That Was Then, This Is Now

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Before I dive in to the main topic on the agenda, I wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone for the lovely comments and private messages related to my last two posts. The generosity of spirit is overwhelming. :c)

I promise I will respond over the weekend. And Kelli, Stace, Becca, Leslie, and Col, replies to your private messages will follow too!  Love you all to pieces! 

That even goes for you, April, in spite of causing me to make a spectacle of myself at work today with your dancing hot dogs remark! (It's a long story, girls. Believe me.) I started laughing so hard I had to go outside, earning some strange looks on the way. (All right, stranger than usual.) 

I'm not saying I will seek revenge… but I would keep an eye out for koala reconnaissance units during your daily constitutionals if I were you. Yup, I'm going there, sis - the nuclear option, Aussie marsupial style. Make fun of my jazz fusion fandom at your peril, Missie!

On to the matter at hand. :c)

This has been quite a week on many fronts.

Sometimes you have moments you recognize are momentous. Coming out to my nephew C (of Conversations with C fame) last night was one.

Other moments are less earth-shattering, but still recognizable in the moment as being significant. My friend B telling me he finds my voice androgynous at a minimum and feminine if he didn't know me is a good example.

And then there are the smaller moments, ones that take you a moment to recognize just how far you've come.

My current stylist, N, is wonderful; I love talking to her, and she has been totally supportive. Unfortunately, we can't seem to get on the same page in terms of what I'm looking for. I never used to really care what it looked like; now, though, it's different. lol Who knew I was not only trans, but also a closet narcissist? :c)

Curly/wavy hair (mine is both) is notoriously difficult to cut, and mine is proving to be especially so as it grows. I have cowlicks galore, and while the back is coming along nicely, the top and sides just looks blah. Her salon is also a considerable commute (nearly 90 minutes), so it is also hard to squeeze into my already crazy schedule.

The substitute electrologist I worked with the other night has gorgeous curly hair, and she recommended a salon that is about 20 minutes from my apartment and specializes in cutting curly hair.

I worked a long day today - nearly eleven hours, and that was after being up until nearly 3:00 AM last night from being too wound up after my conversation with my nephew C.

I worked out for 75 minutes after work (Stace, I'm slowly beginning to build stamina; I'm sure you can relate!), then endured my standard hour-plus commute homeward, during which I worked on my voice.

After a refueling stop at Starbucks to reward myself and check my email, I bought a super-comfy nightgown at Kohl's, then drove to the mall where the salon is.

This mall is huge, so it took me several minutes to find it. It was near closing time, so I waited several minutes while the receptionist tidied up the back area. When she noticed me, she immediately came over and introduced herself as L. 

She asked what she could do for me, and without hesitation I told her I was transitioning, and gave her a rundown of what I was hoping to find. (I was in boy mode, alas; I have no easy way of changing after work/exercise, let alone time to do so.)

L was delighted. "Good for you!" she said. "Oh my God… that must be incredibly difficult! I can't even imagine!"

She asked some of the standard questions (when did you know, what do hormones do, and so on), expressing her admiration for what she called my "forthrightness."

After five or so minutes, she finally said she knew exactly who to pair me up with. So I have an appointment with this stylist, J, next Thursday evening. L was excited because she will be working that night too.

L was waiting for the last stylist to finish working with her final customer of the evening, so we chatted. We traded horror stories about hair (L is cute as a button - although she doesn't seem to realize it - and has an adorable pixie haircut she wants to grow out), commiserating over bad haircuts and the like.

"You are so definitely a girl," she said as the last stylist came to the front desk. "I could talk all night about hair, and it sounds like you could too!"

I told her it was true; the difference is that now I can admit it. lol

After promising to bring in some pictures of myself pre-HRT, I departed. I decided to treat myself to dinner, rather than coming home and cooking.

As I worked on my tomato soup and turkey burger (yum!), I was suddenly struck by how different this experience was from my first time telling a stranger I was trans.

I was so nervous I couldn't do it the first time. I expressed my disappointment with myself to my dear sister April (no snark this time) that evening. As I wrote, she was incredibly encouraging, telling me to hold my head high and claim my power as a woman.

And I did. And as she predicted, the salon was totally supportive. (Thank you again for that, sweetie!)

In retrospect, that was one of the more important moments in my transition. I learned I could be open about myself without worrying about what everyone else thinks. And it gets easier the more I do it.

I'm working on my posts about my first makeover and shopping excursion back in January, but one important detail I can share is how *calm* I felt during both experiences. I was astounded by it; several strangers even commented at their surprise on how composed I seemed. I told them I was surprised too. :c)

Tonight, I was so matter--of-fact about telling a total stranger I was transitioning that it took me a while to recognize how far I have come in barely six months.  

I am finding it harder and harder to conjure "him" up when I go to work, or am with someone who doesn't know about me. It feels… well, phony. I'm having an even harder time not signing email as myself, not slipping into my voice (or my current version of it, as it is a work in progress), and so on. 

I have a long, long way to go, but the end is closer than I realized even a week ago.


I was on YouTube late one night this week, as changing the clocks has once again triggered my insomnia. I found a video for a song I probably have not heard since it first came out back in 1983. ABC's debut album contained "The Look of Love" and "Poison Arrow" and was a major hit. 

Their second album, Beauty Stab, was a radical departure, with cranked-up guitars and socially-conscious lyrics. They served notice that they would not be pigeonholed with the first single, the aforementioned "That Was Then, This Is Now":

I would also be remiss if I didn't post this lovely track from their 1985 follow-up album, How To Be A Zillionaire.

Such a gorgeous melody. I never, ever get tired of this song...


Stace on March 16, 2013 at 3:40 AM said...

I know how you feel with not being able to conjure up him. Whilst I never really tried to be the manliest man I could be, I was also aware that men don't sit "like that" and that men react in certain ways so I did my best to copy it (which was poorly apparently!)

But then at some point I it didn't matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it. This is when the colleagues who knew started to warn me that it was becoming a little obvious :)

Great news on the hair front, good luck next week. That you are now so able to tell people is always a big step :)


Becca on March 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM said...

I think it makes people more comfortable if you appear comfortable in your own skin. Powerful stuff is confidence .....

Must give you such a good feeling that things are slotting into place .....


Cassidy on March 19, 2013 at 6:01 PM said...

@ Stace: lol Just read this comment after writing my most recent post! Do our work colleagues and friends chat behind our backs? lol

I'm rapidly approaching the point you describe - not being able to hide it any longer. I think S, in her sweet, kind way, was trying to tell me that. :c)

Heck, I hadn't even shaved yesterday (I have electrolysis tomorrow) and *still* was addressed as a woman! Can't really fathom it even now!!!

I'll let you know how things go at the salon. I have a good feeling about this one! And thank you for the compliment; I cannot believe how calm I feel when I tell people now. It's really amazing!

@Becca: Perhaps you're right. I do simply feel comfortable - not as much when I'm dressed as him, but also not that horrible, constant sense of profound unease we all know far too well. Confidence is a new experience here at Casa de Cass, I can assure you!!! lol

Thanks so much for the lovely comments, girls!

Hugs and love,

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