"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Monday 16 April 2018

What Did You Expect?

What a privilege it is to have lived as a man and as a woman. My life has certainly been more interesting than I could have expected.

Obvious aspects that changed when I transitioned such as clothes, make-up and hair, voice (losing the bass/baritone has turned out to be very hard), and movement, are each more complicated than I anticipated. 

Clothing trends have made femininity a more subtle thing than expected. Fortunately pink chiffon and matching satin heels were never part of my collection; there has certainly been no occasion for such an outfit. For daily wear, I buck the trend mostly, and lean away from jeans (I always hated the heavy denim material) and have accepted slacks, leggings and skinny lightweight jeans as a day-to-day uniform. The mandatory tunic or long top to go with leggings has also become a staple. Lately, I've found some dresses that also go well with the leggings, especially when layered using a light sweater to cover the arms and add some style. The same dresses will likely be worn with bare legs and sandals (oh, I do love sandals) when summer finally arrives.

While I was still working, two-inch comfortable (read expensive) heels had become my weekday wear with flats for evenings and the weekend. In retirement, the flats and ankle boots have taken over. I have to dust those heels every month or so now.

Makeup has been cut back to the point where now I moisturize and fix my eyebrows and put a bit of mascara on my very blond eyelashes. Sometimes a bit of lipstick.

My hair was been an issue. I resisted using the wig I bought seven years ago. Thanks to two very special ladies, I found that it was possible to style my hair to cover up quite a bit of the male-pattern baldness that had begun. In the past few months, worry over people seeing that my hair is thin has decreased. These days it has become possible to walk out the door and feel that this is who I am and others will judge if they are that sort.

Strangely, behaviours I thought would be difficult to change have come quite naturally, with a lot of help from friends. My walk, once a huge confident stride, has dwindled to a fraction of its former self, but I still hold my head up and walk tall. I'll hold a door - but only after I've walked through.

The frank and humorous video below, by Paula Williams, tells you what she has learned from life from both sides of the gender divide. There are many favourite lines, but the best for me is "... and ladies I doubt you've thought about this, but do you know there is never a time in the life of a male that he has to worry about whether or not an article of his clothing is accidentally going to drop into the toilet?"

Yes, most of the time, when I use the toilet, it occurs to me that something might go wrong; clothing into the toilet, spray ending up going forward (surface tension is real!) or getting clothing tucked into the wrong place and walking out of the washroom with something that should be hidden ... you get the idea.

Some days I wake up and, in despair, think I don't fool anyone. My body is the wrong size. My hair is too thin, my voice isn't good enough ... then I remember that I didn't go through all of this to fool people. It isn't about other people. This is about me - living life the best way possible.