It's kind of funny really, considering that I spent most of my life in Pinocchio mode - well, I still kind of am in a way. I mean, I never could and still never can, really, show a face of myself to the world that was anything like authentic; I've spent most of my life faking it, constantly evaluating and re-evaluating what's expected or wanted or needed of me in the particular moment and adapting and flexing and making a dozen micro-adjustments per second in order to be what I must.
It only recently (in the scheme of my life, say, 4 years ago) began to occur to me that being authentic was an option. Of course - my life as a female taught me that being myself resulted in punishment and pain of one kind or another. And even now, though I can be more honestly myself with people in that they see me as what I am (male), there's still always the deception in that they think I was born the way they see me now, and short of carrying a sign round my neck or announcing it (thereby opening myself wide to real prejudice that will affect my children), there's not much I can do about that.
Perhaps that general pattern of doing my best to 'get it right' all my life with what I considered the most important thing of all - just fitting in, being accepted, being liked and being useful - and failing, has undermined any confidence in my ability to perform, or get it right. Maybe that's what makes me clam up when someone walks in the room when I'm singing: having lived my entire life in a state of feeling as though there was some hand-out that everyone got and which I missed; I was at a disadvantage before the contest even began.
Yes... life is a contest with rules made up by people you can never see and who keep changing them; it's a constant effort to jump through hoops that the people holding them move just as you're in mid-air jumping towards them. The only chance I have is to be as adaptable as possible, to think on the fly, to keep my eye out for any change, any clue, cue or pattern, no matter how minute, to enable me to make the last-minute adjustment that'll save me from the black eye or the cold shoulder. I can't afford to wallow in feelings and emotions, because that's when I'll be caught with my pants down; I must stay focused on the task, whilst simulatenously juggling all the many variables.
I live a perpetual state of unicycling across a tight-rope, trying to make progress while being pushed back by a grizzly bear, balancing an egg on a spoon in my mouth and a beachball on my head whilst juggling ten flaming torches, chased by a hungry lion. With no safety net. Failure is not an option. But I've become so used to it that it's easy to me, and I get bored all the time... and would you believe, find myself looking always for bigger challenges...