No, I haven't got an identity crisis. Nothing could be further from my mind. I always had a strong sense of individuality, of me-ness, and that has not changed at all.
I have a very clear and rounded perception of who Lucy Melford is, how she should look, and how she should most naturally interact with other people. Also, where she is going at the moment, and the kind of life she will best enjoy in the future. I'm not saying 'I have it all planned out' because who knows what might crop up, but I'm not drifting, and I have absolutely no intention of standing still. Because I now see some of the possibilities that exist for free spirits to grasp. It may be that the only genuine limiting factor is advancing age: in other words, there won't be time for everything, and I'll have to be rather picky. But I haven't the slightest doubt that Lucy Melford can do it. Maybe, with some things, being Lucy will actually be an advantage. If so, all the more reason to explore in that direction.
Does any of this include the usual ambitions? Such a quiet, cosy life as a wife or partner? No. I'm too independent, too easily bored by a routine existence in a domestic box. I'm not especially loving or lovable, and most definitely not one to share things. I'm hard work, not easy to get on with. I know that makes me most unattractive as a potential soulmate, but I do want to be frank.
I insist on not merely 'enough space' but total freedom of action at all times. That probably makes me forever a solitary figure, but quite honestly that's my happiest state. And it's completely compatable with my personal take on womanhood. I respect other takes - it's an individual thing after all - but I'm going to do it my own way. And being Lucy is the enabling means. I feel potentially fulfilled by being this version of myself. As indeed I should. Taking on a new identity is not the same as transforming oneself with a costume and gadgets into (say) Batman for a few hours. It's permanent - a one-way trip over the waterfall, a plunge into a new world, a revelation of new feelings and experiences. When I hang my clothes up at the end of the day, I don't revert to the old person. I'm still Lucy, even if naked. That was true pre-op, and is obviously even truer now, with my external appearance enhanced.
So what's stoked this particular fire? It's inactivity at home. I want to be out and doing. Fiona has had her service; I'm free to go off to towns, gardens, parks and woodlands for walks and fresh air. See you later!
One other thought: even with my lengthening hair, thinner eyebrows, fuller cheeks, and more feminine lips, I can see in the mirror a distinct physical likeness to the old person. Ah, continuity! The same family features. Of course I will bring to mind the old me. And I shouldn't be quick to destroy the resemblance. For I see in the mirror the sister I never had. The daughter Mum once said she wanted, but did not conceive.
Yes: Lucy is the incarnation of another sibling who could have existed. Nobody can say what a real sister would have been like. But I think she'd have looked like me, and had some of my ways.
Well, it's a harmless fiction. And one that makes some kind of sense.