On Monday, the 2015 Glamour
Women of the Year Awards honored the 66-year-old Olympian for her work in transgender awareness and advocacy. During her acceptance speech, she opened up about her emotional journey since coming out as a transgender woman
"Over this last six months, it has been the most eye-opening experience of my life," Caitlyn said, looking glamorous in a royal blue Moschino gown and elegant updo. "For years and years I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I always felt as an outsider. I never felt good in the male side, and I wasn't obviously in the female side. I was kind of stuck in the middle."
"But all of a sudden after making this decision and coming out, it was by far the best thing I ever did," she continued. "Because for so many years I lost my enthusiasm for life, literally staying in my house for almost six years. Because I never really wanted to come out, just to go work, that was about it. Now, actually, I like going out, and I like being myself. "
Caitlyn revealed that her lifetime struggle with her identity came to a turning point a few years ago.
"My transition was very, very long," Caitlyn said. "I had many many, many years of isolation from the world, of lying to the world, of not being myself. I got to a point a few years ago, I was back out in Malibu in my home, all alone, had raised wonderful children -- and I thought, what am I going to do with my life? I've isolated and lied to myself and lied to the world for so long, what am I going to do with my life?"
The former Keeping Up With the Kardashians stars said her journey has given her a new purpose in life.
"Maybe this is why God put me on this earth -- to tell my story, to be authentic to myself about who I am," she mused. "And maybe in doing that, maybe you can make a difference in the world. What a great opportunity in life to have. So few of us ever get to have that opportunity."
These days, Caitlyn -- who admits that she still has "so much to learn" -- is all about celebrating the little things in life, which have turned out to be profound experiences. Just last week, she got her driver's license with the gender marked "F."
"So it's always the little things in life that really you notice," Caitlyn shared. "And I'm sitting on the plane, and for the first time reading Glamour magazine and not having to fold the cover over so nobody could see what actually I was reading. And I had that thing open beautifully and just reading through Glamour magazine was absolutely great."
"I never in a million years ever thought I would be here -- and I bet you never thought I would either!" she concluded her speech. "But here I am, alive and well."