Friday, January 04, 2019

Luck and help

Hi,

My two week holiday is almost at an end, but it's been great. A mix of late mornings, walks out with the Jones Posse, a spot of lunch, some gaming, a few films, and so on. But, more than anything, I think it's been the lack of a need to rush anywhere. Okay, we do need to be up before noon and yes, mealtimes have some semblance of accuracy, but I'm not finding us - or me - sprinting between Task 1 to X and rarely taking the time to enjoy things.

Take today, for example, Little Miss was invited to a birthday party for a school friend, while the Ever Lovely Mrs J and Wee Man nipped out to go bowling. That left Muggins here to walk the dogs. Now, sometimes, this can feel like a chore, but today, with no need to be anywhere in particular, I could enjoy a long leisurely stroll over the fields and back again. Sure, it was cold out, and despite some good thermals, I did find myself wanting for a hot cup of tea half way around. There's a business opportunity for any drone experts: hot tea on demand. :-)

Talking of opportunities, with Little Miss now with her friends, I wandered back to the car via New Look. You know, there's been much talk about sales and the Christmas takings not being what they could be. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I've looked at my usual Go To sites for reductions - Joe Brows, Dorothy Perkins, M&S, New Look (shoes) - I've got to be honest and say while there are some lovely fashion pieces out there, there's nothing I actually want. So, no, I didn't buy anything online... well, apart from some new bloke boots for work, but that's not what this blog is about ;-) But, I did fall upon two pairs of strappy sandals in the New Look sale today. That was some good luck. Both only a fiver and not in black: a red pair and a nude pair. I shall look forward to the right weather to wear those. :-)

In more T related news - although the next meeting isn't until next week for Chameleons - I happened to find an article on The Good Men Project. Yeah, it's mostly written by blokes, but it is more enlightened and accepting that other man orientated sites. Lots of things about culture and 'doing the right thing' - and discussing what The Right Thing might be.

Anyway, the piece that jumped out at me was about Why I Joined a Men's Group. The article is well worth a read, IMHO, and has - other than the intro/outro - a couple of key areas:
You realise you’re not alone.
You learn from other men just like yourself.
You realise it’s not all about you.
You become part of something bigger than you.
As I reached the last section, I wondered if these can be applied to a trans social/support group? I mean, sure, the not being alone is truly excellent. Just knowing that it's not you with these feelings can be very liberating. Certainly, learning from others can help costly mistakes or getting stuck on false summits. 

The last two also: truly listening to other trans folk isn't just a learning opportunity, but a chance at witnessing the variety within our community. I know that the latter phrase isn't crafted ideally, but it's as close as I can get it. Really you'd think I'd think a bit more before writing, but I'm an improv kinda gal at heart ;-) 

As the above all sink in and with time, I found that I felt really part of the group. Not just from their advice, and support, but from friends I made there. I found out about other groups and other organisations, so yeah, it really did blossom into something that wasn't about me, but a much bigger, richer, and more fabulous tapestry.

So, is there - to use a modern phrase - a take away from all of this? If you get chance to join a group of like-minded trans folk, it might just be the best thing you did. It isn't the only way out of the closet, but it can certainly help make a smoother journey. No one is there to tell you what to do, just be there when you need to ask.

Take care,
Lynn

8 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, sweetie. Hope 2019 will make you feel like you're always on a relaxed two-week break! (Well, we can send our hopes, can't we ;-) ).

    Sharing experiences and feelings with other trans girls, at first online and then face-to-face, represented the biggest growth spurt I experienced as a trans person. So, yes, groups like Chams or online support (even blogs!) can be the best way of finding one's own self and one's place in a wider community.

    Sue x

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    1. Ah, we can but dream. Sadly, I think my inbox hath runneth over despite my Out of Office. :-) Still, there's a lot to be said be deleting large swathes of it. People will email again if they think it's important ;-)

      I think being out online is a good place to start. Take things steady and see how you go. I do think meeting people in the real world - in bloke mode or otherwise - can be very rewarding. Clearly, if it's not a regular group, some precautions would be a very good idea! :-)

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  2. Finding a forum where I could get advice and talk to others in a similar position to myself helped me tremendously. It probably helped keep my alive at one point. I keep telling myself I need to blog more but I never get round to writing up posts. I'm definitely going to try harder this year and I've a few posts lined up.

    Nice to read you got out and had a walk, we don't do this much nowadays given my girls are older :-(

    Sounds like you got yourself some nice heels in Newlook, good one. I've banned myself from Newlook at the moment, having spent a small fortune there last year.

    Speak soon

    Lotte x

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    1. Your comment about being kept alive struck a chord, Charlotte. It's been a long time (thankfully) since I've felt like that and yet I've not forgotten what the group did to help. Top stuff indeed and all I can do is try to pay that forward to help others in similar situations.

      Sorry to hear your two doggos are getting on a bit. We've an old lady hound too, although the sound of the treat cupboard opening, somehow helps dispel her aches and pains :-)

      In brighter news, good luck with the blogging and I think it would be great to hear about your exploits.... and growing New Look habit :-D

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  3. Lol i wasn't talking about dogs, i was talking about my two daughters getting older.

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    1. Doh! Much embarrassment. My apologies.

      FWIW, neither of our two kids are up for walks either. I guess they reach that age. :-) Still, we did manage a good long stroll through Sherwood Forest the other day.

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  4. After the first two episodes of last week's Silent Witness (Two Spirits) I'm rather put off support groups. (And how they treated that issue is a whole other topic.)

    Seriously though, I wonder how much support groups can be a bit of a mixed blessing. I made contact with the TransOxford group and eventually plucked up the courage to go along to one of their meetings. But by the end I felt horribly out of place, partly because as it was immediately after work I went in bloke mode, but also because everyone there seemed set on, or had already gone along the road to transition.
    Then the meetings changed venue from a private hall space to a pub in the centre of town, somewhere where I wouldn't be confident to be Susie in public.

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    1. I'll have to take your word on Silent Witness, not being familiar with it. Sometimes I think writers can be very clumsy when it comes to dealing with fictional trans characters. I suppose it is drama, so is there a certain level of poetic licence?

      As to groups, I'm with you on what you say. If your goal is transition, then a group who specialises in that may be just what you need... and, of course, vice versa. Chams is a bit mixed in that regard. So long as you're trans (or partner/friend of), then we welcome you.

      We've also had the discussion about being out of town. On the one hand, being in a private venue helps those not yet out of the closet, or those not wanting to be in public, some place to go and be okay with that. Equally, we find that we folk have found their feet, so to speak, the out of town venue can become less attractive as they want to visit pubs and clubs etc. I think it's difficult to find just the right balance, but we do what we can! :-)

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