There are two central tenets of Balinology:
1) There is always a Balina somewhere in a given reality.
2) Balinas tend to acquire more traits common to other Balinas as time goes by.
Given both of these statements, I should have seen this coming.
There is a particular trope among trans furries of pictures of one's sona looking in the mirror, seeing a version of themselves presenting as the other gender. It's a form of vent art, typically wistful, or hopeful, or upset at the sheer injustice of a world in which the body one is given is so far from the heart.
I didn't really get any of that.
In February, 2017, I was cripplingly depressed. On reflection, I'd been that way for more of my life than I hadn't. I didn't really understand it, and even if I had understood, I didn't have the drive to fix it; I wasn't sad, I was just... disconnected. Like a disembodied set of thoughts piloting a shitty meat mecha. I'd been an off-brand luncheon gundam (a gunham, if you will) for so long that I didn't realize that it wasn't how everyone felt.
I would probably still be wallowing if I hadn't seen someone near and dear to me go through some tough times with an obvious solution. KrakenTango had a dysphoria-induced breakdown, and after helping her work her way through it (and getting some expert help from Crystala, who longtime Balinologists know is at fault for many wonderful things), I had just enough presence of mind to realize just how familiar it all felt.
"Gee, I sure seem to see this happen a lot."
"Gee, I sure seem to fall in with crowds in which this happens a lot."
"Gee, I sure seem to recognize everything she's saying as highlights from my own inner monologue."
That crack was all it took. After spending several years living in my head, Balina broke containment, grabbed her host, and the two of us went on a magical journey together. Since then, I've gone on hormones (today is my 2nd year HRTversary, in fact), lost an enormous amount of weight, updated my wardrobe, removed that shitty goatee for good, moved cross-country to be with people I care about... Hell, last month I dyed my hair when I discovered how much better it looks on me thanks to Balina-related research. The version of me from 2017 and earlier would hardly recognize me were we to meet face to face.
The TF is still in progress, the second most expensive commission I've ever purchased, but full sona synchronization has been the best decision I've made in my life.
If one ignores all of that context, this looks an awful lot like some twinning kink nonsense.
The galaxy brain moment comes when one realizes that's exactly what it is.