be able to help you learn how to act normally, offering constructive tips about how to fit in and all that.
They can’t do that, though. They are mostly useless at that kind of assistance.
The reason is, I suspect, that they don’t really understand what doing normie means. They have never really thought about it, never tried to analyze it or perfect it. They just do it.
Of course, they learned it somehow, but that learning wasn’t conscious or deliberate. The normative and conventional was just always around them, seeping into them. And when they got it wrong, when they needed correction, nobody ever explained why what they were doing was wrong, explained the conceptual structures behind acting like us. They just yelled, told them the right way and moved on.
I was told by an old teacher that I am what educators call a “concept former.” I need to understand the concept first, then I can apply it. Most students don’t approach learning that way, they learn by repetition and modelling, learning the keystrokes, not the ideas.
When I bought my own domain name, years ago, I selected TransPractice.com
Trans is obvious. And to me, Practice is obvious too. My trans expression is deeply rooted in my practice, in my own disciplined behaviours of understanding and embodying basic principles.
Transvestism is about changing your clothes.
Transsexualism is about changing your body.
Transgender is about changing your mind.
For me, getting my understanding and choices clear were always at the core of my growth, healing and development.
Professions that have a practice demand disciplined thought. I remember in The Paper Chase where Professor Kingsfield told his contracts class “You teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come in here with a skull full of mush; you leave thinking like a lawyer.”
I learned to survive by learning mental discipline. I knew that I needed something, and a big brain seemed to be my best tool to understand better, to choose better.
What I share with other people, it turns out, is the skill of thinking in a different and more considered way. This is the essence of mindfulness,of the process of deconstruction, analysis and reconstruction, of learning the discipline to stay in the moment and respond with conscious presence rather than unconscious reaction.
All who offer healing work to put your experiences in a new context. For some, this healing is focused on teaching, on developing your own discipline and approach to understanding, while for others this healing is focused on faith, on developing reliance on shared principles of belief and behaviour.
I am focused on practice, on spiritual discipline, on personal understanding, on individual responsibility. This has not proven to be the most comforting offer for most people, nor is it the offer that allows people to build followers who come back again and again to look for understanding and comfort.
Seekers are on a journey, learning what they can and then moving on to learn more, building their own practice, not returning again and again for the routine of comforting ritual. We choose and then choose again, always aware of the ripples of our choices, always focused on understanding and doing better, achieving some kind of mastery that leaves us wiser, more open-hearted, and more centred than when we started.
To do this, our evolving practice must support us in letting go of the past, in transcending the pain, in moving beyond comfort to start again in every moment, to becoming new. That’s a much harder ask than just following some sort of dogma or doctrine.
Only those who are working to build their own practice can help us learn how to be conscious and growing in the world. That’s one reason southern gals are often so good at feminine expression; there are masters in finishing schools who teach the performance of womanhood as a discipline to be honed because practice makes perfect.
Practice isn’t easy. To me, though, practice is what gives human life meaning, revealing connection and offering the mindful & aware discipline that leads to mastery.
Tourist walks up to a musician on the streets of Manhattan and asks “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
“Practice, practice, practice,” is their reply.
How do you get to a full and meaningful life?
I’d give the same answer.