And I realized...I had. Constantly. Throughout my childhood, particularly. I always felt like it didn't fit. As if the name I had didn't fit me. I didn't know back then why. I always guessed at reasons, but I never knew why.
I think now I do. It's because those names, the ones I was trying for, were focusing on the wrong me, and the right me was there, waiting to be brought out. And though by my middle-teens, this had been suppressed (so much so, that when I finally realized I was trans, I considered keeping my birth name in spite of its entire lack of ambiguity), the desire had been there for good reason.
I was always seeking out an alternative identity to what I was, because what I was is the wrong me. I focused on the wrong things, because I didn't have any idea what the right thing was; it was a concept entirely foreign to my young mind.
Now, I'm different, of course. I was initially a bit unsure, still clinging to my original self slightly in my name. (I could say it, but I prefer not to. Both because it's still in use in real life thanks to my closeted nature, and because I want to leave it as much in the past as possible, including using my new name as much as I can.) But with time, I progressively just began to open myself up, and I knew.
I just knew.
That what I had chosen as a basic name. What I chose just to make a choice, as a preliminary "might as well" name.
Fully and entirely.
It's a strange feeling. I had heard of trans people having it, but I was doubting it. I was afraid. I held fear, even. It came naturally to them. Why not to me? But what I needed was some time. And on reflection today, only today, did it finally come together 100% in my choice to have taken my new name.
It's really difficult to describe unless you've gone through it. But those who have understand.
It took me 20 years to find, and nearly a full year to accept.
I am Bree.