Old Friends

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hi everyone - your eyes do not deceive you; two posts from Cassidy in a single week! Who woulda thunk it?

I originally intended to write about this subject several weeks ago, but came up with other topics that were a bit more timely. And I have two others in the pipeline as well; hopefully I can finish and post them shortly as well.

I'm writing this on Sunday evening; with my manager L's permission (and have I mentioned lately how much she rocks?) I'm taking tomorrow off. I've been dragging a bit lately, partly because the weather here has been unusually hot and humid for an extended period, and partly because I've only taken a few days off so far this year. So it will be nice to sleep in a bit later than usual tomorrow. :c)

This actually makes a nice segue to the main topic of this post. Follow along below the jump for more. :c)

Anyone who has transitioned can tell you that it is an all-consuming endeavor. Like most of you, mine has certainly had its ups and downs.

One unfortunate side effect of the ongoing... er, eventfulness has been a need to conserve my energy. Pre-transition, I spent much of my time alone. Since beginning my transition, I've wondered how of that was my natural inclination towards being an introvert vs. choosing not to allow anyone to get too close, lest they discover the truth about who I really was. 

My friend F has known me my entire life, and likely knows me better than anyone. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met, and certainly one of the wisest. (There's a reason I came out to him first, after all.) 

On several occasions he's expressed his amazement after reading one of my posts about how many painful/traumatic experiences/secrets I kept locked up inside, without ever telling a soul. A recent conversation has stuck with me.

"Growing up, you had a lot to deal with, none of which was your fault," he said. "You did what you had to do to survive. And it worked. The fact that you made it this far on your own, essentially, is proof of that."

"The problem is that the very skills and coping mechanisms you used your entire life to be strong and self-reliant aren't necessarily the right ones any longer."

"I know you've been working on letting people in - really letting them in. And I know you've been hurt doing just that. Badly hurt."

"You can choose to withdraw again. That would certainly be understandable. But you can also choose to try to move forward. To not give up."

"And a good way to start is to let your friends back in to your life. Let them help you."

"It isn't a sign of weakness. It isn't a quid pro quo. It's a way to let people show you they care about you. That they love you."

"And by doing that, you're letting yourself believe you deserve to be loved. And that you won't always be hurt when you do."

As he usually is, F was right. 

And so, for the past few weeks, I've been trying to do just that.

I've had dinner with several friends. (Hello to T, J, and M. :-p) I've been texting with F and T about music and sports - mutual passions of ours. (As an aside: T recommends Birds of Chicago, while F recently raved about the latest from Sierra Hull. Check 'em out when you can - they never steer me wrong. :D)

And speaking of music, I've been making an effort to listen to more. Much more. To allow myself to relax, really. 

I was startled when I realized just how much time I was spending in total silence. While driving to and from work, while running/walking, after arriving home... for several years I was almost always alone with my thoughts.

In many ways, this represents tremendous progress. I'm comfortable being alone with my thoughts because I've learned who I really am - both the good and, well, the things I need to work on. The thing is, I no longer let the not-so-good things define who I am to myself. And I couldn't have done that without that time spent being alone.

However, it's also a double-edged sword. It's wonderful that I like my own company. I know someone  who is seemingly incapable of being alone with their thoughts for even a moment. The price they have paid, and are paying, for being unable/unwilling to learn who they are, is staggering. 

That said, not having to rely on other people for a sense of self-worth/"validation" doesn't mean I should fall back into the the dead end of not allowing anyone to get close. 

I rarely write about relationships here; it's an area of my life I prefer to keep private. But for the first time in my life, much to my amazement, I've had to consider the possibility that a relationship - a real relationship - might actually be possible, and that I won't necessarily be alone my entire life. I don't feel comfortable saying any more; I've learned the hard way, repeatedly and painfully, and in the recent past, to be wary. But the fact that I can even acknowledge the possibility is enormous progress.

On that note, I'll wrap this up. Hopefully this makes some sense; such are the perils of writing at 1:00 AM. :c) Thank you for sticking around this long, and stay tuned for the other posts promised above - hopefully sooner rather than later!


I thought I'd end by sharing a few shots from my most recent visit to the salon to get my hair done:

J did her usual spectacular job; she is an artist, as I make a point to tell her. I love the way she styled it this time. It's a semi-retro look, but somehow also current. (As I said: she's an artist!) The fact that I can't come remotely close to reproducing it says as much - although that isn't stopping me from trying. :D Can't wait to see what she comes up with next visit!

(The colors in the shot at the top of this post are soooo funky, even if the angle is somewhat askew. (That neon-blue skirt is just about knee-length, even though this photo makes it look as if my calves are about six inches long. lol) Also, note the awesome mani- and pedi- by the amazing AM. Thank you again for suggesting this color (Coca-Cola red, for the curious)! 


Finally, one late, last shout out, to the lovely and talented Miss J. Thank you again for working your magic this weekend, hon - in all its myriad forms. You rock, girl; don't know what I would do without you. <3


By coincidence, given the theme of this post (or was it?), I found this clip on YouTube recently. It comes with a bit of backstory.

Paul Simon had his own network TV special in 1977, with guests such as Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, and, somewhat surprisingly, Art Garfunkel. Their relationship was strained following their contentious breakup in 1970, but they occasionally reunited - fortunately for the rest of us. You can see why here:

Just lovely. Here's the performance alone, without the setup:

If you're interested, you can watch the entire special here; it's well worth it:



jdmarshall on August 1, 2016 at 6:10 AM said...

Your hair is absolutely fabulous. So HOT. I am jealous. I'll just have to make do with my stringy old blonde mop. Thanks for the words and music. Your newer friend in Texas, Julia

Cassidy on August 5, 2016 at 9:38 PM said...

Thank you, Julie! Blondes have more fun, I'm told, so *I'm* the one who's jealous! :D

Happy to share the musical wealth. Texas artists make up a large chunk of the Cassidy catalogue lol, so thank you for that! Keep an eye out for an upcoming post featuring a great Texas singer/songwriter. The wait will be worth it, promise! :-p


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