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Jul 13 2015

Life Happens Quickly, Pt. 1

I feel demoralized. I feel lost. I feel angry. I feel frustrated. I feel like a man again. I have struggled for multiple hours how to sum up my feelings in this moment. That is all and all, my feelings right now. As I sit here after work in the early hours of July 7, 2015 I feel like I finally was able to sum up the though process I have been feeling over the last 36 hours. I feel better now but that is after talking to my husband, adoptive mother, birth mother and a couple of friends. I gained quite a bit of reassurance that I am still on track and I can see my track again, I can see my path again but the last 36 hours have been insanely tough. It will take me a couple days to complete the post I do not expect to be able to post it at least until the ninth however; I will not change this opening paragraph. It will remain as I wrote it, and as I felt, in the wee hours of the morning of the seventh. For telling the story, I will start from the beginning…

Wed. July 1st 2015: I was preparing to go to my last day of work in male clothing as hinted in “One Way or Another” and I realized that I had already had enough work appropriate clothes to go to my last day of the week in female clothing too! Therefore, I dressed in female clothing. I did not realize the female jeans I have are excessively large. My mom and I purchased eights and I put them on, in retrospect, I am probably a four… They fit very similarly, to how my male jeans did, except these were lose everywhere… Male jeans were usually tight around my hips and loose everywhere else. I did not notice how bad they looked. I wore a female dress shirt that I have and like. I looked in my opinion okay but I could not wait to get the female polo shirts, for which I was waiting. I went to work and had a good day, nobody commented but people misgendered me quite a bit… Which was odd because people at work are getting much better about it.

Thurs. July 2nd 2015: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! It was off to Ravinia for a Melissa Etheredge & Blondie Concert. My friend Danielle and I had a couple days before at that time the temperature prediction was 72… Well, it was not 72 for that concert. I wore the dress nonetheless; I was NOT stoppable. One way or another I was going to be in female clothing permanently starting today. I curled up in blankets but I wore it and it was very happy to be a little chilly but in the clothing, I wanted to be in! I felt happy the whole time. Some great pictures resulted.

It was such a wonderful night. Not only did Blondie sing “One Way or Another” but also it was their opening song. It was so wonderful to see/hear. It was nice to celebrate my birth mom’s birthday with her for the first time in my life. I felt comfortable, I felt happy, and I felt open and honest with myself. I felt like the child I lost all those years ago. I was there with people I love and did not need to think about what I did, or why I did it.

Fri. July 3rd 2015: Friday was a laidback day. I went to lunch with my adoptive mom had an appointment with my therapist then drove up to my birth mom’s house. I was talking to my adoptive mom and my therapist about the wonderful place I had found… The smiles on my face must have been brilliant. When I got to my birth mom’s place, we made dinner. I have wanted to improve my skills in the kitchen this was a great opportunity. My sister is a cook at a restaurant and knows a lot about cooking… I do not want to fail in front of my husband and without either of them around it made a great space where I could fail and learn. That is exactly what happened. We ended up making a pasta/beef/vegetable dish that I liked although the beef was overcooked. I learned a lot about cooking thanks to mom. There are more experiments and learning to come. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing talking and watching one of my favorite TV shows named Angel Beats! I also tried on a couple of clothes from my mom’s closet that she does not like anymore or bought and did not ever wear. Some of those items ended up packed in my bag.

Sat. July 4th 2015: How do I say that it was one of the best days in recent memory? I guess I just did. I spent the morning with my mom in the kitchen she made cinnamon rolls while we chatted about various things. Then we all got ready. I ended up taking to wear the same dress I wore on the second. I honestly do not have a whole lot of options in my closet yet. Seeing the excitement of everyone getting ready was so nice. Standing in the bathroom next to my sister while doing my hair and her doing her makeup was amazing! We were just chatting but it was to me one of the most amazing moments of the day. I do not think it meant as much to her, but it meant a hell of a lot to me. We took two cars to the racetrack since I was leaving from there I drove separately and my brother and I were able to spend some time in the car chatting – again a very important moment to me, but I do not think it meant nearly as much to him.

Once we got to the park mom wanted to take some pictures. Usually I would shy away from that but I loved how I looked that day. Mom wanted to keep taking pictures and my brother and sister wanted to stop taking pictures… I was in the middle. I knew I would like how pictures came out that day, in some ways I wanted as many as possible. However, to me pictures keep me from enjoying the moment by trying to record the moment. Posing for pictures and taking pictures is never an easy process for the people around me, or myself. While many great pictures will help me remember the day, I have mixed feelings though because those were moments I could have enjoyed more thoroughly. I already feel that I have wasted twenty-nine years; I wish to waste no more moments. Oh, there is a topic for its own blog post later. I am starting to grow into the person I always hid…

My goal was simple relax into my own skin. On January 1, 2014, I proudly declared to myself that I would be an unfiltered person. My new year’s resolution two years in a row was to in a way, start over. That I would grow myself back to the loving, emotional, open child I used to be. The idea of growing down was odd to me. Well this has all been quite a tangent and probably also deserves its own post… Suffice it to say I feel like growing down is complete. The next step, I realized part way through the day is that the next part of the transition is to grow up. That means being responsible. When I turned 21, my birthday was in Las Vegas. For me being responsible there meant paying money to receive enjoyment doing something fun. To me that meant, gambling without trying to win, I spent $60 for five hours of entertainment playing roulette, I received none back. It was a great deal of fun and to me and well worth the ‘expense.’ I used the second part of the day reliving my 21st birthday, but nobody there with me knew.

A couple of races had already passed and I looked though the book for a reason to have fun and place a wager. I looked though the book of races and stats for something meaningful with which to have fun. It was not long before I found two horses. I had, previously in my life, done quite a bit of research on betting and horse racing… I do not remember why. However, I know more than most people would expect about it all. The two bets were easy once I found the horses. It was going to be a fun afternoon. These two bets where my saying I will grow up but not lose myself in the process. I did not care about the stats; I did not care about winning. The bets and the wording of the bets carried all the meaning they needed to.

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For those that cannot read what that means these two bets:

  • Race 5: Nowthatsalady to show – $8 bet (first, second OR third place)
  • Race 7: Swanky Princess all around – $12 bet (three separate bets: one bet that she will win, one that she will come first OR second, one that she will come first, second, OR third. $3 each bet)

I spent time listening to the wagers of my little brother and little sister, enabled by our mom to have fun and learn about the process. The whole time I thought about how poetic it would be if my bets succeeded. Kids are very intuitive. I notice at this point in the transition, kids seem to look at me just a little bit harder than adults do. I do not know if it is my voice that tips people off or something else. Before race 5, I was talking on my phone away from the rest of the family. I saw a little boy looking at me and talking to his dad and his dad said, “No, that’s a lady.” Shortly thereafter Nowthatsalady took 3rd place in Race 5… My $8 had magically turned into $20. Even if I lost all three of my other bets, I would break even for the day. My smile was very large I am sure.

Roughly, an hour later it was time for race seven, and I was on cloud nine. Why is six afraid of seven? Because seven eight nine. Sorry, occasionally a bad pun is required. Honestly, it was a wonderful day already. I was spending great time with my family and enjoying being out in the sun in a dress and having pictures I like of myself. In race seven, it was clear from the beginning that Swanky Princess did not have a chance. Swanky Princess appeared to be lost in her own little world until right near the end and after kicking up the speed ended up coming in second… I lost the win, I won the place, and I won the show. I won two of the three bets I placed on Swanky Princess. My $12 became $17.80. I wagered $20 and now had $37.80… Wow. If someone could be on cloud ten that is where I would have been. I would end up making one more bet for the day, on a horse I do not remember. It was a bet made with my sister. I lost $5 in that but ended the day with $12.80 more in my pocket than I had entering the park.

I felt so comfortable that I was able to let go of the last couple of filters. There are very subtle things I have filtered out for a very long time. When I filtered things, I changed so many things about myself. Anytime someone said something was ‘too feminine’ or ‘too girly’ I would find a way to strip it out of my life. I changed the words I chose to use. I changed the way I interacted with the people around me. I changed the way I lived in society. I even went so far as to change the way I walked. That is another topic, which deserves its own post. In fact, each time I have said that it has been because I went off on a tangent that was 5+ paragraphs long and cut it out into its own post. Those posts are going to get written at some point. I have been dealing with a bout of lethargy recently so I have not done much writing. That also deserves its own post…

At this point, as I write it is July 13. I have been trying to write this post for a week. I am going to expedite the process… To say this: Going back to work was hard. I went back to work on the fifth and dressed in jeans and polo shirts. The jeans were… mom jeans. I did not realize it at the time we purchased them but my mom was trying to protect me. Sure, my body has imperfections; the best way to hide that is baggy clothing. That is what we purchased. The jeans were size eight… In reality, I am a four. The Polo shirts were Larges… in reality I am a Small – Medium. They all arrived by the fifth and I was off to work in my female clothes. I did not really look at myself in the mirror as I left home. I was not ready to handle the defeat I was about to have, and I think I knew it was coming…

It hit me, as it did the last time I wore a polo shirt to work. I looked like I did before. I was wearing clothes that did not fit me. I was hiding my body. I was again hiding the body that I wanted to be proud of for my entire life. I knew instantly what a mistake my adoptive mom and I had made. Both moms and I are making mistakes. I am having those awkward teenage moments. Ugh, I hate it. I am having good days; I am having bad days. Sometimes I am the windshield; sometimes I am the bug. Life happens quickly.

I spoke to them both that night. Something occurred, that I would remember for the rest of my life. If I ever lose this memory, I feel like a part of me will be lost forever. My moms, my adoptive mom, and my birth mom told me the same thing. I am paraphrasing but the meaning was the same even if they chose different words… “This problem is nothing. It is just clothes. We can fix this. You have come so far already; this is small a small problem compared to where you’ve already been…” I was ready to give up again. I was ready to go back to being sad. I was ready to give up and say I will never be a happy woman. To repeat one of the biggest defeats in my mind that has happened with the transition was devastating to my mind… Yet they both knew, they both saw into my mind and said exactly what I needed to hear. This is fixable… They both immediately presented solutions to the problem and proved that this was a small problem.

They let me Dream On…

I could dream again but even a few days later, on the seventh… I still felt bad. Today, I do not feel nearly as bad; I have had many good days since I started writing this post.

P.S. I just noticed how many semicolons I had in the ending of this post… Subconscious?

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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