Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

The last 9 days or so have been really eventful!  Last weekend, I had an amazing trip to Lexington.  My work week was wild, as school was winding down and there were lots of loose ends to tie up, and this weekend the seniors had their graduation.

Really, it was an unusually social week for me, and I'm very lucky that the weekend before it bolstered my self esteem. The stress would have been unbearable if I were still feeling the way I felt the last time I blogged.

Actually I did arrive in Lexington feeling pretty low when I reported for laser Friday night.  Saturday though, I got up and threw on the outfit pictured in my last blog, along with some 3 inch peep toe brown leather pumps to dress it up a bit.  I drove to Louisville and looked around St. Mathews mall and everyone treated me so normal.

Back in Lexington, everyone was really encouraging about my looks.  At one point in the Transkentucky meeting we discussed working in drab when people sort of have you figured out.  I chimed in and said I was basically out at work, and was going to launch into the story about my ex from way back telling me I had been spotted by some of her relatives in London.  But I never got to tell my story because as soon as I said I thought I was out at work, several people began to imply there was no way I could pass as a guy.  There were other reassuring moments too though, and by the end of the meeting, I was feeling confident and ready to take on the world.

At the meeting, I finally got to talk to Leslie, who I have missed a lot in past weeks and months.  But we didn't get to talk as long as I would have liked.  I also had the pleasure of meeting some really cool new people, including Sophie Hawes of the Freeing Hummingbirds blog.  It was a pleasure getting to talk with her  and she is every bit as charming and engaging in person as she is online.  Its always encouraging to get a glimpse ahead in the transition process too, which makes meeting her that much more interesting.  Full time, I can hardly wait!

Also... I got hit on at a gas station,  (twice almost actually) which made me feel a bit more normal and human.  After we chatted while we were pumping fuel, he pulled up beside my car while I was programming my GPS and asked if he could give me his phone number.  The whole thing was just very sweet.

Tina, Lisa and I had two great midnight cookouts with a charcoal grill and it was so nice getting to spend some time with them.  Tina got some hair styling done over the weekend and saw an electrologist.  I dropped by her salon and was treated really well.  Sylvia came as well and we both had a consultation with Tina's electrologist.  She was very kind, with lots of compliments and advice.  Really she reminded me of my friend Debbie, in that she seems to have a tendency to take trans girls under her wing.  Very motherly and sweet.  I'll probably use her services in the near future.

A neat weekend, seeing all my friends.  Seems a big year for everyone and its nice watching everyone grow and find their place.

When I got home, I felt like a different person.  This place doesn't seem so oppressive right now.  For weeks, my confidence has been battered, but last weekend it was bolstered.  I guess friends, normalcy, and encouragement are just emotionally healthy things. :P

Sunday morning my post laser break out came, and with a vengeance.  There were places on my face big enough to cast shadows quite literally, and my upper lip was a mass of sores.  Monday morning came and the skin was too delicate to shave still, so I reported to work with 3 days worth of patchy fried hair protruding from festering acne like follicles.  I got some odd looks, but it didn't bother me.  I just focused on my many blessings and the temporal nature of the problem.  I was grungy and male looking all week, but I never felt anything less than human, or less than a woman.

I ended up designing the banners for the graduation and setting up the camera and projector to project events on stage live.  I thought my contribution was pretty much over, but then I was asked to run the camera and help look after the projector.  The table with the projector, camera, and laptop for power points was right between the seating for the graduates and the teachers.  So basically, literally the very center of everything.  Down there with me most of the night, two gorgeous co-workers who actually got to dress appropriately for the occasion.  Dresses, heels, perfect hair.  There were feelings of inferiority and insecurity.  I guess there is still a part of me that just wanted to run away.  I think I managed it well though.  I still held onto my confidence, looking like a male scarecrow despite the huge audience, conspicuous placement and being surrounded by people who, generally make me feel ugly. LOL!

Actually, I still feel great. Skin is clear almost now, and the facial hair should shed from laser by Wednesday.  Depending on the results this time, I might be approaching my time to come out.  We'll see!


Anonymous said...

Shandy, I think maybe your up and down emotional swings may be hormonally induced. You really do seem to be progressing beautifully, from every picture I've seen of you. I totally understand the feeling you described when you were forced to be surrounded by GG's dressed to the nines. When I've been in similar situations, I can't help but feel like they're feeling sorry for Oh well, I'll never be your age again so why worry about it. I'll be 60 in January...YIKES!...IF I live that long.

Anyway, I'm glad you're feeling "UP" now. Hang on to that confidence. Keep telling yourself there is no reason to give it up. Someday "normalcy" will be boring, but for now, enjoy the confidence it brings. :)Suzi

Jerica Truax said...

That's so awesome girl! I'm glad you had a good time out with friends and such. Yes full time is amazing. =)

As for being at graduation with women properly dressed and being stuck in DRAB. oh gosh it takes me back to last year 4th of july party with my bible study. The girls were all in summer dresses and heels and I just felt so incongruent, left out, ugly, wrong, jealous...and so many more things haha.

Hope you can go full time soon girl! =) *hugs*

<3 Jerica

ms.shandy said...

@Suzi I concede that the ups and downs could be hormonal. Really though, I think this was because of my going so long without getting a chance to present properly. Running around presenting a a male and all the weird looks I get just slowly rob my self esteem, and I need a break from it to remind me that things can better if I hang in there.

@Jerica Thanks! Hope you get a chance to make up for last year's fourth of july party this year. You'll shine!