Imagine one day that you woke up in someone else’s body.
When you look in the mirror the image staring back at you is completely foreign.
Now imagine that not only are you someone else you are also a different gender. Instead of being Alice people see you as Al. Instead of being Joe people see you as Joelle.
You’re still you, inside, but you have the wrong packaging entirely.
Imagine no-one in the world really seeing who you are. For the rest of your life being treated differently because you’ve been incorrectly packaged.
How frustrating, difficult and heartbreaking that must be.
I’m writing about this because I had a chance to meet up with a wonderful blogger, Ally in NYC a few days ago.
Ally doesn’t have to imagine this scenario. She has been living it all her life.
The truly wonderful thing about meeting a person is that you are able to look past the packaging and get to know them for who they really are.
First words that come to mind after meeting Ally? Considerate and generous. She worked her schedule around mine so we could meet. She commuted into the city to meet me. She went out of her way at moment’s notice to make it work. She was open to all my suggestions. She made it so easy. She was accommodating. That is a very rare quality.
I kind of knew Ally would be interesting and wonderful to meet because of her blog but after spending over three hours with her I now know I need to step up my game and try to be a better human being. She has inspired me.
One phrase she mentioned during our time together really stuck with me. She said, “I believe everyone deserves understanding and compassion. Everyone.”
I do not always show compassion to everyone. Often times I make judgments about people. I gossip. I’m not mean hearted, but I don’t have the kind of open all forgiving generous heart that Ally does. I wonder if having to live in a world where very few people see her for who she really is makes her more understanding, more open, more accepting? Or is that simply her personality?
I watched a brilliant dramedy series this year called Transparent about a transgender person. It gave me some insight into Ally and all that she must live with daily. If you get a chance to watch it I highly recommend it. The lead actor Jeffrey Tambor won the Golden Globe for his portrayal. This article is a great breakdown on what to expect from the series. Also you can watch the first episode for free on Amazon.
Being transgender doesn’t define all that is Ally. But it does make her a very interesting and unique person. Due to her circumstances she is exposed to secrets from both men and women.
I really feel lucky that I was able to meet Ally during my recent trip to NY.
That photo of the two of us wearing our coats? I asked the hostess to take the photo. Ally was so unassuming and shy I had to call her over to get in the shot. She thought I just wanted the photo of myself! LOL (I’m vain but I’m not Madonna vain!) Ally doesn’t take anything for granted.
I’m leaving you with this last shot of me holding the gorgeous gift Ally gave me…a super chic umbrella from Brooks Brothers. Ally took the photo while we walked through Central Park in the rain.
Blogging provides opportunities to meet people we would never get the chance to interact with otherwise. Hands down that is one of my favourite things about blogging.
Have any bloggers inspired you to try to be a better person lately? What is your favourite thing about blogging?