Life is a Journey - Make sure you get the right roadmap to the universe

I'm quite sure I picked up the wrong one on my way out the door....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Christen's First Mainstream Foray Out!

More than a few requests have trickled in regarding my first adventure out into the mainstream world last Tuesday evening and so here's the trip log and a little bit of what I was feeling and experiencing....

Although I had been out prior to alternative clubs as my true feminine self, I had not as of that point, ventured to great degree into the more busy realm of the mainstream world. Last Tuesday evening represented my first foray into the greater world and it was met with great success and validation.

The evening was to start with dinner at a mainstream Chinese Restaurant linked to a major mall. As we drove through the parking lot of the mall in multiple loops, it became more and more obvious that this restaurant would only be accessible by entering in through the Mall. This realization added a layer of subdued panic to that moment, although I composed myself to maintain authority of the impending situation. We parked in the garage under Nordstrom's and made our way to the elevators up to the store. Being dressed casually feminine in dressy slacks and low heels, I was in the hopes of not drawing any undue attention. As it were, we clip-clopped past the womens' department and out into the main alley of the mall. I made note, head held high and with calm poise, out of the side of my eye at the passing customers. In no instance did I note any glance upon me to be anything other than just that - a normal and casual glance. To be sure, at various points, I stopped and scanned my surroundings of the 360 degree panorama of perusing people and again, nothing. Certainly what I was hoping for but not what I was expecting.

We continued on to eventually find the restaurant, hooked into one of the side corridors and accessible by an elevator to the upper level. Disembarking, we found ourselves immediately in the waiting lounge just outside the restaurant. We approached the hostess who addressed us as ladies, and without hesitation, led us to our table where we met one other girl who had already arrived and had been waiting for us. The waitress promptly came over soon after we were seated, and, from her look we could tell that she knew we were just a bit special. Her initially trepid poise was overcome as we began to interact with her. We ordered a round of drinks and I used my best possible feminine voice to request a "Blue Hawaiian". Unfortunately, the waitress had never heard of a "Blue Hawaiian" and so this then required me to really interact in a more serious way in describing it more fully. I really could have used that Blue Hawaiian just before that point but alas this was not the case. The waitress never showed anything but a compassionate and respectful composure throughout the evening. By the end of the dinner, she was chatting with us, and even went so far as to let us know what nights she worked and to ask for her specifically the next time we came to dine.

Leaving the restaurant, we migrated back through the mall and became disoriented in Nordstroms as to where the elevators to the parking garage were. The clip-clop of heels on the hard tile floor ceased suddenly, and this sudden silence caught the attention of a store employee who immediately gazed upward and, without pause, asked "May I help you ladies?". Explaining our predicament, we were pointed toward the elevators and made our way back to the garage. Mission accomplished. I believe I only noted one genetic male in our sojourn, dressed in a suit, who gave us ladies a quick look and then what I determined as a "we've been made" smile of knowing, but in no way did we receive a negative response.

We were off to the Crown Plaza after this adventure, where every Tuesday there is a get together for cross dressers and transgendered ladies in the lobby bar. Again, we parked outside the hotel and clopped our way in through the main doors and across the lobby to the bar with no reactions to be noted. The bar itself was alive with chatter as a group of about 10 girls were seated in various forms of dress at a train of cocktail tables assembled together in the middle of the room. The Bar held patrons from the hotel as well as other transgendered individuals mingling juxtaposed to one another. The far corner of the bar was taken up with the weekly Scuba Diving Enthusiasts get together. This latter group caught my interest and I was able to engage at one point in conversation with them. Being an avid scuba diver myself, I found common ground in being able to discuss some of the great dive spots I had the opportunity to experience and to learn of other's stories.

We migrated later to the bar itself where the bartender knew many of those who were weekly regulars and she was quite comfortable in engaging with all of us in conversation. Joanne had a wonderful time as well and was put at ease by the fantastic company of those she was with. It was made especially easy by the two wonderful ladies from PE who made this a fantastic evening for her and for all. We will certainly want to repeat this adventure again in the very near future.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Coming to Terms with the Realization: I am transgender

Repressed memories really do take some time to surface I am finding. I have only in the past 6 months come to realize so much about myself from childhood that I never thought I even remembered and this was before I started to research this.

The past came at me with a single remembrance one evening recently that struck me and opened doors into my memory that I never knew existed.

Working back through the memories, I pulled out many photo albums which contained pictures taken during my childhood.

I looked at each one carefully. Facial expressions, poses for the camera - all were examined. I asked my spouse to look through these as well and to independently come up with her assessment of what she saw.

It was the poses, the way I stood, the way I looked, the way I had my hands on my hips. The looks of sadness or that look of being a million miles off in space when the picture was taken.

Some of the pictures from the teenage years, she said, showed a deep depression. She was right.

It was all of these things put together.

She said she saw, in all of these pictures, an unhappy little girl.

We both realized at that point what we would talk about next.

All of those years that I had professed to myself - had professed to HER that I was simply a cross dresser and enjoyed the clothes - was simply not an accurate representation of the whole of what I am. I am transgender.

The stories came next.... stories of growing up and sitting with the girls in class. Avoiding the boys. Watching the girls grow and then leaving me alone without friends in a playground at recess - no longer part of their community.

The little girl next door, who, until age 12, would come over my house where we would play pretend games - some days it was playing cosmetologist and we would concoct cosmetics and face creams from items already in the house.
But she came over one day to say that it was no longer a good idea for us to be as close friends as we were and I was lost again.

It was the doll house that I found of my sister's that I played with for a few weeks at about age 8. It was my father who took it without warning one day and when I asked, said that it was not alright for me to play with doll houses.

It was the books and hobbies I immersed myself in to console myself in my own world. It was stories of fantasy, science fiction and the escapes they allowed me. I was given encyclopedias for children which I read cover to cover - ALL of them. By Junior High, I was already versed in every science book in the library from grammar school and many from the local library. I realized in college taking some of these courses for credit, that I had obtained by that early age, a first college semester's knowledge of astronomy, geology, meteorology, electronics, environmental science and physics. I was building my own telescopes, building radios and soldering together other circuits on perf boards from parts at Radio Shack, developing my own B&W photos. I was writing stories and poetry. I had immersed myself in everything I could to avoid the one thing I could not learn and understand - ME.

It was the music I listened to. The bands, groups, lyrics. The general themes of each.

It was revealing to put the pieces together - no - it was a revelation...

I fully realized that evening that I was never just a cross dresser and that I had been showing all the traits of a small girl growing up.

I was transgender.

I cried for hours that evening and in waves for days after. It was all in relief in finally understanding myself that I cried.

But this revelation left me feeling empty

Why did it take this long up to this point for me to realize all of this? How well I hid this from myself. I had all of the pieces to put this all together but I did not. No... I WOULD not. I had believed that any problem - ANY problem could be broken down into small enough finite components such that any person could comprehend the solution. I realized then that I had kept the secret of myself FROM myself. I had all of the pieces but I had failed to put them back together to form a coherent solution.

I didn't need a therapist to help me learn this about myself. I finally have learned the one thing I could not figure out and it was myself.

Now the road is paved to a better understanding as I walk this road of life.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Taking Time to Enjoy the Journey

Recently, a thought came to me.... "Happiness is the journey, not the destination" which started me to thinking about this in the context of the life I have led thus far.

Earlier in my life, I felt that happiness could be obtained by carefully mapping out my life and connecting the goals-of-life dots. The end result was thereby the penultimate achievement and the journey then was at times being ignored. In the process, I suppressed my own sense of self to fit the mold that would map out this course of direction. As time passed, I checked off each of the things I managed to achieve and came closer to the materialistic and definable goals I had mapped. In the process, I ignored my own sense of self and ignored the journey it needed to fulfill. I had suppressed the journey of self in favor of reaching the destinations of the material life. It was not a negativity, just a lack of inclusion for an important facet that was being repressed.

In a similar way, I am finding now that the journey I have allowed myself to come to terms with within myself, is so much more valuable than reaching an end destination. Whereas my materialistic journey of accomplishments was more like traveling in a corporate jet piloted by those who could get me to my destination the fastest, my gender journey is realizing the necessity to travel by train and to peer out the window as the countryside passes by. I am the engineer of this train and I will travel the rails of life at a speed that allows me to enjoy the view. In this way, I may decide that in my journey to my destination, I have found a place that is so much better than where I had intended initially to travel. And because I travel with eyes open, looking around at the panorama unfolding out the window and not from high among and in the clouds at jet speed, I can gain the perspective to understand that it really is all about the journey and not the destination. My destination is the journey and the destination I thought to travel to, with my new found perspective, may not have been the place I was intending to go to after all.