Field Notes In/On Transition
The Real New Year’s....
For me (and a lot of my friends seem to grok this) The real New Year is in the autumn, when the weather changes and school starts to get serious, ball sports are in playoffs, hockey is starting. (how times change) You start wearing heavy jackets, boots all the time. You start rueing the shorter days, and enjoying all the feast-full holidays that keep us going through the long winter. Winter is coming, and while here in Vancouver it wont’t be all that snowy and cold, it will be just as annoying as all y’all’s winter. That's what winter is all about.
That’s a whole other blog post, what I’m getting at is that it’s a more thoughtful time and a time when you actively pursue “change” a bit more aggressively. To continue the obvious new school year comparison, you have new classes, new teachers, new friends, enemies, crushes, and so on. It’s my experience that the more schooling a person has lived/worked through. It’s also the new TV season, traditionally... For many people this way of understanding time, The Fall September/October as the start of the new year sticks with them, no matter how many New Year’s Bashes and Xmas parties they go to through the rest of their lives.
My New Year’s celebrations almost always start with a party or two, as my birthday is in mid September, as are a great number of my friends’ birthdays. I talked about the birthday in an earlier post. I’ve also had a few nice dinner/coffee out with friends recently, where I’ve felt really comfortable out in the world, spending too much money in restaurants, but getting a lot of quality hang time with friends, and new acquaintances.
At the same time I hadn’t felt wholly rested from my week of birthday partying/time off that didn’t feel as “Time Offy” as I had wanted it to. Something I’m working on for myself as a person, is to stop overreacting to little things that I know I should let slide. Interpersonal weirdness, or miscommunications, I can get caught up in bullshit too easy.... Those times I get myself in trouble, it’s from getting all wound up over some small thing that didn’t get done while I was off, etc.
The first few days back were hard for me mentally, emotionally, so oddly I took the step of being a bit more made up, every day of the week, also dressing as femmey as I ever have, wearing my heeled boots, shoes a few times. I mostly lost the hair battle, but the learning curve for me there seems steep.
Whether or not any of the make up and clothes looked that good, objectively, or not; I felt good doing it, and more confident about it each day. Tuesday evening I was interviewed by an eager young freelancer who’s working a story about transitioning. I don’t want to give any more of her story away than that, but a mutual acquaintance got us together through Facebook. Say what you want about Facebook but transition is easier/more fun, with it I think, than without it.
By Wednesday I was really ready to here the first couple of Moms who came in the store, getting their young kid to bring the movie to the clerk, and/or deposit it in the drop slot (which many kids reaaalllyyy love to do) and maybe teach them to say thank you/you’re welcome.... to properly gender me to their kids: “Take the movie up to the Lady” I got to hear twice in ten minutes, as well as an “I like that Lady” overheard while the second group of kids walked out.
I also received a call about getting and Endocrinologist appointment, to see about maybe getting some estrogen without angering up and hyper-tensing my blood too much, as to be dangerous. I’m prepared for a no go on this, as I never thought that would happen, given my initial assessment from doctors. It’s nice to see that my doctors can change their thinking as new information is given to them, as well as I can. Maybe then (with some lady level estrogen) I can get to that place where the tears flow a bit easier. That’s the real dream, right there, if you wanted to know.
I put forth strongly that the Video stores like Black Dog, as long as they have a decent location, can thrive. We are, and do thrive.
The reporter made a point of getting my details right, getting the spelling of Josie Boyce, letter for letter from me, before letting me know a photographer would call and be in the store in a few hours shooting me for the story. At least I had makeup on, as bad as it may have been. Though, because of my reading glasses you can’t see it so much in the picture she took. There were a lot of takes. I posed in quite a few different angles and so on.
Then, as a reward almost, it seemed, a long time customer/local restaurateur brought my co-worker and I each an “in a coffee cup wink wink” Guinness with a shot of some kind of Vodka in it. Not something I would think to drink,usually, but it affected me like champagne.
I went home giddy, almost skipping... where I made myself a really nice sausage stir fry. Which in hindsight may have given the flu like symptoms I had on Saturday that kept me from two different potluck dinners, I was in no mood to cook or eat, I did watch a lot of television, though.
Also,On Saturday, I got to see myself as Josie Boyce in print (well, saw the online link first, of course), In the article and picture I saw a happy looking, well spoken lady who manages a video store, and is trying to clear up any misunderstanding that video stores are dead. We’re here as long as people want movies. Read the article, wherein the netflix guy is kind of douchey, I’m well spoken...The whole thing, especially being so unquestioningly properly gendered, has given me a lot of confidence.
On Saturday, early in the morning, I tried and succeeded much less well with the “big eyeshadow”, and got some good advice and youtube tutorial links from my coffee gal pals Becky, and Leanne. I’m really still a bit at sea with all the makeup and hair stuff.
The clothes, I think I got it. I have style, can figure out what works with what, and always feel like I’m learning, with each outfit I’m putting together. Hair and makeup I think will be bit more hardcore in terms of rehearsal, as it were. I have had a lifetime of avoiding makeup, lest anybody “know,” who I really was ... and... (something bad would happen) as opposed to your average CIS gendered gal (who wears makeup) my age with an entire lifetime of “doing their face”.
I’m also doing a bit more masking than your average CIS gendered gal, with my 46 year old dude beard shadow to cover. And really, that’s the main reason for doing the makeup, as far as I’m concerned, to cover the beard, maybe some blush. I really don’t want to feel like I have to do “full make up” every day. I love the idea of being an eyes and lips gal as far as the makeup goes. The one thing I’ve gotten better at is covering the beard shadow, I think.
But there is reality too, I’m not a kid, and it’s a part of being a girl that I always yearned for, to look great made up, even if it’s only for special occasions. It’s all part of the journey. It’s one of the classes I’m looking forward to taking. I might be having a bit of a “make up party/lessons” with my coffee gals some week night soon.
And, I have had similar offers from other friends. I want to maybe save up a bit, and get a makeover done by a pro at MAC or somewhere, just to observe how they do it, find out more about the why’s and how’s.
I really am back in school: Art School.