Friday, March 29, 2019

20/20 Hindsight

Hi,

Given the AI revolution of smarter software and whatnot, I'm wondering how long before we get an app that starts to look for patterns of where things may not go well. You may think I'm talking about a particular political situation in the UK, but let's not for I will add little to the debate and much has been said about it already. :-)

On Wednesday I popped home for lunch and let both doggos out to stretch their legs - and more importantly - let them spend a penny outside. While they were sniffing in the garden and enjoying the turn of the seasons, I nipped upstairs and tried on a few outfits. Suitably pleased with some choices - and still loving the smooth pins - I had my bag packed for Thursday.

Cue Thursday night and the Ever Lovely Mrs plus kids decided they'd go the cinema. I was hoping that Little Miss would be somewhat cheered by watching Captain Marvel. Perhaps a post about having a character - film or book - that you can identify with is due, but not today.

As I waved them off, I wondered if I should get changed at home, pack a bug out bag, and then drive to Chameleons en femme. I decided against it wondering if me hanging around might confuse the dogs and what if there was a last minute emergency - like misplaced tickets - meaning a sudden return of the family.

At this point, and in an alternate dimension, my smartphone would have registered the soon-to-be-discovered 20/20 moment: that I'd not packed my makeup. Of course, this being the real world, and perhaps I should learn to do a pre-flight check before leaving, that didn't happen.

Cue me arriving at Chams with plenty of time and with an outfit all planned... but no slap and no boob tape.

Tis but a crack in the road.
There will be other times.
I sat down in the chair and sighed.

I pondered heading home: probably an hour round trip plus the best part of 40 mins to get changed on site. No, by the time I'd done that, it wouldn't be far of packing up.

What about going home and getting changed? Well, 30 mins to get home, 40 mins to get changed: how long was the film? No, that was too risky.

So, in the end, I did not slip into something more comfortable. Houston, we have a problem.

Much as my mellow was harshed by not being able to rewind the tension in my head, I did have a lovely evening of chat and laughter with friends at Chameleons. We had a couple of new folk pop along (always nice to see) and a host of regulars turn up too. All in all the business kept me and others, well, busy, and it also helped prop up the funds.

So, if there's anything I can learn from this, it's check that I've packed things. Ah, it's only another fortnight to the next meeting though. Tick tock.

Take care,
Lynn

Friday, March 22, 2019

Kindness

Hi,

A handful of weeks ago, Susie made a reference to Twelfth Night. Now, as someone who loves a good quote, I did take a look at some of The Bard's famous lines. This one jumped out at me:
In nature there's no blemish but the mind.
None can be called deformed but the unkind.
So, dare I suggest that kindness is cool? Going back a little further, and some readers may be aware of the sad passing of Keith Flint, the force majeure frontman for The Prodigy. It seems he was a kind fellow by all accounts.

To be kind in a world that often seems so unpleasant is, I think, an act of rebellion. When the "cool kids' in music dissed James Blunt, Keith - from a band whose music is so very different - hugged Blunt and congratulated him. BTW, should you find yourself in need of a good laugh, James's Twitter feed is on the right side of sharp, IMHO.

How does any of this apply to being trans? Well, in an image focused world, I think there's a risk we focus more on passing and looking our best, than what's going on within. I mean, if you look in the mirror and find that you're thinking less of yourself, ask Would I say this to a friend? If someone you care for was struggling, would you point out their faults, or see if you could help? A good person, I think would not judge. Kind does not lie or delude, but looks for the good: inside and out.

Perhaps that old film had much wisdom: be excellent to reach other. Maybe the world would be better if we had more kind rebels.

Take care,
Lynn

PS: A note of thanks to the Anonymous Partner who shared some of her journey a little while ago. I'm still trying to work out how to use what you put and preserve your anonymity.

PPS: I'm testing a new Contact form, so if you feel like giving it a test, that would be kind! :-)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Making hay while the sun shines

Hi,

Earlier on I was queueing patiently - as is the done thing in Dear Old England - while waiting to get a cup of tea. My eyes wandered along the decor and I noticed one of those nicely painted quotes that do the rounds. The painting style, that is, not the quote :-)
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
I was struck by the apparent opposites of the statement: quite possibly the purpose, but I due to a lack of tea, my mind wasn't yet fully up to speed. At least, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :-)

It made me think about the Radio 4 programme - In Our Time - on Authenticity I listened to the day before. One of the guest speakers had said something along the lines of when you realise you won't be here forever, you know that if you want to change, you need to because if you never change, your time will run out. Okay, there are many more years on the old clock - here's hoping! - but if you never do anything, then well, Fate and eventually Time will catch up with you.

Both thoughts made me think back to last night. I'd arrived slightly earlier than usual, by skipping tea, but staying to help the Ever Lovely Mrs J prep the meal. The Centre has had new doors fitted - automatic ones, no less - so that means the foyer is a lot warmer than usual.

While the UK weather is doing its best to remove any new leaves from the trees and keep fencers in business, we do seem to be moving towards spring. With that in mind, and with New Improved Smooth Pins, I didn't want to do leggings or opaques. Hell, I've come this far, yeah? :-)

To that end, I'd been out earlier in the week and bought some nude heels. Yeah, I know I'm late to the party, but my reasoning is that they don't work unless you have nude tights. Which in turn, need bare pins. I've tried over the years to fake the look, but it doesn't quite work. Barely black or chocolate works, but not skin tone.

I wanted to do something in Spring colours, so not black. Don't get me wrong: black's been a faithful friend over the years. It's stylish, slimming, and classic: I mean, what's not to like? But, I think you can have too much of a good thing and a new season made me want to experiment a bit. I look online around what to wear with a red skirt helped me narrow down my colour choices.

So it was that the red skirt from Christmas, last week's vest top, and a very old mint green wrap cardigan that somehow came together to form my outfit last night. I felt... I felt like I was as I was supposed to be when I'm in Lynn mode. I felt really happy with how I looked. By luck I stumbled on a Pinterest article about foundation first then concealer, and that really worked for me.

As I sat and talked with everyone last night - and I'm really very grateful for the heart to hear chat last night, ladies - my hand rested on my knee and I was conscious of the lack of hair lurking under thick tights. It just seemed right somehow. What's odd is that in Richard mode when I wear a favourite shirt, boots, and jeans for work; I get the same feeling of being me. It's like a level of peace or a sense that I'm okay as I am. How is it I can have two (hopefully) very different appearances and yet I can be okay with both at different times? How does that work?

Coming back to the quote in the cafe: how does this apply? Well, I am making the most of my smooth pins before the hair returns. I'm finding that having them makes me feel more okay about who - and to an extent, what - I am. So I'm enjoying the moments that come and trying not to worry about what might be. Perhaps if I do that, I will be mindful of the good things I have.

Equally, I know that I need to learn from the experience. Understanding that there is a risk associated with it, maybe learning more self-control, and being able to look back - hence the want of a photo (thanks Val) - to be reminded that sometimes, I don't just feel okay, but that I feel pretty.

Mind you, as I said to Diane, Nicole, and Val last night: the last time I shaved my legs was twenty years ago. I think that's quite a gap of time! Diane said it showed quite some resolve. I guess looking at the positive, I did manage to fight it for that long. Isn't everyone allowed a slip-up now and then? Maybe I need to look at what I did manage to put off doing, rather than worry about the fact that I stopped fighting for a spell.

Take care,
Lynn

PS: An anonymous poster was kind enough to share part of her journey with her trans husband. If there are any more partners out there, I would like to know how you keep things going, if you've any advice you'd like to share, and what your take is on things. No names will be shared - unless you want that. I'm not quite sure what form the article would take, but if you're interested, you can use the contact form on this site.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Plodding on

Hi,

Well, the good news is that things are ticking over. Much as I still feel the guilt around what I've done, what I've noticed is that I'm calmer at home and at work. It feels a bit as if something has unlocked with me, or perhaps, that the flame of anger has turned down to a low heat. Given I can't go back or magically recarpet my pins, I'm going to have to accept, face the consequences, and hope for the best. But, enough about that.

Blogging, for me at least, is a bit of a strange beast. Let's skip over the innuendo around a strange beast's bits though, eh? ;-)

I think I've posted at various times about sharing and connecting with people, and then there's the question around what do you write about?

Okay, there are the usual What Lynn Did Next kinda things: nights out at Chams, Xmas party, getting out, etc. Then there are the introspective posts, You Are Awesome,  and What Do You Think, Dear Reader? ones too. Other times - like the earlier post - are a riot of emotions, as I write to try and make sense of what's going on in my head. Clearly, that doesn't always quite work. But, I will say this: I try to write from what I feel to be right. Not as in correct but authentically. There are times when everything is A OK, times when things just are, and there are scary times too, but they all happen, and I write about them here. Life can be complicated, and I make no secret of that being as true for yet another trans person, as it is for more standard gender folk.

So, here's the question? How do you keep a blog going? I mean, it's been a while right? I don't say that as a brag, but just an observation. Feel free to riff on the line never has so much been said about so little ;-)

The practicality is you write when you can. When a thought comes to you, write it down in what comes to mind. Frequently that's the killer, not having some grand plan or great well of inspiration. Last week, and for some odd reason, I had three ideas and I took a moment to add them to Google Keep (NB: other note taking apps and solutions are also available ;-) ).

But, the above brainstorm is pretty rare, as most of the time, I just have to wing it. Maybe that's the other part of it: persistence... and a low quality threshold ;-) The thing with that last quip is the old IT cliché: done is better than perfect.

That's pretty much it. I was going to make a joke about a delusion that people are interested, but in honesty, I think that would be rude to those of you you are kind enough to comment and interact, so I won't. I do think that you write for yourself and at least that's authentic. Maybe folk who want the same will read it too.

If you feel differently, just let me know.

Take care,
Lynn

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Midweek Madness

Hi,

Not the best snap,
but it'll do
So, the ongoing cycle of worry versus reward and me vs man has been running like a tumble drier half filled with bricks. The psychic noise keeps me awake at night, and in the day, distracts against the burden that is work. I'm sure that's part of it too: the type of stress that gets to me, rather than motivates me. I know it will pass, but... well, yeah.

I... I have fought... and lost. I found I could not stand at the edge any longer...

I stopped fighting and let go.

Of course, once you let go, you can't 'unfall', the journey has started. So it is that my legs are now smooth.

Whatever excuse I can dream up will not placate my dearest wife, so I will, at some point, face her disappointment. For that, and I hang my head low, for I am sorry and I am guilty.

This is the part I hate about being trans: upsetting my partner. She didn't ask for any of this, and I had no idea I would take this path. The drip-drip-drip of pressure within in me to be out, to visit a trans support group, and now this. I worry that like a tree flexing in the wind, at what point does the force become too strong and there's a break? That, I do not wish to know for I love Mrs J with all my heart.

Some of you may be asking, well, why did you do it? and it's a question that's gone around my head for months now. Why indeed? The only answer I can give is that my legs feel right. No Wookie pins with balding outer calves and bushy parts around the knees.

The clock now ticks to find when I will be caught. I am hoping it is worth it.

Take care,
Lynn

Friday, March 01, 2019

When things feel natural

Hi,

Well, that's the first week of work in the bag and frankly, I'm glad it's over. The Ever Lovely Mrs J once said that she didn't mind a dull job, provided the people were nice. Well, for me in the last month or so, the work's been interesting, but some of the folk involved have been... tedious.

I will spare you the full-on work rant because I know the project will draw to a close soon, and I doubt you come here to read about my employment woes ;-) The short version is: if you're going to be an arse, expect people won't go the extra mile.

So, trans stuff. Last night was Chameleons, so it felt good t
o feel okay in my own skin and catch up with friends. I bought a new lippy earlier in the week, having read the article about Maybelline's Made for All red shade. Cue a visit to Boots and then a cheeky buy one, get one half-price bonus. The product itself goes on very nicely and stayed put for most of the night. I felt the colour was spot on too. Hey, I'm only six months behind the curve, but that's not always a bad thing in my book ;-)

While there, I did stock up on razors. I've not found much to replace my trust Gillette, and a brief foray into online sales hasn't really made me think of switching. Not that I shave (my face) much. I've got beard hair, just enough to be annoying really ;-)

I did test our a shop's own brand on my thigh to make sure it didn't drag too much. Oddly, I got a bit carried away, so one pin is a bit smoother than the other. The really odd bit is that when I see that part of my body, that's how I feel my legs should look. Not the slightly fuzzy one, but the hairless part. Even though I know it will cause upset - and perhaps this is the stress talking from the working week - I wonder if feeling better about my body will make me feel better. Is this call to be more 'me'? Just like the feeling that something wasn't quite right, or that what was on the outside needed to match the inside? Ah, decisions, decisions eh? :-)

In other news, Val did a grand job representing Chameleons by giving a talk. I've had some feedback about it and people were very pleased. If said company gets things together, that will help bring a few quid in to the group's funding. I think it would be rather nice to do something cool for Easter. I did bandy the idea around about a cream tea. Scones, tea, jam, and cream: what's not to like? :-)

Take care,
Lynn