No matter how far I think I've come, I still have a long way to go.

I have been involved in a friend's play-by-mail now for many years. My method of role-playing has always been to find a character into whose head I could comfortably crawl, and learn over time to respond to things in the
game as the character would, to make my response as the character as close to the charcter's as I could get. I used to use role-playing as a means of escaping reality; now I like to think that I use it as a pleasant diversion,
a positive instead of a negative.

The character that I played, at first, was a model of self, a fifteen-year-old male werebear verging on self-discovery and becoming involved with his first love. I thought at the time that this was a good self-reflection-in-funhouse-mirror, which is the sort of character I play best, because of how I tend to play characters. At first, it was a fun role, and a fitting one, because I thought it was close to who I was.

As time progressed, though, I began to drift away from that mindset. In the past, I know I've said here that I found the idea of bringing my old stories over to my new homepage difficult to accept, because the characters within were no longer people with whom I could empathize. The same happened with the character in this game. At one point, I emailed the gamemaster and said that I didn't think I would be able to continue playing the character.

The gamemaster was extremely sympathetic, and he offered to help me find new life in my character by setting things up so that the character would become female. I said that I wasn't sure if it would work, but I was willing to try and that I didn't want to quit the game. We negotiated a few details and then I left things to his capable hands. 

Shortly thereafter, we set things in motion for the character to make the grand discoveries in her life. Honestly, it wasn't much of a stretch; events had conspired earlier that made things convenient. Role-playing tends, by its nature, to exaggerate events in the real world, and things that could have taken a normal person years to understand happened in a much shorter time within the game.

One of these events was the development of a relationship with another character in the game, a male slightly older than my character. In good melodramatic style, the relationship developed quickly, but not illogically, shared trauma and shared adventure helping grow their closeness. He was among the first of those to find out about her, not the first only because of fear that he would reject her for her announcement.

As things are now, the character is about to have her wishes fulfilled. A mage in the game has undertaken to change her physically from how she is now to who she believes she wishes to be. My character was sent, with her mate, to prepare emotionally and mentally for the change. She worked through a lot of anxiety and fear in her preparation, talking with her mate.

At the end of the last round of emails, her mate proposed to her. 

After responding, I stood and walked away from the computer, thinking about everything that had happened in the game and how it related to my own life, and how I would feel in her situation. It occured to me, after some thinking, that I was envious of her.

No matter what I do, no matter how hard I work, no matter how long I spend trying, I will never truly "be a woman", if only in the sense that my chromosomes will always be male. My body will be virtually indistinguishable
from that of a woman's, but I will never bear my own children. This, more than anything, is what upsets me now.

I remember Lurene as a young child, telling me of her dreams of having children, and how I used to smile and shake my head because I could never see myself as a father. I wish I had had her strength and understanding

I broke down in the shower, sobbing in Jessie's arms. She would have everything I wanted, and I felt so angry and upset and envious that it overwhelmed me. All Jess could do was hold me and wait for it to pass. I hate putting those I love into those kinds of situations, but there are times when I don't know how do to anything else.

I accept that I will never truly have what I want, that I will never get one-hundred percent of what I seek. With work, though, I can have most of it, and that will have to suffice. The only alternative is to have none of it, and that just simply isn't an option.

I'm happy with my path in life, even if it doesn't take me exactly where I want to go. It's the best I can do, and that is all I can ask.

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