I’ve heard many trans people use the allegory of metamorphosis and seeing their transition phase as a cocoon but it really feels true. I am still struggling to figure out who I am without my beard now. The beard was a big part of who I was as a caterpillar and now that I don’t have it I am struggling to see the butterfly underneath the stubble. I can see my wings starting to form and I’m looking more and more like the idealized version of myself every day. But right now, especially between braces and electrolysis, I very much feel like I am in a cocoon phase. I really wish that I could just hide away until my metamorphosis is complete. But sadly I need a job and I’m an extrovert (though to a much lesser degree than before). Someday the butterfly will emerge even if not as dramatically as a single moment of unfurling my wings.