Sunday, August 26, 2018

Outfit - Quite Plain but a Beautiful Compliment

There is nothing special about this outfit.  In fact when I wore it I actually had some deodorant spots on it that I hadn't even noticed before leaving the house.  But I have been more than a bit busy lately, as you may have heard.  I didn't even really want to leave the house, but being as we were just about out of toilet paper, it was a necessity. 

I showered after my brief bit of yard work in the morning, tossed on my shorts, a comfy tank, and opted for my taller wedge sandals.  There were a few stops I needed to make, as I was making the half hour drive to town I may as well try and take care of several items at the same time.  Tequila at the liquor store, get gas, picking up stuff at the storage unit, drop off the recycling, and then to Target for the TP. 

It's funny nowadays as the weekends used to be my only time to be me, and now, they are the time I choose to relax, go without the hair, forego makeup, and dress purely for comfort.  Okay, maybe not the shoes, but still, I hadn't even shaved this morning.  Not that there is much growing, but still.  Can we all just agree, I was not at my usual fashionable state? 

As I am sure many of you know, I have struggled with a lifetime of insecurities with my choices in clothing and my general appearance, and today was no different.  I am getting better at telling the voices to calm the heck down and STFU, however, they are still there. 

I am becoming more comfortable with just doing me.  Just a few short years ago, I would have never dressed the way I was and go shopping in my actual town.  But, I am always a bit on edge, waiting to be attacked.  I never have been, but that is the fear.  That has always been the fear.  I kind of have to force myself to just do me.  I smile.  I look at people, and smile bigger.  I talk with just about everyone that I come into contact with.  General chit-chat, small talk, as do most small town country folk are apt to do.  The fear never seems to leave though. 

Thus when someone from behind me complimented my shoes, it took a few second for it to register that someone was talking to me, and they were being super complimentary.  I turned from tossing my purchases into the back of my car to see an adorable blonde woman with a baby strapped across her chest, smiling at my widely and looking at my shoes.  She continued, they are such cute shoes, where did you get them?

At times like this, it honestly still feels as though I totally dissociate.  I want to respond like a normal human having this totally normal conversation about shoes, but I so frequently feel as though I am frozen, or that I am going to barf, or at the very least I am going to make a tremendous fool out of myself. 

I told her that I must have bought them at Famous Footwear or some outlet mall somewhere.  She then complimented my calves and asked what I do to keep them looking so good, or if it was just the shoes.  I told her that it had to be just working around the house and walking my dog.  She said she was impressed because they looked really good.  Her friend walked up as I began pushing my empty cart off to a cart caddie and I heard her continue talking about how much she liked my shoes. 

And it was totally normal.  I was normal.  She was normal.  It was all just so darn normal.  Nothing to see hear folks, walk along now......   But isn't that the beauty of what happened?  That it was totally normal?  Yes.  That is the point.  Two totally normal people having a normal conversation about normal things.  Yup.  That is the point.  And it is fabulous.  Just amazingly, beautifully, fabulously, normal. 

Love you!

Love yourself. 

Love being normal. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mental Fortitude

Recently I was questioned by a dear friend as to why it appears as though I have discontinued my blogging.  My response - mental fortitude.  Shall we take a moment and look at the definition of that phrase?

mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously: Never once did her fortitude waver during that long illness.

So, um, yeah, that is what has been going on with me.  I like the part of that definition that adds the word courageously.  That is what I have been asking of myself as of late - to have courage.  It is through courage that one will eventually find confidence.  That is what I am truly seeking, confidence.  When faced with something brand new, typically most of us humans will not have confidence and we will need to rely upon courage.

What will it take to muster up that courage?  Mental and emotional strength.  While I truly do love blogging, and have every intention of continuing to do so, for now, I am using up just about all of the mental and emotional strength that I have.

Those who are not Facebook followers of mine, you may be a bit lost as to what is taking such strength and courage.  To fill you in on all of the juicy details - I have decided that this is the year that I am transitioning.  Such a surprise, mostly to myself, for I have been wavering on this decision for quite some time.  Last school year when others asked if I was transitioning, I scoffed, and laughed.  And my answer was a definitive NO.  Hahahahahahahahahaha!  Well, shocker, that apparently is exactly what I am doing!

I am thrilled that I am able to follow this path, but it is not necessarily out of design that I find myself where I am.  In many ways, it is due to outside circumstances.  Well, kinda, maybe, sort of, I guess!  Wow, how definitive!  Changing my hormones was possibly the best decision I have ever made, and I feel foolish for taking so long to take that leap.  But it is what it is and it happened when it was supposed to.  The thing about that choice though was that in order to have my insurance pay for it, I agreed to legally change my gender marker.  Inevitable is the word that I often think about with that agreement.  I was going to do it sooner or later, I suppose, but it was never what I had set out to do.  I have never been one who has known for their entire life that they are actually female.  Nope, that was not me.  I just thought I was a weirdo! 

However, that is still not where the strength and courage has been needed.  That has been with my littles.  You may recall that I am a middle school teacher.  Currently I teach 7th and 8th math, MESA, and a 3D math/art class. What that translates to is a total student load of about 150.  There are also about 350 other little lovelies that attend my school and I interact with many of them while on yard duty or just walking the campus. 

I have now completed seven days of working directly with the students and it has been going fabulously!  Amazing actually.  Quite shocking and lovingly surprising!   So.... then, what about this whole mental fortitude thing?  If everything has indeed been just as lovely as I have indicated, then why all of the mental strength and courage? 

Well..... how about this -- Since I understood that I am a bit different than your typical human, I have innately understood that it would be dangerous to ever let anybody in on my little secret.  Now what am I doing?  Openly, blatantly, and without a doubt, showing everyone just what exactly that terrifying secret has been.  Furthermore, while doing that very thing, I have large expectations for myself. 

What expectations you may ask?  Well for one, I expect myself to be thrilled at what I am choosing to do, because no one is forcing me to transition.  Second, I expect myself to be better at my job than before.  Third, I want to be able to handle any bumps or difficulties in the road with style and grace.  Lastly, I expect myself to have a smile on my face.  Too much?  Maybe.  Possibly.  How about if I frame them as goals instead of expectations?  Is that a bit more palatable?  Regardless, these are things I am wanting from myself.

If you have not personally transitioned, then maybe you are at a loss as to the immense mental strength and courage it takes to do such a thing.  Trust me, even though I am thrilled, it is still very hard; it's not a just a fabulous party where I am stylishly dressed!  Now on top of that, let's add a job that most humans or other teachers don't ever want to do - teaching middle school students.  Can you imagine just attempting to be in charge of thirty or so twelve to fourteen year olds?  Now add in teaching standards, state testing, district expectations, parent expectations, making sure they are fed, clothed, and properly supplied, etc!  There really is too much to list actually.  Wanna come help??   

So, uh, yeah, mental fortitude.  I think I covered that fairly well.  As a result of that effort, I am frequently super duper drained by the end of the day.  Oh, shall we also add in that yes I am still caring for my wife who had foot surgery about 6 weeks ago?  True, I don't need to do much for her personally, however, it does mean that I am now solely in charge of all of the duties of our household.  Vacuuming, laundry, dishes, shopping, recycling, cats, dogs, bathrooms, garbage, weeding, lawn care, picking up dog waste, yard upkeep, etc., etc.!  Normally I am in charge of the outside house duties and she is in charge of the inside house duties.  Well being as she can't put any weight at all on her foot, that means that all duties fall onto my shoulders.  Do you know what I am interested in getting?  A maid and a yard human!  Yup, that would sure come in handy. 

Personally I am amazed that I found the time to even write this little lovely post.  It has actually taken me about three or four days to do so though.  No matter how much I list here, inevitably there are dozens of little duties that I have that will have failed to make that list.  Can we just leave it at, I'm pretty darn overloaded?  I think that shall suffice, for me at least! 

This has translated to me cutting out things that are not essential.  In many ways I am retracting my sticky tentacles and focusing on me, my wife, our household, and my job.  In time things will loosen up and I will find the ability to resume a less stuffed to the gills existence.  For now, it is what it is. 

Love you!

Love yourself!

Love your life!  And if you don't, change something and work your ass off to earn it!