Thursday, December 25, 2008

Carol From a Butterfly

As noon approaches on this Christmas morning, I sit alone in my parent's den. And I feel so relaxed and content. This time of year is usually painful for me. With my birthday coming in a few days, and then New Year's shortly after that. Two events that always remind me of how fleeting life is, and how little time there is to sort things out. Much like a genetic female reaches a point where she has a strong awareness of her biological clock, I have in recent years heard my transition clock ticking away the days and years.

But this year, even with my birthday approaching, the clock tick is unusually faint. I think it has tormented me so much until now because I could always look back over the year, and see that time was leaving me behind while I was accomplishing nothing. But looking back on this year, I am very excited with my rate of progress for the first time in my life. The feeling is simply wonderful.

But the quieting of that clock is not the only reason I feel so at peace. There are all my new friends. Debbie, who has taught me so much and just really helped me figure out how cosmetics and put together a look that has given me new confidence. Tina and Leslie, who have just been incredibly encouraging and have been great company both online and off. And all my online friends. Some good transgender reading or a nice chat can be so therapeutic when I am in situations where there is no one I can really share my thoughts with in person. And of course my two traveling companions, who have been with me nearly from the beginning. 

It has been the best christmas season ever for me. I was out last weekend with Tina, Debbie, and my two friends I do not get to name. I had a great counseling session, going over the details to round out my hormone referral. We did makeovers at Debbie's. There was a really good meal at Cheddar's. Tina and I both had tilapia alexander and some corona's. Just excellent, but a little pricey! Emma from Sienna came along as well. We have been to some of the same meetings but is the first time we have ever really talked. She is a full time TS, who has been all the way through SRS. At one point she told me she was very impressed with the way I conduct myself in public. I was absolutely over the moon. I'm very self conscious and the slightest compliment is always very encouraging for me.

The makeovers went very well. I got my new concealer/foundation strategy right for the first time ever, and I think I looked better than I ever have in my life. I also pinned most of my hair back with a silver hair band, and wore my glasses and a couple of items of silver costume jewelry. My outfit consisted of my favorite jeans and a nice black button up blouse with a ruched front, 3/4 sleeves and nice prominent collars. I think it all came together very well and I was more comfortable in public than ever in my life.

After Cheddar's, and doing makeovers and splitting a bottle of wine at Debbie's, we went to the Sienna TS support group meeting, which was wonderful. Finished the night with our customary late night dinner at the Bristol. Crab cakes for me as always. :)

After all that, we rode back to Debbie's house and I took care of some Mary Kay christmas shopping. By the time we left it was extremely late, and we arrived home at 4 am. My only regret for the day is that I didn't get photos of my friends. Or me! I felt better about myself than I ever have, and a photo to remember it by would have been nice.

I went back home from Richmond on Sunday, but not without one last Christmas surprise. My friends presented me with this amazing gown. Its very dressy and I will not have much occasion to wear it, but its so beautiful. And the fit is spectacular from head to toe. Sometimes I wonder how much of the body changes I attribute to estrogen are all in my head. And putting on a dress made for a genetic girl, and finding it to fit this nicely on me, gives me so much hope that my body really is changing in very positive ways. I'm possibly going to be a guest at a gender bash prom soon, and this is very likely what I will wear!

Christmas itself was nice. Mom and Dad liked their presents. Mom and I are getting along. My presents hurt my feelings a little, because there were men's gloves and a men's shirt included. Guess I was holding out for some Christmas Miracle, with my parents choosing a gift that would show acceptance of me, like maybe a nice purse or something. But that would be far too much to hope for. But my transition is quietly under way, and we are all getting along for now. And everyone was pleased with my present selections so I'm very happy.

The transgender experience is often compared to the life cycle of a butterfly. And I've always loved that analogy, but it makes more sense to me lately than ever. Because I do feel like I spent my formative years like a caterpillar. Earthbound, hoping for better things that seemed out of reach. And I finally locked myself away emotionally in a dark cocoon. So many years of no one truly getting inside, as I struggled to find myself. And this year I finally tore out of that cocoon, to see that in the outside world I am not alone. 

Its true I need lots more physical change, but I think the biggest changest are all emotional. Self realization, self acceptancce. Casting away unfair guilt and shame and finding yourself free to express. That is stripping away the coccoon. 

When butterflies first emerge they have a period where they sit on the branch as the pigment fills their wings. That is how my physical transition feels to me. I'm out of my cocoon and on the branch, and the pigment is slowly flowing. I'm batting my wings in the wind, stretching my muscles, and next year I will finally test my wings. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!


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