Seems like maybe this blog needs two things - (a) someone reading it; and (b) a more cheerful post.
There's no way for me to know how much traffic I'm getting (I've been told at least one couple I know is reading and I presume a few others) but I have found that the relatively simple task of adding a counter here is apparently beyond my tech skills (which I find maddening). I do note that I have no followers and no comments. so I want to invite anyone who's reading this to comment in reply to this post, even if you wish to remain anonymous and just say "+1" or something - I really would like to know I'm not talking to myself here. especially if you come here specifically to read it and didn't just trip over it.
On the second point - it occurs to me that when I spend my time whining I give the FALSE impression that this isn't going well for me. On the contrary, with the sole exception of the previously mentioned issues (which are very much of the "to be expected" variety) I am ecstatic over the last three weeks. Going into full-time mode has been the most wonderful experience of my life. Not to minimize other VERY meaningful milestones like wedding days and childbirth, but this is the first time in my life where what happened to me actually happened to ME and not to that character I was trying to be.
Nothing particularly special has happened, and yet everything is special. I've noted before that I have to acknowledge the technical possibility that everyone is laughing at me when I'm not around. What can I say about that? I'm certainly not naive enough to think that people are not always talking about SOME one - why should I be an exception?
What I do know though, is that my experiences have been almost uniformly positive. Sure, there are sometimes awkward moments - most often when I speak "on the fly" and forget to manage my normally very deep voice (which by the way my "girl voice" isn't remotely convincing in my opinion but then it's very early) . But there are other occasions. To cite an obvious example, I crossed paths yesterday with my best friend from high school and his customary greeting to me since those teenage years is "hey boy." Reflexively he threw that out then tried to catch it and figure out how to correct it.
I felt bad for him (it certainly wasn't his fault) - we don't see each other often enough for him to have ANY chance to mentally adapt to the new paradigm, and I certainly don't want to presume to invade his comfort zone to give him more opportunities (I need to say clearly that I'm not so insensitive as to not realize that speaking kindly to me about my issues is not necessarily a sign the person wants to spend quality time with you). There was no "unawkward" way to make a moment like that work.
Same when you see someone who's only ever known you by your male name and they toss off a "Hi G___!" perhaps without even realizing that in doing so that's a potential red-flag to those around me that I was passing with until that greeting. (I suppose there's potential there for the disapproving to purposely do just that but I've not run across anyone yet that I would remotely assume was trying to do that). Another example of this is when my kids are with me.
I'm not unhappy with them in any way about this, let me be clear. But I have picked up on something that is a bit clumsy. When we go to New Albany or Corinth I am surrounded by people, 90% or more of whom take it as a given that I'm female (most people just don't look that close) - so when I'm approached by a child who says "Hey, Daddy..." I have just been "outed" to the person who overhears. My wife doesn't want me to ask them to refrain from the use of the word "Daddy" in public places but it is an uneasy feeling to have the red flag thrown up like that.
So yeah, there are tricky spots but on the whole, I'm pretty much walking on air every time I leave the house now. Before I came out, I tended to be fairly lazy about going out. How could I combine several stops in one trip today so I didn't have to tomorrow? Now, I'm almost to the point of making up reasons. I sometimes find myself tempted to stop and get a bag of chips or something we don't even technically need just to be doing those mundane daily chores as ME.
Can you even comprehend the concept of getting a rush out of a stop to pay a bill or buy some gas? Of feeling tremendously blessed when someone addresses you with the word "ma'am"?
I doubt any of you who are not affected with this condition can even take that claim seriously, let alone grasp how it feels. I have a long long way to go, and there are destinations on this road I may never reach and certainly plenty of hazards in my path but right this minute, with NONE of the physical alterations I need having been done, I feel more alive, more free and fulfilled, then at any point in the first 45 years of my life.
Perhaps you are reading this and laughing. Perhaps you are reading it and feeling a bit of (or a lot of) anger. Perhaps you are smugly thinking how big a fool I am. None of that reduces my joy one bit. It would be nice, in a perfect world, if everyone could just be happy that anyone could find a place of such contentment and happiness in their life - but we don't live in a perfect world. And I've left behind that state of mind that ties my happiness to the approval of others. Life is too short, and too far gone, for me to do that anymore. What I've learned the last three weeks, if there was ever any doubt, is that (as far as I'm speaking of myself only) - I'd rather spend my life as a bag lady if it comes to that athan spend it as the richest man in town.
Don't forget - if you read this blog, especially if you are a repeat reader, please post SOME kind of comment on this one just to let me know you are there.