Catching Up

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Well, hello there. 

Where have you all been?

Just kidding. :c)

Sorry; I know it's been a while, relatively speaking, since I last posted. I've been very busy the past two weeks, and this is literally the first time I've had a chance to sit down and write in that entire time. Lots to discuss - so let's get to it!!!



First up: I returned to work. Two weeks, so far. It's been... tolerable. Mostly. 

The people who were nice are still nice. And they constitute the majority, I would like to point out. Many of them went out of their way to welcome me back, make sure I'm OK, and express regret for anything they may have done that contributed to my stress level. 

The people who made my life miserable... well, they're still there too. And they haven't changed either. None of *those* people stopped by to say anything. Funny how that works, isn't it? 

My manager, L, my friend and fellow writer B, and the two new writers who work in the new office with me, R and S, have all been unstinting in their support, just as they were before I collapsed. R and S come by several times a day to ask how I'm feeling, to make sure I'm eating, and generally make sure I'm OK. They're both very sweet. :c)

L's manager P, who is a good egg, also came by to welcome me back. And in his genial way, he asked me not to get myself into that place ever again, saying no job is worth ending up in the hospital for. 

At my manager's request, I'm still in the new office for the time being, as we limp toward the finish line. She has been a good friend outside of work and unwaveringly supportive at work; for her, I will do it. 

I'm not sure what will happen after this project mercifully ends. I really can't take another six months like the past six, physically or emotionally. I need to focus that energy on my transition. I try not to think of the toll this chaos has inflicted, physically and emotionally. I can only hope things improve. 

***

My electrolysis has been going well. M, my electrologist, is wonderful. She didn't even get upset when I unthinkingly shaved before one of my recent sessions, which made her work around my mouth needlessly difficult. Nor did she chastise me when I admitted I'd also neglected to apply Lidocaine or take Tylenol beforehand. I simply forgot. I get tired easily, both physically and mentally, which my doctor said would happen for a while as I recover from six months of insomnia and unrelenting stress. This is the result.

I could tell M was struggling that night as she worked. And for the first time, I had noticeable swelling afterward, which lasted for several days. It was my fault, though, not hers, and it was quite manageable. And as soon as the swelling went down, it looked fine. I have a long, long way to go, but I can already see a big difference. It's really amazing to see freckles on my face again. :c)

She's also a joy to talk to each week. We jump around, sometimes talking about what my transition is like, sometimes about her children, of whom she is justifiably proud, and sometimes about books, as we both love to read. Each hour flies by. I've only known her for a few weeks; it feels like much longer. I look forward to seeing her every week; the fact that each visit brings me closer to being myself almost seems like a happy byproduct. 

I marvel sometimes about the people in my life now - M, my therapist (also M), my doctor, J, and my new stylist, T, to say nothing of the other girls I've met through this blog - whom I met in the past 18 months solely because of my transition. It has been a privilege, and very humbling. I look forward to sharing my journey with them all.

***

My friend V, who has been having some trouble adjusting to my transition, dropped me a line last weekend. His church was showing a documentary about transgendered church members, and he asked if I would like to attend it with him and his wife. 

To be honest, while I was definitely interested in seeing the film, I really didn't want to go out that night. I have been either working late, stuck in horrendous traffic, or going out almost every night the past two weeks. I was looking forward to a quiet evening home, watching the last night of the baseball season. 

(Side note: How about them Orioles??? And them As??? What great stories! It's why I love baseball; you *never* know what will happen...)

After giving it a bit of thought though, I called V and said I would go. V has genuinely struggled with my transition, but he is clearly trying, and asking me to attend this film is an example of that. It was important for me to go for that reason.

I'm glad I did. His church turned out to be wonderful. The building is absolutely beautiful, so it was a treat to finally go inside for the first time. 

The film was quite moving, packing quite an emotional punch in its short (27 minutes) length. I found myself nodding over and over again as I watched. V and his wife, S, both found it moving as well. They were astounded to realize that one of the subjects of the film was, in fact, a guest lecturer at their parish. They had no idea he was transgendered! ("We're everywhere, you know," I told them, mock-solemn. They both laughed. :c))

The parishioners were very friendly and warm, making me feel welcome, as did the priest when we spoke after the film. He invited me to attend a service in the future, and I told him I would like to do so. And I meant it. 

It has been a long time since I attended any service. According to the church of my youth, I'm going to burn in hell (although I'll have a lot of company, given their own conduct), which only further soured me on them, and organized religion in general. I admire people who are able to find a way to spiritual sustenance in spite of the failures - some of which are unforgivable, to me - of the human stewards of their faith. That is a gift I do not possess.

I don't know what, if anything, will come of attending a service or two... but for the first time in a long while I'm willing to consider the possibility of joining a community of believers again. That alone speaks volumes about the tolerance and empathy I witnessed in the short time I spent with them. I attended this screening in boy mode (as I have been doing full-time for far too long - sigh), but I have little doubt they would be welcoming when I go full-time. 

Stay tuned. :c)

***

It's two-plus weeks post-haircut, and I still like it quite a but. As usual, the sides are already out of control. Such are the perils of curly hair. 

Speaking of which, the one thing I will request next time is for T to cut it so it *is* curlier. Minor tweak, but it's how I like it. And it's easier to tame that way. When it's (relatively) straight, as it is now, my abundant cowlicks are much more pronounced. (Add your own cow joke here - you know who you are. ;c)) With curls, the cowlicks get weighed down, it seems. 

This observation came courtesy of my sister C, although I have, once again, toned down her comments considerably. As she has noted, even she has no idea what is liable to come out of her mouth when she opens it. Apparently she is known (affectionately) as"Nurse Nasty," or simply "Nasty," by the staff, EMTs, and patients at the hospital ER where she works. but staff, EMTs, and even patients. :c)

C also repeated something I have been told by numerous people lately: I look totally different when I take off my glasses. They have all said that the extent of the changes become really obvious. I really don't see it, but enough people have said it that there must be some truth to it. 

I *have* noticed that my glasses suddenly see too big for my face; it also seems as if my eyes are much bigger than before. I don't know if that makes any sense, but there you go. Another friend told me it looks as if I've lost weight in recent photos I sent her (she hasn't seen me since mid-summer). I've actually gained five lbs, mostly because I was told to minimize my physical activity for a while to help rebuild my energy levels, but she insists I look too thin. I suppose there are worse problems, aren't there? :c)

*** 

Last but not least, I finally made it out last weekend to see a show. Every time I do so I am reminded of how good live music is for the soul. In this case, I went to see an old favorite, Graham Parker, play a solo show a local coffeehouse. 

He was once considered part of the mid-to-late Seventies Angry Young Men of New Wave, along with Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. Like them, though, he is too ambitious an artist to be pigeonholed like that. He is a superb songwriter, just like Messers Costello and Jackson, with more of an emphasis on pub-rock and, particularly, soul music. (See below for his inspired cover of the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back.")

This was the first time I have seen him in nearly 10 years; I'm wondering what the heck I was thinking in allowing such a long gap occur. He confessed at the end of the evening that he wasn't feeling well when he went on stage, but you would never know it. He was in strong voice, and his between-songs banter was as funny as ever.

Best of all, he played a number of songs from the new album he recently recorded with his original backing band, the Rumour - their first time together in 31 years. The new songs were wonderful, and will no doubt sound even better with the mighty Rumour putting their unique stamp on them. They are embarking on a tour when the new album is released; I already have my tickets. Early December can't get here soon enough. :c)

In the meantime, here is the promised Jackson Five cover:



Here are a few other favorites. First up, 1988's "Get Started (Start A Fire)" with David Letterman's amazing house band:



And here is the song for which he is best known (at least here in the Colonies, as he puts it), "Local Girls," from his 1979 masterpiece, Squeezing Out Sparks:



***

That will do it for now, I think. I am quite excited because I actually have tomorrow off - something I was not aware of until a few days ago. That is a nice, unexpected treat.

Have a great week, everyone!

***

And one more tune, from a band I have just finally checked out for the first time: Nada Surf. I have been *obsessed* with this song for the past several weeks:



Just gorgeous!!!

1 comments:

Jessica Lyn on October 12, 2012 at 2:41 AM said...
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