Just One Of the Girls

Field Notes In/On Transition

Just One Of the Girls

2014 so far, has been just as emotionally tumultuous as the end of 2013 was for me. But I feel stronger, more able to deal and process things, as March is here, and we have a bit of rare late winter (for Vancouver, this is late winter) snow in Vancouver. I feel very strongly that I am as I approach two years of HRT on March 21st, that I am reaching that life long goal that always seemed so out of reach to me, even earlier in my transition: to be “just one of the girls”, to  not just be accepted as a woman by close friends, Trans*, or CIS- gendered, but everyone that I meet.

If we don’t shoot for the ideal, what’s the point? Falling short, inevitably, is where you learn. In the last few months I have really felt like I am sharpening, honing the person I am into the woman I am. If that makes sense. I have been consistently making new friends, and being complimented by acquaintances on my style, and how naturally comfortable I am with myself. Now, amongst these compliments, of course I am still getting misgendered, or not seen, much of my day (when I’m at work) ... but that only bothers me if it happens more than 30 or 40 times. That’s when I start to notice it. 

One thing that I’ve become conscious about recently, is that I am making an effort to cherish those moments where someone ‘gets’/‘groks’ what I’m doing and is complimentary in a way that makes me smile, ie: they don’t ask rude questions, they ask polite questions, or rather, they just engage in a conversation: that’s the best. And, despite any grumbling I do about the negative energy I receive, or the invisibility I seem to have turned on, without knowing how.

I am have been getting a lot out of those positive interactions, like the recent spate of several ‘older ladies’ (60 and up) who have made a point of telling me how much they have enjoyed seeing my transformation, and how proud they are of me and how much they appreciate my sense of fashion.... It’s like having a bunch of Aunties who suddenly drop  in to visit. Thank you Ladies.

Also I have been making new friends, and being more social in the last few weeks than I have been since long before my transition started. It’s a very powerful Mojo for me to have friends who really only have known me as Josie. And, to have those friends who knew me back in ‘tha day’ as it were recognize and affirm that I am ‘more myself,’ in fact, now, than I ever was before. 

The other night I went out with a dozen or so local gals (and at least one from the Island) to a local pub and we sampled craft beer, and yakked for hours, had a bit of nosh. it was one of the nicest times I’ve had out in as long as I can remember, and I really did feel like ‘one of the girls.’ I felt a part of the one group of folks that I’ve always desperately wanted to feel a part of. I am actually becoming my authentic self. I love to hear people being surprised that I have only been transitioning for two years, or less than. Though in hindsight, would say that I have been in Transition my whole life, I was just  very slow out of the starting gate.

Last night I had another smaller get together with my ‘coffee gals’. Sometimes we hang out in the evenings and have some nice food, share our creative ideas, as well and as often as we vent our crap with each other as well.  We had some nice wine and Chinese food last night, and eventually we did some Tarot readings, all of which were really interesting and relevant. It was a deck I hadn’t seen before, that I really dug the images, style of the iconic imagery, it was old fashioned, but not somehow. “The Golden Deck,” perhaps.

I haven’t done a Tarot reading in many years, it was refreshing and fun to meditate on the images, reading the descriptions, and making my own quilt of what it says, and of course to get the input of my friends, as we read the cards. Always a fun group activity, for me, doing the cards, or any other kind of ‘oracle work.’ You get what you put into these things, you don’t have to believe in the symbols for them to power your imagination. 

To make you think about whatever it is that has you thinking, from a different angle is a wonderful thing, and why I engage in these activities and kinds of conversations so readily, and so often. It has inspired me to maybe start doing a bit more of these kinds of activities with my friends, and on my own. Investigating your own psyche through your imagination for me is touching the divine in the same way as writing or drawing, or ay art you endeavour upon. Art comes out in the end, whether tangibly or not.

I want to end with talking a bit about ‘Love,’ I had a bit of a rough go over Valentine’s Day, which until this year has been something that I never cared a whit over; but this year I guess I was feeling vulnerable after a few hard conversations with friends and family, and i was feeling that empty space that would be filled by having a ‘partner’ (aka boy/girlfriend who isn’t ‘just a friend’) having that ‘intimate someone’ who hopefully has your back when you are feeling so vulnerable, and like you will never be able to have that kind of romantic love in your life, again, or ever. Pouring your heart on facebook, though sometimes really can help. I had a lot of smart people tell me things that weren’t cliches, and one friend sent me an express delivery of Chocolate!

Also a few weeks later, after crawling through those no-romance ashes; I had a great gift given to me by a cute young man who comes into the shop. I might be assuming he’s gay, but I’m not assuming his lovely manner, and pleasant, respectful way he talks to me. I had been admiring his ‘card carrier,’ one of those credit card/id card sized metal cases that I see many people using these days. 

His was decorated with an image on a ceramic slab on the cover. it was very elegant, even though I can’t recall the motif. a few days later, he came in, and said: “I didn’t come in to get a movie, just to give you this" ... and he gave me a plain metal case that he had, before he received the gift of the ceramic topped one I had liked. it was such a sweet thing to do. I said thank you a million or so times, and he left smiling.

There might be a lot of horrors in the big world we life in, but there are also a lot of lovely humans making it almost easy for me to get through my days, and to become the person I always hoped I could be, but never believed I would be. It turns out I am her, and people see her, acknowledge, and love her. I feel blessed, and only occasionally sad, these days. I really do.


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