Aurea Mediocritas

Posted on Aug 2, 2021

Excuse me the rather personal post. I guess sometimes it doesn’t hurt? I mean, in the end this is a personal blog, even though I usually talk about stuff I’m always up to… which is a way to talk about myself, but indirectly. Today I’m going to be… direct. It might even be a bit therapeutic for myself.

I’ve been through some cloudy days this last week. A couple of things happened; you might’ve noticed I’ve been a bit “rougher” than usual and also less committed to this blog.

Anxiety has been ramping up these last couple of days. Mostly because I’m dealing with self-image issues. Which might surprise many of you, as confident I know I usually look like, but truth is that I’m in the middle of lots of changes and, sometimes, well… there are bumps in the road. Life isn’t a straight line.1

Unfortunately, we’ve all been educated in the mindset of constant growth, constant improvement… if you’re changing, it must be for the better, every step being incremental towards Better(tm). “Life coaches” feed from this: All you need must be directed to the goals you set in your life; it’s all under your control… That gives a lot of insecure people the illusion that things will change just because they want it to… In a constantly changing world, I guess that attracts people to so many terrible, self-proclaimed “coaches,” who just repeat bad psychology they don’t even partially understand, mixed with pseudo-spiritual “wisdom” and lots of money on ads on social media.

One of the reasons why the pandemic has turned so many people upset is related to this, in my opinion… It broke the “eternal progression” myth, but unlike the 2008 financial crisis, which also did, this time there’s no one to blame The virus is a natural disaster, unlike bankers destroying people’s savings by lending them knowingly they’d never get the money back. SARS-CoV-2 has no agency. That upsets us. We look for explanations (ehem, “The Chinese virus,” 45th named it… and other dogwhistles…), etc.

But I digress… a lot.

Lately, I’ve found myself in a dangerous mindset: “Girl, you’re smart, you’re pretty, you’ve been able to save yourself from a very bad situation, so you’ve got to be able to control and micro-manage everything now.” Best path to insanity, for sure. Princess Azula, anyone?

So, one thing you can’t control is how others react to your presence. I’ve been catcalled by quite a bunch of men this last month, which I don’t mind if they don’t attempt anything else. I mean, I’m a lesbian, so I don’t really care about men, in no manner whatsoever. The problems arise when, for example, a (former) friend of mine tried to flirt with me in a fetishy way I immediately shut off. On a more positive side, women have asked me beauty tips in random places. I mean, I know I’m getting physically quite attractive and my energy shows my increased self-security… That’s key number one to being attractive: your energy.

Until one day, for whatever random reason… and it is truly random… there’s no real pattern even if I’ve burnt myself trying to figure one out… dysphoria kicks in and wow… like earlier this morning… I had a coffee date with a girl friend of mine and I made her wait like an hour because even if I made my makeup right, my brain was telling me “Nope, this is all wrong.” I almost cancelled the plan. That would’ve been a huge mistake… though… In the end, late as I was, we had our coffee. In fact, much of this post comes from the chat I had with her.

Progress ain’t linear. In my case, I’m having huge changes in some areas, but others are slower… so I guess that incongruence makes things more accute sometimes. Even so, let’s be honest: before transitioning I just was barely functional. So there is huge progress…

It’s like an addiction to progress, though. Like… “Wow, look at all you’ve done… now look at all the even bigger pile of things that you haven’t!” your mind tells you, “It’s time for moar!” And that might simply impossible in some aspects… so anxiety kicks in.

Aurea mediocritas is a Horatian trope that means “Golden mediocrity.” I find this to be a good motto for me right now. It isn’t a call for lazyness, but at least as I interpret it, as a call to also be happy for what you already have (achieved), regardless of what is still to be done. To me, it’s super hard to get into that gratefulness mindset; I tend to neglect what I have achieved, just focusing on the challenges that I have to meet… which sorta makes sense, because there was a time not so long ago in which I had to start over from zero and everything was a challenge…

But those times are over… So… I should try being more grateful, shouldn’t I?

I’m very happy as to per where I am right now. I’ve got a quite good room in a flat with two amazing flatmates, after more than year being homeless, couch surfing and ending up in very shady hostels. I’m happy for being and feeling attractive, being called “cutie,” having made friends, and in general feeling quite empowered. I’m also happy for this blog, my FOSS projects, all I’ve learned…2 I’m happy that most people just don’t care about me being trans, most respect me… in fact being a transexual woman has become such a… secondary thing in my ordinary life… and that’s awesome… and be aware I live in one of the most conservative places in Spain. I guess being nice to people pays off. I’m also very grateful for my education, which sets me apart and I know that. I guess I’m grateful of being Ariadna (or just Ari) and grateful that I’ll have the chance to increase this list even more the next couple of months and years with more things that I’m going to change.

I think it shows… doesn’t it?


But hey, OK, yeah… there are challenges… But everyone deserves to look at their past and be happy of the challenges they have overcome… I think that helps everyone to see that… well… things need their time, lots of things are actually out of anyone’s control…

I feel it’s a liberating mindset, don’t you?

  1. Me, straight? You gotta be kidding me! ↩︎

  2. Time to confess: I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to write a VT100 line-editing library… Seriously, I thought that was way beyond my abilities… until I did it. ↩︎