The way a child is raised is a powerful start in life. Did your parents tell you anything is possible and supported your dreams? Did they tell you life has limitations and every time you dreamt they said without resources nothing is possible? What kind of adult do you become if you are raised in either of these ways?
My father raised champions. I was 12 years old when I won my first European basketball championship. I did it again the following year. I participated in every sport event at my school becoming the sportsperson of the year time and time again. I have about 50 medals. I was chosen in the basketball All Stars a few times. I travelled Europe while being sponsored. Free shoes, free jerseys. I trained to be a champion 6 to 7 times a week all year around sacrificing everything else in my life.
My father was at every single basketball game all around Europe, every single running race, school cups, day of challenge, district cups and city cups. He was the mascot of my team, he supported the team. The first time I saw my father cry, was when I bursted into tears after losing a game where I gave a 110% of me and I knew I deserved to win.
He was so proud, which is why I broke his heart when I quit professional sports.
The feminine and masculine side of a person
After leaving the professional sport world, I kept playing amateur basketball to satisfy my hunger for success. In the amateur world I was a celebrated star. Then the teenage years hit. Each person has a feminine and a masculine side, and during my late teens the feminine part of me started dominating. I got my first boyfriend, I put on makeup and went out dancing.
I completely suppressed the success-driven old me, rebelled against my parents and the world. Then 8 years later a trigger happened and I started asking questions about my identity. I started to feel I was born in the wrong body. Don’t misunderstand me, I was comfortable with my sexuality, but something felt slightly off.
In some situations I felt I acted and thought more like a man than a woman and I didn’t understand why. I thought it was because I should have been born a man. And so I was scared about going through a gender identity crisis, but boy I was wrong.
2015 – 16, the era of change
Last year I started exploring this topic to find out, why do I feel so confused from time to time. It was obvious I was going through an identity crisis, but why now? Isn’t it a little late?
Since I began the trip I’m currently on (a total of one year away), finding answers has been a primary focus. Then I met Ines, a Belgian online counsellor (email@example.com) who I shared my problems with and we made incredible progress. She connected the beginning of the story with these last words. She saw a connection between my childhood, my teenage years and now.
Not what I expected
Ines knows how much work I put into this blog. She knows I aim to become a member of the “All Star” travel bloggers in Hungary. She knows I spend hours on writing, editing videos, maintaining a constant and excellent relationship with radios, answering emails from my readers, guest blogging, writing proposals for sponsorship, networking offline and online. She knows my goals and my motivations. She knows I’m hungry for success and I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my heart on and be the best I can be.
Why was the success-driven me suppressed? Ines said my identity crisis has nothing to do with femininity and masculinity. It is the champion in me who is resurfacing after years of sleep. As I saw female role models all around me who put themselves second, who put their self-actualisation on hold because of their families, who stopped dreaming because of their families, I too followed that path, but the champion in me did not accept this role.
In each past romantic relationship I took on the responsibility of the caregiver, the mother, looking after my partner, serving him first, providing and nurturing his dreams instead of focusing on my own. I was too feminine, which is why I felt so masculine when I quit my last relationship, following the wrong model for five long years. Overcorrection.
Rise to the top
It took 12 years for the champion to find her way back, but she is finally here. She is driving me everyday, she motivates me to work harder than ever. She sees opportunities, she takes actions, she dreams big. She doesn’t listen to anyone who believes only the privileged can succeed. She quit friendships that held her back. She carefully plans her future. She is courageous, confident and street smart.
I’m incredibly lucky to have her in me whether she feels feminine or masculine, she is achieving my goals, she is growing my personality, she is showing me new ways in life and she knows that anything and everything is possible no matter what others say.
Thanks to travelling I’m finding answers, asking more questions and meeting the right people at the right time. I have been on the road for over six months now and lost much of my childhood “baggage”. I got rid of some leftover closed-minded reactions I still had from my past. I set the right standards towards myself and towards others. I learnt to never settle for less than 100%.
Now when I have a problem I start by identifying it correctly. I’m not afraid to show my weaknesses to anyone as the more people know, the more points of views and opinions I get. Pretending to be someone who we are not is against my core values. No one is perfect. Hiding imperfections is the enemy of self development. We are a lot more human when we are honest to the world and to ourselves.
Special thanks for Suzy, my former travel mate and Ines, the online counsellor and friend.
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