Being Me

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hi all! 

Here's a late night, I-am-too-tired-to sleep post for you.

I have been fighting a minor stomach bug off and on the past few weeks.

And it is pavement-meltingly hot and humid here, and will be until Saturday. (The ol' hair product is getting a serious workout this week, I can assure you!)

But mostly, I am simply worn out.

Thankfully, my vacation starts one week from today. Yea!!!!

So... on to the point of this post.

As I noted in a recent post, I have most definitely passed a significant point in my transition:

I now, at long last, see me.

I mean, really see me.

It was, and is, amazing.




It happened last week, for the first time.

I am still genuinely taken aback when I catch myself in the mirror unaware.

In fact, just tonight I was grocery shopping. As I mentioned above, it has been brutally hot here for nearly a week, with increasingly uncomfortable temperatures and dew points every day.

I worked at home today because of an upset stomach, and, quite honestly, did nothing in terms of appearance. My hair was flat, I hadn't shaved since Sunday (my electrolysis was on Tuesday, and the humidity left my skin more irritated than usual), and I was wearing a loose t-shirt and gym shorts.

And yet...

When I was walking back to my car, struggling not to drop my bags, car keys, and phone (I only dropped the phone - you know, the most fragile item, of course!), I saw myself in the reflection of the door.

And stopped short.

I saw a woman.

Me.

More than a bit washed out, somewhat weary, and with really, really bad hair lol...

But definitely a woman.

I had to sit in my car for a few minutes, letting it sink in.

Again.

It is really happening.

I am passing.

Even to myself.

And as we know all too well, the person in the mirror is by far the toughest, most unforgiving critic of them all.

So... progress!

***

The flip side, of course, is that the further along I am in my transition, the more my difficulty dealing with my GD grows, for a number of reasons.

Telling my parents was the most important factor, along with my increased confidence since then in accepting myself and realizing I genuinely like myself now.

There are other factors, including one major one that I swear I will write about next - honest! :-p

But the bottom line is that I am more and more disconnected from "him" as time goes by.

And it is accelerating on a daily basis.

Earlier this week I was chatting with RW and S at RW's desk after a meeting. Our co-worker A, a favorite of all of us (and one who does not know about me yet), ran over excitedly, holding our her hands.

"Look what I did last night, RW!" she exclaimed.

She had painted her own nails for the first time. And done quite a good job of it, I must add.

RW and S, quite rightly, complimented her on her efforts, and asked about what polishes she used (she did different shades), her after-care, and so on.

And I would keep wanting to jump in, be part of the excitement, and pepper A with all of the questions I had.

Only to catch myself each time - barely - and realize I could not.

I did my best to try to think of how a boy would act in this situation... but I could not. So I simply kept quiet.

Later, RW came to my desk.

"That was really hard for you, wasn't it?" she asked.

I admitted it was.

"S and I could tell," she said. "We could see literally see the strain."

"You carry yourself like a girl now, just like we keep telling you," she said. "But I know you still have to try to be 'him' here, huh?"

"But it's like you... forget sometimes? You know, like your voice will be normal [i.e. like Cass] and then all of a sudden it will try to drop? But not manage it?"

I told her she was right.

"Every day now, I get up and get dressed as him. And I feel completely... alien."

"This -" I gestured to my polo shirt, skinny jeans, and sneakers - "Makes me feel like a fraud. I can't really remember how he acts that well now. And I don't want to remember. But I still have to try."

"And whenever I see all of you - you, S, and A - just being yourselves... it eats me up inside. I want that SO badly. But I can't have it. Not yet. I know I will someday... just not now."

RW began to apologize for having the earlier conversation, but I stopped her.

"Please, please, don't do that on my account!" I said. "That's how I learn. I watch and listen to all of you. And the more I do, the more I learn to trust my instincts. So please... don't change."

"OK," she said. "I promise we won't."

"Thank you, RW," I told her.

Then I smiled.

"If I weren't trying to pretend to be him, I would give you a huge hug right now."

"Just save it for later," she said as she walked back to her desk. "They stay good forever, you know!"

***

I spent some time a few nights ago messing around with headbands and barrettes, at RW's suggestion.

While it is fair to say that Vidal Sassoon has nothing to worry about :c), I did manage to get my hair to look at least semi-presentable on a few occasions. It was worth the contortions to my shoulders, back, and neck. (My chiropractor thought so too.)

So here are a few shots to give you an idea. Note my nifty paramecium nightshirt - which, I am proud to note, I picked out all by myself. I

If you were ever to see my first efforts at picking out a my own clothes ("Are you dressing for two?" asked my sister upon seeing them), you would know what a big deal this is.

I can attest that RW was very impressed when I told her what I had done. :c) "All by yourself, Cass? Really? Oh, wait... you are serious?!? Damn... nice job!" Apparently she has been in touch with my sister, given her obvious astonishment. lol











 I like that first one in particular. :c) I think it captures me fairly well. Or at least how I see me at this moment.

I also like that you can see how I am slowly being overrun with freckles. More literally appear every day, seemingly in inverse proportion to my body hair vanishing. Thankfully, I really like my freckles. Not that I have much choice, I suppose! lol

***

It is that time of year again, kids: Newport Folk Festival time!

Yea!!!

I cannot wait to visit Newport next week. It has been far too long since I have been there.

And not just because I can slake my Del's frozen lemonade jones either - although that is literally the first thing I do every time I visit. You would too, if you ever tasted one.

And not just because I get to see my dear friends down there at long last. As myself too. (I am spending the entire weekend as myself.)

The best reason is the incredible music I will be seeing next week.

In my next few posts, I will share just a few of the artists I will be checking out one week from today.

First up, Sarah Jarotz, covering the great Bill Withers's "Grandma's Hands":


Next, Brooklyn's own Spirit Family Reunion:


And last up, personal favorite Justin Townes Earle, covering Lightnin' Hopkins:


Nothing worse than a balky engine, as any gentleman will tell you. :-p

2 comments:

Calie on August 17, 2013 at 4:25 PM said...

Oh, Cass, I so related to the nail conversation at work. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. The difference between your situation and mine is that NO one knows at work. No one come up to me to understand how I feel.

There was a woman at work who included me in all of her girly conversations. She has since moved on. I never told her, but I probably let out enough that she might have suspected.

Love the blues....great song!

Calie xxx

Cassidy on August 18, 2013 at 6:18 PM said...

Calie,

I am so sorry, hon. My heart aches for you, it truly does. Please know you can reach out anytime you just need to let these feelings out, OK? I mean it.

As for JTE's blues cover, I couldn't agree more. Gotta love those single-entendre blues tunes, don't you? lol Mississippi John Hurt was the master in that regard.

Have a wonderful week, Miss C!!!

Hugs & love,
Cass xoxoxo

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