a new life is born
2005 marks the definitive beginnings of my new life. Here I'll be sharing my progress, shortcomings & insights as I make my way through this adventure
a grand ole' time - 12-15-05
Visited my old friend "Sashia" last weekend in Las Vegas...'twas a wonderful getaway. We pretty much gabbed the whole stretch - catching up on old times & discussing new vistas. Sashia moved from Atlanta last April and holds the unique distinction of being one of my oldest surviving friends from the gender community.
Here's a recap of my extended weekend...
Upon my arrival Saturday morning, we trotted off to Freedmont Street - a glass enclosed assortment of casinos, shops & restaurants. Window-shopped for about an hour & subsequently wolfed down one of those hardy casino burgers that even a tranz-woman like me can afford. Hoped to unearth a unique piece of southwestern-style jewelry as a memento but considered neither the prices or selection worthy of my taste. Subsequently, Sashia drove me to an offbeat location where I scored a stunning silver bracelet adorned with three colorful stones of petrified wood: mission accomplished.
Later that night we grabbed some Mexican food & ventured off to a couple of bars. Zingers was our first stop. There, we met up with Sashia's new friend "Sally" - a lovely TS-woman who moved to Vegas only last summer. Sally's really cool - a native-American gal that's made transition work beautifully. The three of us enjoyed unique conversation: our age differentials are nearly sequential creating unique perspectives on life & transsexuality. Some sweet guy flirting with Sally bought us flowers we retained for the balance of our evening. Most things are disposable in life - particularly on "girls night out". Alas, a rose...is never one of those items.
Later that night we trotted off to the "Las Vegas Lounge". Based upon my experience, there's only a small handful of true tranny-bars still situated around the
country. "The Lounge" - is decidedly one of them...nothing but DRAG queens, t-girls & the men whom admire both. Following the demise of Backstreet in Atlanta & my subsequent transition into a more mainstream life & lifestyle - I 'kinda fell out of the tranz-bar scene. Thus, a stop at the lounge felt like a trip down memory lane: the girls, the seedy yet comfy surroundings, the gawking first-timers visiting from out-of-town, the laid back regulars, the unspoken drama & competition amongst flowering princesses...couldn't help but grin as I was so vividly reminded of a myriad of memories from my gender evolution.
After getting started a tad bit later than first planned, we finally began our trek to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon on Sunday - a five-hour drive. I'd brought along some music mixes to enhance the ride & scenery - a unique combination of tunes that would only make sense to neurotic sorts like me: where Jim Croce meets Enimen. Sashia did most the driving which did little to calm my nerves. Love that girl...but I can do without her methodology behind a wheel. Sorry, GF...love 'ya - men it. ((hugs)) Anyway...we arrived in one piece at Mather Point on the south rim just in time to witness sunset. This was my first visit to Arizona save layovers in Phoenix. Thus, I went out of my way to ignore any views as we neared the Canyon - wanted to embrace it's awe. Tried calling Red to share this first glance but cell phone coverage was now a thing of the past.
No words can describe my astonishment at the beauty of this world wonder. Like most, I was first in amazed by its magnitude. Shortly thereafter, I cried - feeling overwhelmed by such a graphic representation of how miniscule my life really is...while almost congruently embracing the gift of that I'm a part of something so much bigger & beautiful.
We eventually found our way to the lodge at the rim where we checked in became at least somewhat familiar with our surroundings. Darkness had already set in and after we wolfed down a spot of Salad - ended up crashing early. Arose around 5:00AM Monday morning & got prepared to gaze upon sunrise over the canyon. Although temperature were barely in the teens -
nothing could stop our journey for splendor. We opted to go separate ways & privately enjoy this celebration. Almost immediately came upon a group of does in search of food. They weren't remotely phased by my presence - the morning was full of peace & beauty. Eventually found myself a front row seat - a ledge protruding about twenty feet off the walkway. Sunrise was a powerful experience - I prayed, laughed, cried, gave thanks and of course - begged forgiveness for my very small set of sins. *Laugh* Shot photos of the rising sun and changing colors of the canyon. Was amazing - just an everyday occurrence in the lifetime of this wonder - but offering a lifetime of memories in the much shorter existence known as "my life".
Later, Sashia and I reconnected to pack out the room & share joys from our visual & emotional AM experiences. Later, we drove further up the rim & shot pictures of these new views. Don't know why - but we both ended up stripping off our tops in
some of these pictures. Frankly, even with the chilly air - it felt incredibly liberating to stand before earth & God in such a natural state. These photos seemed profound when compared to my other shots. When fully clothed - it's obvious I'm a visitor to the canyon. But...when my bare skin was surrounded by the backdrop of this natural beauty? It looks like I'm a part of the picture. Weird, huh? The point of this story? There's not one - rarely is when I'm babbling. Still...if you ever visit and find some private time & space - I'd recommend removing your clothes & explore the marriage of two forms of this world's greatest art. Included a few pictures in my photo gallery but I naturally won't be sharing the more revealing photos (so please don't ask).
Left for Vegas after lunch - made decent time. Thus, I didn't feel hurried as I said my goodbyes & made my way back to the airport. Took the red-eye home, arriving in ATL at 5:00AM.
Was a wonderful trip with a wonderful friend...that - is now a wonderful memory. Sashia...great seeing 'ya again, GF. ((hugs)) Thanks for a lovely visit.
Doubt I'll publicly journal again before Christmas. Thus...Happy Holidays - to one & all.
Keep the faith...
infant-esimal thinking - 12-09-05
Sitting here reflecting...
I titled my 2005 journal "a new life is born". Know why I find that interesting? How right...and wrong - I was in that assessment.
My initial vision of this past year was that I'd be starting my new life in my new gender. Reality? Didn't happen that way. Rather, I spent most of 2005 dealing with issues from my old life. Was cumbersome, but an essential process to my new birth.
So what was right...in my earlier assessment?
My new life...is born. Took the entire year following my transition to full-time & moving back to Atlanta to simply be "born". Actually, it took about nine months...'gotta enjoy that irony, huh? As one would expect following any birth...I'm beginning to flail about & develop a unique existence. Like most infants I'm falling down as much as I'm walking & you'd probably have a hard time tracing any progress from my movements. Still - one can never move forward if they're not moving in the first place...right? Steering a parked car is an inconsequential act. Kinda sucks that I keep banging into everything - but I'm getting used to it.
This is an exciting & romantic phase of my life. New directions...new beginnings. Start each day with a fresh perspective...following my AM exercise & stretching ritual I give thanks as I my body cools. Interesting - I now feel sincere gratitude for aspects I once took for granted. I also pray...I pray for God to make me an instrument of good works & provide me strength & courage. I pray for the wisdom I'll need to make important decisions. I even pray for patience in finding a future partner. That part...takes some extra prayer. I'm at this point in life where I'm not exactly enthralled with sleeping & living alone. Was easier when I was younger. Kinda' funny - caught myself opening one eye as I prayed this AM in an effort to catch a glimpse of if the Almighty was actually listening to this greedier portion of my request. Sadly, the carpeting didn't open into a sea of perfect dating opportunities. Not sure if God's paying any attention to this scrap of my daily appeal but something tells me it's not hurting anything by continuing to ask.
These habits are paying off.
Have a new venture formulating on paper & in my mind. Feels good. Don't recall the last time I was truly excited about building a business. Know what's different? Years ago I somehow inherently understood the importance of passion for one's work & the need for a higher purpose in those efforts. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of such obvious fundamentals & became more engrossed in efforts to either pursue what appeared to be the most logical or profitable endeavors...or chase vistas that matched my ridiculous ego. Why did I do that? What causes us to lose sight of what really matters in life?
I'm back to pursuing dreams of passion. I'm once again arising at 5:00AM feeling fresh & excited about being alive...and making a difference from my existence. I'm no longer as preoccupied with what others think about what I'm doing but rather, how I can change thinking. It's kinda' cool...
One important anecdotal note?
I'm leaving Atlanta. It's time to start over...in more ways than one. Still feel myself comparing my current situation to a prior existence. New geography won't entirely solve that problem but it will reduce a lot of the physical reminders.
Welp...time for bed. Morning will be here soon.
a time for thanks - 11-30-05
Settling back into my routine following one of the best Thanksgiving's of my life. Considered what made this moment special - what's improved in my life.
Three things come to mind:
I'm thankful I'm alive...
Honestly? Wasn't long ago that I didn't care if I lived or died. No one thing caused this flippant outlook. Rather, it was triggered by a combination of both recent events & old pains. When they collectively merged with my gender transition, I lost sight of reasons for living. Dealing with the death of my mother & coming to grips with the abuse from my father were the most challenging obstacles I overcame. In retrospect, attempting transition at this emotionally tumultuous time was pretty stupid. Alas, doubt I'll ever get an award for intelligence when it comes to good timing...not my forte.
A basis for my improved zest for living is the renewed clarity of my psyche. Since finishing certain surgeries, my body now requires far less estrogen. For me...this reduction had a huge impact on reestablishing a healthy state of mind & improving my ability to concentrate on convoluted issues. Simply stated, I can once again focus for extended periods. That's new. Interestingly, I feel I've become less emotional. However, I remain equally sensitive. That makes for a unique byproduct from my ongoing evolution as a human being.
Funny...while recently visiting with Darleen she suddenly turned to me and said: "I haven't seen this old Renee in a long time". I responded how this past year had been a little challenging. "A year", she laughed? Then she got dead serious & told me it had been over five years since she'd seen me this interactive & confident.
Moses got lost for forty years. I'm figuring with just five? I got off easy.
It's good to still be alive...
I'm thankful for family & friends...
Without a doubt, Red & her daughter are the most important elements of my renewed sense of family. AM wake-up calls & nighttime homework assignments are essential components to my daily life. I now understand how the simplest tasks are actually life's most profound. That - was a life lesson I sorely needed to learn.
One-by-one I'm reconnecting with old friends. It's been challenging & I'm aware how fragile I remain in these regards. Although my experiences with transition rawhided my skin, certain relationships...certain people - can dissolve these barriers like sugar in water. Only recently, I discovered one of my oldest friends - a person I trusted implicitly...not only never had my best interest in mind but was genuinely disgusted by the very essence of who I am. Doubt I'd have believed it were it not for the fact his comments were recorded. Hearing not only his words but the loathing tone of his was an emotional setback - caused lots of tears. Just now returning to the process of reconnecting with the old...determined nothing will stop me.
Am I different than before? I'm sure I changed a good bit. I sometimes feel the only thing that really changed is my outward appearance. Have noticed many of my priorities are different - a recent experience illustrates this point.
Visited with a pair of old friends for dinner a short time ago & their greatest surprise was that I was the first to arrive. In my past...I was notoriously tardy. I'm now a stickler for timeliness or showing the courtesy of communication if I'll run more than ten minutes late. Know what's strange about that? I don't recall when my habits changed...and I really don't even remember ever being the way I was, before. Weird, huh? These sorts of things keep popping up.
Life's a journey & mine's been a real trip recently. Friends & family are the constants that cushion our progress as human beings. I was once isolated from everyone & lost touch with this endearing gift. I'm thankful for my new friends & I'm praying I can continue to have some success in reestablishing the intimacy of many older associations.
I'm thankful I have hope...
For the first time in years...I'm dreaming again. These dreams? They're a byproduct of renewed hope. Still have my fair share of fear. Only yesterday, I literally threw-up as I considered certain barriers in my present path. The heightened steeliness of my intellect sadly also serves to clarify areas of concern as well as promise. Still...I have faith in my future. I believe I'm still alive for some good reason although I'm less convinced I've ever understood what that reason is all about.
Interestingly, my growing strength seems rooted in my acceptance all that I am not versus gloating over what little I am. There's solace in imperfection - especially amongst neurotic obsessive compulsive types like moi.
I wish everyone the best over the upcoming holiday season. Let's hope that 2006 ushers more happiness & love throughout our lives.
absence makes the heart grow fonder - 11-16-05
Jeeeez...what a journey. Been a long time, huh? Four months...to-the-day.
So what's been happening?
Lots. Think I'll spread my update overall the next several entries as some of it gets heavy. How about if we start with some lighter fare: my trip to Florida, my return to my hometown of Owensboro, Ky and attending SCC...sound good?
Upon finalizing the move & being "homeless" for a spell - took a leave of absence & trekked off to Nashville for an extended visit with Red & her daughter. Along with our typical family rituals, Red & I made a pilgrimage to Lynchburg, TN for an outing at the Jack Daniels distillery. 'Gotta be honest - the drive was relaxing & beautiful...but the tour? Totally sucked. Had the unfortunate experience of drawing an intoxicated alcoholic as our tour guide. The guy couldn't complete a sentence - let alone an informative thought - comprised of more than two syllables. Grew up with an alcoholic father...day-time drunks irritate me.
The best memory from this trek was the drive...harmonizing with Red to Texas-styled country tunes as we wound back roads between Nashville & Lynchburg. I thrive upon pounding house music when I'm out to club. However, put me in a car on a sunny day? Nine out of ten times... I'm listening to country.
Hadn't officially returned to my hometown of Owensboro, KY since the death of my mother in early 2000. Finally visited. That was a trip - no pun intended.
It began with my a river of tears as I neared city limits. Why? My mother's home was situated near the arriving toll road. In the past, I'd honk & wave each time I arrived & departed. Didn't matter if she heard me...just one of those minor yet adoring rituals shared by loved ones. Naturally, I continued this tradition as I neared home even though she's long since gone. Was pretty tough.
The highlight of my visit was spending the afternoon with Rob Puckett's mother & stepfather. Some of you might recall my previous entry about Rob's untimely murder in April of 2004. We shared memories, grabbed a bite at the Cigar Factory Mall and discussed future plans. For a brief moment...I felt childlike. I'm no longer intimate with the remaining members of my extended family. Was the first time in several years I'd vividly recalled details of my earliest life experiences. Wish I could've maintained that emotion - all too fleeting.
Before I left, Rob's mom shared a special gift...hand-me-downs from her lovely wardrobe. 'Gotta enjoy the irony of my best friend's mother giving me her clothes. Wonder what odds I'd have gotten on that scenario back in high school. *Laugh*
Saw a couple of old acquaintances as I made my way about town but declined the potential drama from engaging them in conversation. All-in-all...was a great visit. Looking forward to returning in December.
Treasure Island, FL
Went to Florida with Red & her daughter to celebrate the Russian's twelfth birthday. Stayed at the Tradewind's - a family-style resort situated on Treasure Island near St Petersburg, FL. If you have kids 12-and-under...this place is the bomb. Activity options are available on the hour and it's far more affordable than Disney. A most special memory was when Red's daughter visited her first teenage "nightclub"...a makeshift discothèque at the hotel. The intensity of her emotions were unforgettable and quite frankly: hilarious. We befriended another visiting family and topped off our camaraderie with a sunset pizza party on the beach. Very special to experience the simplest of female family pleasures. It's such an honor to be a small part of this girl's life. Was a great trip.
Next year? We're doing New York City for her thirteenth birthday. The Rockette's, Broadway plays...you know the drill. Can't wait...
Attended SCC in September - had a fabulous time.
Notably, I donned a metallic gold blouse on Friday night that was one of clothing gifts from Rob's mother. That was cool. Didn't shoot many pictures - 'kinda lost that passion...but a few friends were kind enough to send me some of theirs.
Unfortunately, I only took a small handful of pictures - kept forgetting my camera. However, several people were nice enough to forward their photos. Here's a sampling of me with old & new friends at SCC.
A few anecdotal notes for some of my friends...Miss Lauren - You're such a little vixen. It's no wonder we always get along so well. Great seeing ya again, GF. Vickie & Roy...always a pleasure. Sorry 'bout my little tantrum Saturday night regarding the VC. You know me...impassioned no matter what the case. ((hugs)) Cat...way to go, GF...you did a great job. You're daughters are all too cool & a lovely reflection of their other mother. ((hugs)) VR - You're the bomb, GF. I'm so proud of all you've done...and all you do. **kiss** Tawny - ((hugs)) Been way too long, GF - so glad we reconnected & enjoyed our follow up Mexican cuisine...let's do it again soon. Enrico - Was a pleasure finally meeting ya - you're adorable. Thanks - for all your help. ((hugs)) Gina - you realize I never paid up on that drink I owed 'ya...gotcha. Go Cats! **kiss** Sarah - Great seeing ya again, GF. You do so very much for all of us...but I'm especially thankful for your cure for splitting headaches. ((hugs)) Melissa - Was an honor finally get to see all of ya - you looked great, GF. Congrats on your continued success in life & transition. Rox - Great as always. Got to chat in depth with your new SO by the pool on Saturday. She's really cool...and the two of you are extra cool...together. Kandi...was great seeing ya again, roomie - so glad you made it down Saturday night. Hmmmm...two SCC's together & you're still the only one that ever sees me naked - not a good sign. *Laugh* Thanks again for helping on the room cost. ((hugs)) Doc...was a pleasure to meet you - you were my unexpected pleasure from this year's SCC. Hope we can visit before you dump your Brazilian stud. *Laugh* Abby...so proud of you, GF. You showed such class & beauty both inside & out. So glad we've become friends. Jules - Was about time, huh? ((hugs)) Always a pleasure...congrats on your new life & marriage. Love ya, GF!
This was my first SCC after a couple of year's absence however it's been eleven years since I participated in my first one. Upon leaving SCC 2005 & driving away along Peachtree - felt reminiscent of twenty years earlier when I'd revisited college after moving away. Realized I wasn't really a part of the scene any longer - and it wasn't really a part of me. Doubt I'll be back - my life's taking so many interesting turns at the moment. But I'll always treasure the wonderful memories generated by this outstanding event
Ok...that's the basics. Next entry? I'll catch you up on the drama & emotions most prevalent in this journal.
one last note... 07-16-05
Buried in boxes - figured I'd jot one last post before I enter hyperspace.
God, this move's been brutal. Thought I was ready. Turns out, my plan was better situated than my poor little heart. One side of me is prepared to take next steps, make sacrifices again - do what it takes to live my dreams.
Tired, scared & telling my alter ego to fuck off. Would probably make a decent comedy if I wasn't stuck living this mess.
Transition has a way of testing every boundary. You think you're through starting over...only to discover 'ya 'gotta do it...one more time. You survive the challenge by comforting yourself with a belief that this is the last time...this time - you've got it. Before you know? You're right back where you started.
How many times can you paint over the same canvas? Change a gender? You'll perhaps discover there's a lot more mileage in a single slab than most realize. Of course, re-worked pieces get a thicker from experience - they're not as light hearted as a fresh piece. Therein lies the trick to survival...ignoring the added weight of past inaccuracy - embracing mistakes as a part of your total art of living.
False hopes & fresh dreams take their toll. Mr. Man endured a pair of minor emotional breakdowns in only seven days. Thanks sweetie...I know I drive you absolutely crazy. **kiss**
Birds are singing out my window. They know what I never seem to understand...it's a totally new day.
Time to fly...
staying sane... 07-11-05
This'll be my last Journal update until late August. I'm moving...and there's a disparity between closings. Thus, I'll be a homeless vagabond for about thirty days. Sad, huh? Anybody wanna' take me in? I don't do windows & my cooking's for shit...but I'm hell in a bedroom. *Laugh*
I'll be staying with Red for one week in Nashville plus we're taking her daughter to Treasure Island in Florida for her 12th birthday the first week of August. Excited about that trip beyond familial fun. Will be my first extended trek to the beach as a woman. Had Red do a bathing suit "check" of my selections when she last visited. I seem to do best in ultra low-rise, stringy bathing suits because my artificially implanted hip & ass lines start somewhat lower than traditional women. In these styles, I look quite femme albeit long-wasted. We're staying at a family-type resort thus, all my practice perfecting the popping of my hips as I strut in my strings will be wasted on six-year-old males & horny dads. Figures, huh? *Laugh* Still, it'll be a good test of how stealth I've become in my appearance.
Also visiting my hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky during the hiatus. Been over five years...since the death of my mother in May, 2000. Keeping this trip low key - stopping in on Rob Puckett's mother (my childhood friend that was murdered over a year ago). Red's going with me & we'll probably drive the area as I make her endure silly stories from my childhood. Outside of that, nobody will ever know I was there.
Some good news? I keep doing better & better...and better. *Smile* Do you know how I know, that? Because my life's presently insane but I'm not going off the deep end. Got news for 'ya...that's a big improvement. I'm also beginning to focus upon rebuilding a life versus keeping one on hold. Creating fresh goals. Never really stopped doing that as I transitioned but I'm now believing I can accomplish these aims.
I'm convinced a primary reason for this progress is that I'm getting much more comfortable in my own skin. A challenge for any woman - transsexual or otherwise...is getting past the ridiculous concept of ever being some princess & learning to relish just "being woman". I'm at that phase. Not as impressed with myself as I once was, much more humble. Gaining confidence I'll be past my gender thing being much of an issue within the year. Gotta admit - I'm sick of transgenderism defining my life. Just want to get on with a quasi-normal existence. Probably means I never will...but I can always hope, huh?
As I move past transsexuality being such a dominant role in my life I'll become even less involved with any active role in the "community". It's time...and I've done my fair share. FYI - I will be attending SCC this year but it'll very likely be my last. I do intend to continue to maintain & support an even larger web presence. I'm in the midst of a massive overhaul & expansion of this site that I'll hopefully publish by year-end. Along with a ton of fresh content within existing subjects I'm adding a detailed guide of my experiences with transition. Sure hope it saves girls from repeating my mistakes. The most time consuming part is creating a sleeker, updated design. Cleaning up a lot of the photography - will be a bit more PG-rated so I can link up with my book promotions & art web site (don't want to scare the straights...*Laugh*) Also - I'm merging my past, present & future lives into this new site - disclosing lots more reality.
Keep the faith...
regaining "why"... 07-05-05
Something about the absolute devastation of gender transition caused an unexpected consequence - lost sight of that simplest yet most important of human needs: why. I'm not referring to why I transitioned. That logic was absolute - I'd resigned myself to suicide if I remained male. Rather, I'm referring to the rest of my life...career goals, personal goals...you know - stuff that has nothing to do with gender identity.
Interestingly, I discovered my priorities transformed with my new gender. That made things challenging. In the past, when I'd lost faith or gotten off track - I'd need only meditate to regain my direction. Usually, my subsequent motivations were only slightly different from my original aims.
In this instance, much changed.
My core essence? Still the same. My priorities for life & living? Decidedly different. A byproduct of this evolution is that the subset of "why"...was thus totally in flux. Additionally, having just completed a period of absolute focus on my gender evolution coupled with certain prejudicial realties - my life was havoc. I was staring at a "life" reconstruction effort rivaling Baghdad. "Why"...became all the more important. Could ill afford to waste energy due to lack of focus.
Why...it's really crucial. It defines why I'll do one thing over another. For me? Why is an emotional process. Logic might dictate a certain priority but my soul could yearn for a different sequence. Why - means everything. It's a culmination of personal manifestation, a higher purpose to life plus my equation for happiness. For some? Biblical texts act as an ongoing compass for "why". That didn't work for me. Felt lost.
Spent time contemplating this issue and concluded a few laudable insights from my past. Worth noting? Observed I'd developed a bad habit of obsessing on destinations versus enjoying the journey. In retrospect, some of my finest moments were during a stretch of obstacles far flung from my proposed destination. Yet, at that time...I remained frustrated by my distance from the objective. Thus, I'm now more concerned with my quality of life as I attempt new goals. I'm remaining attune that the journey...is the real reward. Read that before...even quoted it during speeches...but I don't think I understood it until recently.
I've matured a bit. Lets face it - at my age? It's about time, huh? *Laugh* Not so caught up in what my goals or potential successes might do for me. Rather, more interested in the big picture: how I might become a better component of the grand scheme of human existence. Not referring to politics. I consider the political arena a consequence of humanity rather than a component of its progress. My aims are directed at affecting civilization. Of course, my plans are ridiculous & would only make sense to someone as insane as myself. Doubt there's many that can match my craziness. Doesn't matter. What does? I've regained reasons "why".
It's a powerful experience to recapture one's essence. Transition was the most brutal & overwhelming experience of my life.
Ready to put it behind me - get on with my life & enjoy my reasons "why".
the beat goes on... 06-15-05
Had an absolutely wonderful birthday - thanks for all those sweet notes. ((hugs)) Red came down from Nashville. We enjoyed a relaxed evening at home on Friday. Shared my art collection with her...she even acted interested throughout...'gotta appreciate dear friends. Who else cares about the stuff nobody else really gives a f*** about, ya know? Saturday night we terrorized the town - hard to miss the two of us in any crowd. Anyway....'twas a wonderful b-day...thanks, Red. **kiss**
Seem to be doing better in most areas of my life. I credit my AM yoga & meditation with helping most - give thanks each morning for the many gifts in my life. If I fail to do that? Feel negativity creep upon me by days end. I'm different - accepting that better. Learning to navigate around obstacles & avoid races that don't matter. The fact I'm now rarely getting read makes life easier. My voice still needs focus. Don't understand why I'm lazy about its improvement as it hinders my ability to engage more people & lead a richer life. Whatever...
Interestingly, even me & Mr. Man are doing well. Why's that? Simple - I'm no longer worrying over who knows or doesn't know about our love. Getting past my own drama and I take that as a positive sign. I knew his life was such we couldn't be "out" from the onset. So why would I hold the zebra accountable for his stripes...when it was the stripes that first caught my interest? Can't hold others responsible for your own BS...ya know? Is this my ideal loving situation? You know what? What in God's name is ever ideal in this damn world? Trying harder to embrace my favorite line from "Mary Poppins": Enough - is as good as a feast.
Two more rounds of surgery coming up. After that? I'm done for the time being. Have a year's worth of ongoing effort to smooth out my facial skin - but that'll probably never end considering my age. I'll never be some sort of beauty queen & there's solace in avoiding that rat race by default. I've met absolutely flawless & stunning tranz-women: I'll never be that. Most interested in being a poster child for how "an average Joe" - can make a decent Jane. Remind myself each day that I'm an ugly woman...but a beautiful person. This statement is not a negative self-evaluation. Rather, I'm focused upon appreciating my best asset - inner beauty.
Been updating photos in my gallery every week or so. Most often, just quick shots taken at the end of any given day. Saving the 300+ haute couture ensembles for the launch of my "new & improved" web site. They'll be included as "photo's of the month" - with detailed tips on how to affordably acquire each complete outfit included in the photo. Cool, huh?
'Gotta run...keep the faith!
letting go... 05-27-05
For the first time in my young female life I'm taking a most important step: I'm letting go.
Doesn't sound monumental? It is.
It's like this...I remained dedicated to holding on to specific dreams & goals I established before my gender transition. Worthy aims? You betcha. However, I didn't comprehend my ideas & priorities would change so dramatically after transition. They did.
I couldn't let go...
I was an emotional butterfly burdened by the weighty tale of a caterpillar. Kinda sad: was all set to float with beauty but resolved myself to a planetary existence - squirming about the pavement weighted in this freakish emotional monstrosity
You know me...figured there must be some way to "fix" this damn thing. Began trying to reconfigure the design of my caterpillar tail. Good plan...bad idea. Tried shaving portions like certain planned projects from my appendage...no luck...still grounded. The solution? All to simple...all I had to do...was just let it go.
I've let go.
As a person? Don't feel much different at the core. However, what's important to me now - it's different. Are we defined primarily by our actions or souls? Who knows...perhaps we're just souls in action.
Letting go...still get scared. Truth be known? I'm still flying around that space where the cadaver of my caterpillar remains in scattered notes & dreams from a prior life. Something makes me think there's still something of value there.
Each day...adventuring further from these remains.
I'm letting go...
making the best of it 05-05-05
"Life works out best - for those who make the best - out of how things work out".
This quote remains situated directly in front of me at my desk. If any person needs to embrace that wisdom: it's me. Trusting the winds of fate...living today like there's no tomorrow...accepting change as a gift versus a hassle...these are life lessons my hard-headed skull has yet to absorb. Things are working out...just differently than I planned. Only person affected by that? Me...but only because I choose to let it. Duh! How could someone so bright - be so f***ing stupid so much of the time? Could it be - I'm not so bright after all? Imagine that? *Laugh*
Want to clarify the recent relationship frustrations in my last journal entry. He didn't choose to not be "out" about me. The contrary - he was very proud of his love & our love together. However, his world...wouldn't allow it. If I was in his shoes...same circumstances? I'd have done the same thing. Unless you've been through the process of being totally out with all your friends, family & co-workers...you don't know what I'm talking about. The more visible you are in your local community...the harder it becomes. Between he & I? Pretty damn visible.
What hurts - is that's the world we live in. The lion's share of the responsibility is mine as I could do it differently - go deep stealth...becomes a non-issue. I choose to remain totally out regarding who & what I am. Putting at least one positive, visible face upon transsexuality is an underlying life goal. I pay a price for that and it's 'gonna get worse when my book & other projects launch in 2006 & 2007. I do so want & need a loving, committed union with an individual I adore & admire. I'm a care-taker by design...and without another to care for...my life loses a lot of purpose. A source of comfort on this issue? I only need one. Somehow...that seems doable.
Going to Nashville to visit Red & her daughter for mother's day. Really looking forward to seeing them...between my daily life & personal drama...been too long since our last visit. Need them. Red's family to me...and her little girl? To consider all she's lived through in just eleven years - she's my hero. Whenever I need inspiration for courage I only have to gaze upon those playful, loving eyes. Knowing her...changed my life.
Happy Mother's Day!
Haven't done this in so long...feels awkward.
Simply stated: nothing is turning out as planned. However, it is turning out? Does that make any sense? Probably not. In summary my life is taking on a lot of new directions & shapes. Thus, I'm still uncertain exactly where it's all going. For the first time in my life I'm stuck trusting the winds of fate over my own fortitude. Fitting, huh?
By the way...uploaded a few recent photos. Sadly, rarely take pictures much anymore. Why not? Was once my primary means of gaining female affirmation from others. Now - I get the same feedback from stares & glances while at the mall or grocery store. Thus - shooting photos now means very little to me. Still...went ahead & shot a few this past week...aggravated nobody ever knowing who I am when I meet them. Guess my appearance changed more than I realized.
Facing a big challenge...
I'm totally disconnected.
I'm disconnected from the life I once had as "Renee". Hers was a fictitious existence I created to survive a pre-transition life. The social agenda & activities I enjoyed in that persona mean little to me now. Unfortunately, I'm gaining little acceptance in my old "male" activities & friends. Getting the picture? Add to this equation I'm not married, have no children & none of my immediate family is alive...the result? I'm now connected to "nothing".
To make matters worse I fell deeply in love with someone. Guess what? He loved me as well. Trouble was - he couldn't love me publicly. Can you understand what it feels like for the world to consider you such an ugly human being that your heart felt affection can't be publicly expressed. Got news for 'ya - hurts like a bitch. Ending up being more strain than our love could bear so we called it quits. Tired of this happening to me. Presently I'm focused on making better friends with the concept of building a life alone - with my friends, my projects - and my of course - a houseful of loving pets.
I'm at a loss on exactly how to proceed. Do I continue to try to reconnect the old, do I go back & reconnect with Nashville or do I just go to some place new...and simply "start over". Doesn't make much difference in the short term. Have a list of projects to complete regardless. Another year? I'm not sure what or where I'll do.
Everybody needs a place in the world - a place where they're connected.
So do I.
apollo has landed...back home in atlanta 01-26-05
Whew! Been three months since we last visited. Can you believe it? Wasn't by choice - my CPU crashed during the move - just now able to update this site. Won't bore you with that drama - how about a three month snapshot?
Moved into the new digs with my dear friend Darleen. Worked in Portland, OR for over a month through November & December. Thus, took me awhile to get settled. My bedroom's still a big project...but my office is nearly complete. Home...as I envision - is on next year's agenda - another interim year in domestic regards. One thing I've gotten good at during this journey is patience. Nothing occurs quickly for a life in transition & you can only change a few things at a time. Do as I did and attempt too much change at once? You'll swim like a salmon at Niagara Falls - getting no place but wet.
Hooked up with Santa before the holidays. Promised if he delivered breasts last year...I'd show 'em to him this year. Alas, the old pervert held me to my word. *Laugh* Spent Christmas in Nashville with Red & her daughter - decidedly the best holiday I recall. Developed a sense of family with these two unique individuals that I've not enjoyed since...well - since I had a family. They've changed my life by providing two wonderful reasons to live - and that platform is dramatically improving my existence.
Was back in ATL for New Year's - a night with friends at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead. The Ritz has become my preferred place to hang out - it's elegant, comfortable, the people are oft interesting & it's located near my home. Thursday night's are my fave' - less yokels plus it allows me to work weekends at home without feeling like a dateless loser.
Transition's going well. My voice still sucks but appearance-wise, rarely get read. Start speech therapy next week to repair the former & go back under the knife in early March to enhance the latter. Another year of transitional this & that's - should be "done" by October. Enjoying a healthy routine - even attending church on Sunday. Oh quit laughing...how could I not fit into an institution where everybody does their business on their knees? What a no-brainer... *Laugh* Seriously, my life, my career, my interests - everything's getting better. I'll share more in these regards soon.
Finally, I'm no longer drawn to "Renee's" old haunts - find myself trying to re-achieve activities & interests I enjoyed as him.
That - is a very good thing.