Sunday, August 31, 2008

Twice in one week

Friday's outing was the most relaxing evening I've had in a long time. I was looking forward to it all week, the time when I would get to see my dearest friends in the world. It was a lazy evening, and I think we all had some unwinding to do. E had a hard day and needed a big hug, which I was very happy to give her; I probably needed it as much as she did. Even though not everyone was able to make it, it was very comfortable, and it was the perfect end to the week.

Tomorrow (Sunday, which is technically today) I'm going to K and L's for the first time in girl-mode. Their daughter will be there, and I'm a little nervous about that; my history with children not understanding what is going on with me isn't the greatest. K will be at work when I get there, so it will be just us girls, at least until he gets back home. L is making lasagna, and I'm bringing some pie for dessert.

I don't have much else to say. It seems like I should be a little more anxious, driving halfway across town, walking up to a door in a neighborhood of people who have only seen "him" before, visiting with people who I have known for over half my life, but who have never seen "her" before. But the weird part is, I'm not, really. It could be the late hour and my tiredness, or it could be that I'm just getting used to presenting myself that way, and that this is just another day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sometimes people-watching isn't so good

I went up to Austin yesterday for the annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. It's something of a tradition for C and I, since we're sort of pepper junkies. A lot of other people are too, so they come out in droves for the festival. And of course, that makes for some excellent people-watching.

Usually.

This year is the first year I've been to the festival, in the heavy grip of my transness. I've had some amount of being "out", but I'm still not really ready to be out out, as in out in public. So every single woman I saw, who was even vaguely cute, inspired such a cloud of jealousy in me, it was a little difficult to keep interest in being there. Sundresses, halters, tube tops, oh my! And almost every bit of it, nothing that I could wear, since all of the bumps and curves I currently have are fake.

I had a conversation about it with one of my Second Life friends, and she (a GG) said that sometimes showing less is more alluring. That's all well and good, and sometimes it is definitely true. But when I see something, and say to myself "hey, I'd love to wear something like that," and just plain old can't... it sucks.

I was trying to keep my spirits up over the rest of the afternoon, and today, but it just wasn't really happening. Despite all the good things that happened over the weekend, it ended up more frustrating than anything else. It overshadowed the very nice time I had on Saturday, when a bunch of people came for my birthday. It overshadowed the time I got to spend with E, just cooking and chatting, while the rest of the party guests were game-geeking out. It also overshadowed the very nice time I had on Friday, when Miss Trinity got her first birthday cake, complete with "1" candle, and her very first Barbie doll as a gift. It even overshadowed the fact that I didn't shave on Sunday, and didn't need to, and still didn't really need to when I got home on Sunday evening.

Sigh.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Penelope

I just finished watching Penelope, starring Christina Ricci. It's a modern-day fairy tale about a girl who is trying to find herself. I'd love to recap it for everyone, because it is a charming and wonderful story, but I'll recommend that you see the film instead. There will be spoilers coming up, but this is what I want to write about today, so deal with it.

As the credits were rolling, I couldn't help but think how that film could be an allegory for my own life. Here is this girl, who has some pretty serious body-image problems. She feels repulsive, and she tends to repulse anyone who might love her. Over the course of the film, she figures out that there is a big world out there, and people just going about their lives. She eventually figures out that everybody has something about themselves that they don't like, something that makes them feel like a complete mutant. Once she figures that out and realizes that she likes the way she is, she stops being a mutant, and just starts being another person, like everyone else.

So right now, I'm in the stage when Penelope runs away from home and starts exploring the world. In the film, she's still hiding herself, but she's noticing that there's a universe of experience out there, just waiting for her to come try it out. Perhaps I'm not bursting out of my door, but I'm making my own exodus all the same. Once the character is finally discovered by the townspeople, she realizes that people like her for her, too. And I'm finding that out myself; those who have been with me from the start, and who see me trying to be true to the self that I see inside, are hugely supportive and loving, and happy that I can finally come out of the shell that I've been stuck in all this time, even for just a little while. I don't expect any parades in my honor, or to be the feature on the front page of the newspaper. I just hope for people close to me, to continue to be close to me, and that people will love me for who I am.

I also don't pretend that I'll suddenly become the same beautiful swan that Ms. Ricci is; I'm sure it will be a much more mundane transformation, and one which will take months, rather than moments. From ugly duckling, to kinda-cute duck, that will be fine with me.

But the most important thing about this whole journey, is that I'm starting to love me for me, and what I am inside, and what I know I can be outside.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's working!

I woke up this morning, and though I hadn't shaved yesterday, my face looked like it usually does after only one day. So that whole facial-hair-falling-out thing, it looks like it's actually happening! Now that I'm back home, it doesn't look nearly like it usually does after 12 hours. This is just so cool. By Wednesday, my usual outing day, maybe it'll even be gone, like all the way gone. Wouldn't that rule?

Tonight I'm making pie. I got some apples, and after like 3 trips to 3 different grocery stores over the last 3 days, I finally found everything I need. Why would a grocery store not have something simple like lemons? I'm going to christen the mini pie pans with these, and I think I'm going to try to photograph one of them when I cook them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kinda blah, but good anyway

I went to C and E's for dinner tonight, and S was over too. She's been around for the last couple weeks, and I've gotten to know her much better. She's got a really big soft heart, and she's also very funny. She definitely falls into the "really awesome people" group, and I like her a lot. We connected pretty well last week; she's had some experience with coming out to people, and she was empathetic to some of what I'm going through, especially with my family. I think she's still a little unsure around me, but it's still a new thing for her. C and E were unsure when I first started going over there. J and J were a bit unsure, I think, when I went over to their house too.

I felt kinda blah today; I'm not sure what it's from, but I felt like I was being a wet blanket for everybody else. I was running really late all day today, so maybe that's got something to do with it. I felt like I did really well with my makeup (less is more is my new mantra, and I'm trying to look nice without looking "made up"), though I wasn't terribly excited about my clothes. But on an up note, the sushi rolls that E and S made were really great, and we relaxed and chatted and watched women's beach volleyball and all sorts of different swimming events on the Olympics.

Other than that, I was able to shave myself pretty well today. So, almost a week for my skin to return to normal. Hopefully as some of the hair follicles are killed, the recovery period will grow shorter, since there will be much less of my skin which will be damaged.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to mostly-normal

I think the skin on my face has more-or-less returned to normal. It still hurts a little bit to shave, and I don't get nearly as close as I usually do, but it's a lot better than it was. All the blisters are gone. Now begins the wait until all that dumb hair falls out, as it's supposed to. I wish it would all just fall out and never return.

I started a new job today. It seems like a good bunch of people, and they're really laid back, so this will hopefully be a good place for me, especially when I make the big switch at work. Of course that's a couple years off, but it never hurts to plan ahead a little bit.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I take it ALL back!

OK, my intended joke about being impervious to laser fire... scratch that. It was all a big lie, a mistake, a misunderstanding! It's like I've got a really uncomfortable sunburn on the lower half of my face. Tiny blisters have popped up, which, according to the nurse who lasered me, are completely normal. It still aches a little, and it itches like crazy - I've got some hydrocortisone from the clinic, which I really need to apply. And maybe some aloe as well, which should cool the sunburn sensation.

Even though I had a fairly disappointing evening last night (football video gaming with the boys, and my team did really poorly), I'm still in pretty awesome spirits. I made forward progress yesterday. I also got to spend some time just chatting with L, which we don't get much chance to do. She's so easy to talk to, and she's understanding and supportive. I should invite her out to dinner sometime soon, just because.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It has begun!

All I can think about when I write that title is Shang Tsung with his arms skyward, shouting that his evil plan is coming to fruition. Does that make me a video game geek or anything? Oh, what do I know, I've never even played Mortal Kombat; he probably only said that in the movie.

Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted by my weird imagination, I was going to share that I have just returned from my first appointment with the <dr_evil>"la-ser"</dr_evil>. My face feels like I spent an hour or so being slapped all over. The receptionist at the clinic likened it to having a rubber band snapped, as the laser is fired. Depending on how much hair is in the area, and how many nerve endings are there, changes how far the virtual rubber band is pulled back before being snapped. The upper lip was the worst... holy socks! We went pretty slowly on that part. The laser technician was very professional, and very nice, and apart from the pain (and the smell - burning hair, ew!), it was a very positive experience.

Even now, a little less than an hour after we finished up, the pain is mostly subsided, and my face just feels a little tender. So now I get to wait a few months until I need to make my next appointment. I'm excited about the upcoming period of NO facial hair. That will soooo rule.

I was going to make a silly joke about being impervious to laser fire, since I've just been shot by one like a few dozen times, but I'm sure it sounds a lot funnier in my head. Try one for yourself; it seems like it could be pretty funny.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nothing

It's been a week since my last post, and I feel like I should say something, or at least have something to say.

Nothing's coming out. I've been stuck in my apartment, trying to neaten things up, trying to get myself to work on my voice, trying to get myself to do anything... And nothing's coming.

I've been sitting in front of the machine for a week, telling myself, "oh yeah, I'll do this, and this, and this, and it will be great!" And yet here I still sit. It's probably the fact that I'm off work until next Monday - I've got nothing really to do, so I'm not doing anything. I wanted to work on my voice, and I wanted to play with my makeup some more, and I wanted to do something fun in the kitchen, and I was thinking about maybe trying some more food photography, but most of all I want to clean up my horrifying apartment. I've done basically none of those things.

I got a few new parts for my computer yesterday, and one of them - the one I was most excited to try - didn't work right. That deflated me pretty badly. I'm actually looking forward to the tropical storm which is coming on shore right now, because it will at least be something interesting. It's starting to rain again, which buoys my spirits a little. Rain cleanses and refreshes everything, and the sound on the windows and roof is very relaxing.

I'm debating on whether to go to my therapist appointment on Wednesday in girl-mode, but I know I can't do it yet. I'd love to be able to be "her", but I'm not comfortable with some of my more masculine features. I want to get my voice to at least vaguely passable, and I'd also like to diminish this dumb beard shadow on my face, before I try getting out into the real world. It's fear, plain and simple. I'm afraid of being hurt. And not even physically - I don't want anybody to make fun of me. Those things cut deepest. But more immediately, it's another thing I wanted to do on my few days between jobs, that I haven't done, and can't do.