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Jun 13 2015

Worth a Thousand Words

A picture is worth a thousand words. I have been thinking about this adage lately. I have been contemplating if it is true or not. The idea that one still image can show a complete complex thought is astounding to me. That idea is also contradictory. There is no way I can show what I want to show just though one image, however I realized that many images may do better than words ever can.

Most of my blog posts reach over one thousand words – in fact, 1,000 words is on my low end, it’s not that hard a goal. I feel that I could easily write a blog post about some pictures, this one in particular speaks about a mother’s love, which crosses species in this case.

Mother-cat-holding-her-kitten-because-a-hug-is-worth-a-thousand-words

Oh wait, there may be another reason a picture is worth a thousand words…

300px-20090211_thousand_words-01

Today is going to be a very short post because for the most part I want the picture to stand-alone. I prewrote this post because I knew I was not going to have time today and scheduled it for during dinner… Here is the reason: Today is the first day I will go outside fully in external female clothes. Even more so, it is a dress. Many people have said I will transition well, but that to me implies that somehow that being themselves is not possible for some people that idea makes me very sad.

The plan for today is simple I am going to be sitting down in the afternoon with my Aunt to discuss writing a book. Since she is one of the few published authors in the family, I asked her for advice in publishing. I also asked her to write the forward. I think making these blog posts into a book would make the concepts and feelings more accessible to more people. Stories have reached me of how helpful my comments have been to some, and I want to make sure that I can help all that need it.

Then for dinner, I am going to be sitting down with my birth mom, and adoptive dad and step-mom. That by itself is a big day. To do so in a dress is going to be even more amazing. At least, I hope it will be amazing. I am going to bring a change of clothes (back into male clothes) just in case I have a freak out, and need to go back.

There are a couple of ways this can go: I can feel whole, I can have the self-validation I’ve always wanted or I can see in the mirror a man in a dress and break myself down further. I can spend the day being gendered correctly seeing that people see in me what I see in myself or I can continue to be regularly misgendered (more than the average mistake) and it can break down my spirit and feelings. It could be a massive success being in a dress all day and I could love it and myself. It could also be a massive defeat in the fight for my self-esteem and self-confidence…

Everyone around that has supported me has stood by me and brought me so far. Now, I want you all to take the real me home. I want to not fake anything, not have to think if I accepted. To an extent that has always happened. However, tomorrow, if I can wear a dress, which I have always wanted to do, I can put a little bit more of that behind me. Tomorrow is a huge leap. This is not just a little step. I am hanging on the edge of happiness. I am hanging on the edge of sanity. I am hanging on the edge of a moment of truth. I am hanging on the edge of glory with you.

However, I am ready if something happens like last time I tried something this ambitious. The shopping trip was a mental disaster; I was not ready with a plan. This time, I am prepared with backup plans. Three backup plans in fact: one for in the moment, one to save the day, and one for last resort full abort of the idea for now…

In the moment backup: I am taking a change of external clothes probably just jeans and sweater, this is what I usually wear to work. These are male external clothes and cover up any female clothes I may be wearing underneath (usually t-shirts and/or leggings) this would restore me to my CURRENT wardrobe choices. Although I have been wearing shorts with leggings and/or tights those have been male shorts. The closest I have gotten to feminine top clothes are female cut t-shirts…

Save the day backup: No matter how much I freak out about wearing a dress at/or before dinner, I am going to a friend’s house after dinner. This will be a private and safe space to try again. I know if I ‘fail’ and do not try again that same night it will be a long time before I try again. I already intended to go over there anyway but it is a nice bonus to have a ‘try again’ safety net. We have already discussed the idea, but I hope it does not have to come to that.

Last resort, full abort, backup: I have started convincing myself, somewhat in a mental trick that there are some women that never feel comfortable in dresses. I will still be able to be the person I wish to be. I will still show the image I wish to show…

At this point, the blog post is 1,000 words long. Specifically the word ‘this’ in the previous sentence is the thousandth word. Tomorrow morning I will be taking a picture as I prepare to leave for my day and attaching it to this post then scheduling the post to post at 6:30 pm, just as I’m sitting down to dinner… Why? I do not want my birth mom to see the picture before she sees me.

When this picture was taken I was super embarrassed and laughing with my husband (who was taking the picture) about how much I hate pictures of me, and how badly I take pictures. Without further ado, the picture that I hope will add another thousand words to this post…

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About the author

Josie

I’ve never been good at writing about myself. I’ve never been good at ‘talking up my strengths’ but at least I should try…

I am a 30 year old (gasp), woman. To me, it is just that simple. My life is slowly coming together into a form where I can be proud to call it my life.

Who am I? I’m a strong, loving woman that was assigned male at birth and is finally correcting that egregious error by biology. For most women if they have an urge like wearing a sundress, they just do it. For my first 29 years on this planet, that wasn’t a possibility.

I write to heal, then publish to inform. I hope my journey can make the journeys of people that come after me just a little less painful.

I also have a ‘day job’ as a Data Center Technician. I do an incredibly physical job lifting fixing and moving servers. I daily, walk into and then maintain ‘the cloud.’ Servers are still quite a bit larger and heavier than your desktop at home. So much so that I am the only woman on my team of 20 and one of 5 in the entire building of about 75. Technology is without a doubt a male dominated industry. Which makes me quite sad.

I wish I could better express who I am. I don’t feel like I’ve done justice to my history, my life, and my story, but for now, this will have to do. To me the most beautiful thing in the world is understanding and empathy. If we can have only one thing for each other person on this planet, I choose empathy.

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  1. Marcy

    Seeing this picture of you makes me smile. You are beautiful in and out. I picture may be worth a thousand words but the words may be different depending on who is looking at it. I see YOU, Jo!

  2. Linda Irvin

    I made a comment on fb after seein the pic of you from today. I told you how great you looked. (you really do). But after reading this I realize it really has nothing to do with what I think, tho I’m sure it makes you feel good when people tell you this but it all really has to do with what you think of yourself no matter how many of us think you look beautiful. Please know that you are very brave and have a whole lot of courage to go out into the world as you really are.. I am hoping the day went well for you and you are now very proud of yourself taking the huge step that you did. I’m proud of you and I’ve never even met you but I know your story as far as what you shared. Please know that you look very much like your birth mom. And I hope you are able to start being yourself in public all the time as you should.

  3. Linda Irvin

    I made a comment on fb after seein the pic of you from today. I told you how great you looked. (you really do). But after reading this I realize it really has nothing to do with what I think, tho I’m sure it makes you feel good when people tell you this but it all really has to do with what you think of yourself no matter how many of us think you look beautiful. Please know that you are very brave and have a whole lot of courage to go out into the world as you really are.. I am hoping the day went well for you and you are now very proud of yourself taking the huge step that you did. I’m proud of you and I’ve never even met you but I know your story as far as what you shared. Please know that you look very much like your birth mom. And I hope you are able to start being yourself in public all the time as you should.

  4. Stacia

    Great picture! You look happy and fabulous. I hope that the experience gave you more comfort being yourself out and about. You are you. Beautiful. REALLY beautiful.

  5. Melissa Williams

    Jo you looked amazing! I know you don’t know me but I think you are an incredible person! If you were my daughter I would be so proud of you too!! Big hugs ♡♡♡

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