Friday, September 30, 2005

Sarah's Visit Tomorrow

I am pretty excited about tomorrow. I have a friend named Becky who lives an hour or so away. I sent her daughter Britney a birthday present the other day (a month late) and I called her to see how she liked it (I got her some Barbie clothes and a $5 bill - I have a feeling she liked the money more than the clothes!). I have always really liked Britney and the quick call turned into about an hour long conversation, and during which she asked me when I was going to come to visit. So I said I could this weekend.

Well yesterday I was talking to Becky and she was telling me that Britney is so excited I am coming. She said Brit is telling everyone that *her* friend Sarah is coming to visit :) I think it is funny because when they used to live in town here I would visit and I would spend most of my tme playing with Britney instead of visiting with Becky, but I didn't mind. Becky said that she bought Brit some treats from the store that she had been asking for for a while, and instead of eating them right away she said she was going to save them for when I was there.

I was thinking about the trip last night when I was at Wal-Mart and somehow I ended up walking out of there with a Barbie doll for Britney. I just couldn't help it.

P.S. Britney's only concern with the tg thing is that if I wear lipstick I may end up getting chapped lips.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It's days like these...

...that you really just thank your luck that you have people like Miz, Joey, Eric, Nuckers and Deanne.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Week of Celebration: Day 6

Day 6:
My Birthday

Today is my 34th birthday. Joey had arranged for me to get my hair styled at Marca, so we went out there to do it. It was fun. The girl was a student as well, but seemed very good. One of the things I liked was that she talked to me - a lot. I think my favorite thing so far about any of the salon activities I have done is when I get to chat with whoever is working on me. I liked how she told me her idea of what to do with my hair and after I agreed that it sounded good she pulled her teacher over and then the two of them huddled around me examining my hair and agreeing on her course of action. The teacher would periodically come by and offer words of encouragement and I just felt happy for the girl doing my hair. If she got marked on my head afterwards, I think she got an A. Any day that my head warrants an A is a good day.

I invited a bunch of people to Diva's for that night. I had some things I wanted to do: 1) I wanted to dance, but I knew I would be chicken, which leads me to 2) I wanted to get drunk.
Well I did get drunk, and I did dance, and I had a good good time I really did. Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks to Megan for getting me home in one piece. (and sorry to Megan's friend James because when he came to pick us up I got in his car and said "Home, James!" - you know, like he was a chauffeur.)

All in all I had a good birthday. I have a lot of good friends out there. It seems lately I just really love them all even if I haven't seen them in a long time. It was great to see them, and it was a great end to the best year of my life.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A Week of Celebration: Day 5

Day 5:
The Gel Nails!

One thing I have ALWAYS wanted was long nails. Not too long mind you, but just a nice length for a computer programmer to have. When I was a kid I had these Lee Press-On Nails. They were called 'glamour' length, but I think the word 'wolverine' comes to mind. They were so long I honestly couldn't pick anything up. I am lazy enough as it is, but if I had a reason not to lift a finger to do any work I never would! Anyway, when I finally first started trying to grow them I found that once they were a millimetre or two beyond the tip of my finger they began to split down the width into layers and then pieces would fall out. Imagine a brand new, never-read newspaper laying on table. See it as a reasonably flat, reasonably thick pile of papers held together into one unit. Then reach over and tear the First Page off, then yank the Sports Section out of the middle somewhere. What you are left with is my fingernails... until today.

I actually called quite a few places but I ended up choosing Beverly Ashdown's salon for my nails. I was lucky in that she had a cancellation and I could get in earlier than other places too. I remember I asked how long it would take and when she said 'about 90 minutes' I cringed.

I was pretty scared actually. I went into the salon and saw about a dozen women, most getting nails done, an equal amount doing nails, and a couple just milling about looking at product (man women have a lot of product!) When I walked in everyone turned to look at me. I guess it is natural for people to look at who arrived, but it just made my heart beat faster when all those eyes were on me.* Soon though I was sitting at the table with Amy, and shortly after that my anxiety was replaced with pleasant conversation.

The coolest part was the paraffin wax. You dip your hands in melted wax a few times. It is the perfect warm temperature. After you take your hand out they put a plastic bag over it, then an oven mitt type of thing. They do this to both hands then your phones rings. Seriously. I had some other woman in the salon digging through my purse to get out my phone and hold it to my ear. My mom is impatient though and had already hung up.

Anyway, after a few minutes with the wax on they take the mitt off and when they peel that wax off as if it were a tight fitting glove. Next is an application of lotion and you are ready to go... the only problem is that my hands were so slippery I had the owner of the salon digging through my wallet to pull out my credit card because I couldn't get a good enough grip to get it out myself.

I have to say, I was at the salon about two hours, and I spent about $100 (I had a lot of product to buy), but I loved every minute of it. They really know how to treat you there. I think it is funny that a couple days ago the thought of a 90 minute appointment made me cringe, because my next appointment for fills will only be about 30 minutes, and I am sorta sad it won't be longer.

* Note: If you are thinking you might feel a little nervous trying something new - do NOT wear high heeled boots because that clip clop sound of the heels just adds to your feelings of conspicuousness!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A Week of Celebration: Day 4

Day 4:
The Haircut and Style

I got up this morning earlier than I had all week, my alarm was set for 7:00am. Why so early on my day off? Well it is because I had an appointment for a haircut and style at 9:00am and I had to get ready. Yes, for some reason I felt it was necessary to get up, wash my hair, mousse it, blow dry it, and curl it all before going someplace to have someone wash my hair, cut it, mousse it, blow dry it and curl it.

I have to say that I loved getting my scalp massaged. I loved sitting there getting my hair cut and styled, and afterwards I loved my hair. It was a great time.

The Massage

I went for my very first massage today. I was a little nervous actually, but afterwards I was hooked. I mean it is easy to imagine how a massage would feel good, but it was so much deeper than that. Raylene, the registered massage therapist, found parts on my body that were sore that I didn't even know about. If that sounds a little hokey it isn't. The truth is, I just didn't remember I had been sore. She had me fill out a form where I was able to indicate areas of pain and levels of pain. I left it completely blank. I was certain I had nothing wrong that I would consider worth mentioning. Well as she was massaging I noticed that she was concentrating on this one area that hurt when she pushed on it. The location of the pain immediately reminded me of holding the phone cradled between my shoulder and ear. In fact now I could remember that this area often caused me problems. Not pain, but definitely discomfort. I told her why that part was painful now and she was then able to tell me that given that sort of posture and pain my back would likely be compensating by straining certain muscles on the other side of my back. She then moved to that area and to my surprise was more pain. I was very impressed that she was able to tell me where there would be pain, and then in fact there was pain there. The part I found most interesting though was she said that I was very tense, and after the massage I may find that I am light headed and dizzy. I thought this was a bit strange so I asked her about it. She told me that loosening the muscles increases your circulation. When the muscles are massaged the blood vessels in them are opened up, allowing more areas for blood to flow. Since you only have so much blood, it makes you feel light headed because that blood has more places to flow to and it is spread thinner. After the massage I did feel dizzy for a second or two, but after that I noticed that I felt very different than when I went in.

The Pedicure

I went to Marca for my pedicure and I wasn't very impressed. Marvel is an aesthetics school, and the pedicure was to be done by a student, but I was sure it was going to be great. I was quite excited, as I have never had a pedicure before, but I ended up waiting for 15 minutes after my appointment time before it started. While I waited I saw several pairs of students go to the pedicure room where one of each was to receive a pedicure from the other. I watched as the receivers all began soaking their feet in a cloudy white liquid. They stayed in the water quite a long time, I would say close to ten minutes, then by the time they were getting their townails looked at I was just heading in. My foot soak lasted almost 1 minute so I already knew something was wrong. When the girl was cutting my toenails, she got my skin twice - Ouch! My foot massage was about 10 seconds per foot. After she tested my nails she said I was all dry and ready to go. I stood up and she said "Finally! Now I can go on my break!" As I walked away I noticed that even though I had open toed shoes, there was a little bit of leather extending over the big toe, and I felt my toes sticking to it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Joey on the Scooter

I drove Joey to the shop to pick up her Scooter, and then I followed her home. I have to say watching her drive it scared the crap out of me. I cringed over every bump and manhole cover she drove over. I was actually trying to make sure that nobody got inbetween us on the road because I didn't trust anyone else to stop fast enough shough she take a spill. I was realizing though that she seemed so confident. The only person who was at all considering tragedy was me because for Joey, this was something easy, something well within her grasp. I had to sit back and calm myself with the facts. Joey is smart and strong and more than capable. Once I realized that I just let myself go with it, and trusting in a loved one's abilities is much better than worrying over some remote possibility.

I shouldn't be complaining... but...

... but my nipples really hurt. Oh my god!

I have this friend Debbie who has two modes. She has 'girl mode' and 'boy mode'. I think the two modes are self-explanatory. I also have two modes, which are superficially the same as Debbie's modes in that in one mode I look more like a girl than in the other. The difference is that I feel I am always in girl mode because being a girl doesn't depend on wearing makeup and a bra. So I guess girl mode is my normal mode, but sometimes when I feel like it is time for a sleep-in or maybe it is just a nice Sunday afternoon I might end up moving into lazy mode. This means no makeup and no bra. No bra.

Well this week is the week of my birthday, and as usually I am taking it off work. Yes, it is true. I take a week off work to celebrate my birthday (and so should you all - mark it on your calendar: Sarah's BDay = Sept 17th). Since I am on a holiday, everyday is turning into a lazy day, so lazy mode shows up a lot. I live on the third floor and so when I want to leave I have to walk down all those stairs and you know what? Walking at a normal pace down the stairs, when I have no bra on, allows what little I have up front to move. Right now after two months and two days of hormones my nipples are so amazingly achy that the tiny vibration caused by walking down the stairs hurts, and hurts a lot!

For those of you out there who may be curious what is happening to me pay attention. On Augest 15th I noticed a sore nipple, and it has been sore ever since. Not only that but the other nipple joined it a couple days later. In fact the left nipple is about two days behind in everything that happens to the right nipple. Soon I noticed that the nipples were always standing at attention, and I guess it was about two weeks ago that I noticed that I was developing a mass under them.* Currently it is about the size of half a walnut from top to bottom, and about half again that distance from left to right. The mass isn't soft, but not hard either. It just feels like some extra dense tissue under the skin. It doesn't hurt if you press it, however if you get too close to the nipple and press there, well then you better hope I am not carrying anything valuable because I will likely drop it in order to punch you. From everyone I have talked to and everything I have read I know this is a normal stage in the course of breast development both for transwomen and for genetic women, however at the same time it is very uncomfortable. Showers hurt, blankets hurt, shirts hurt, and walking hurts. I noticed a crumb on my shirt and I went to brush it off and the pain was off the chart. I would rather be punched in the stomach. I remember one time I fell off my bike and the handlebars twisted underneath me. I had those bar-ends installed, you know the kind that extend outwards at right angles from the rest of the handlebars. Anyway, when the handlebars twisted they were such that the bar-ends were poking straight up, and I ended up landing on one of them dead center in the nipple and it hurt a LOT, but nowhere near as much as it hurts to brush a crumb off my nipple right now.

On the brighter side - I think they hurt less than they did a couple days ago.
On the brightest side - I'm growing breasts!

* Interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened to me. When I was in grade 6 I also had sore nipples and the mass underneath, but I seem to recall that back then my nipples were so erect that I was embarrassed to go to school because t-shirts could not hide it. Apparently the body can only metabolize so much testosterone, and somehow any excess gets turned into estrogen causing
gynecomastia . I guess since that was when puberty was showing up I just had too much testosterone (Story of my life eh?). At the time I was elated and scared because I knew this was the start to growing breasts. I soon found out though that it was only temporary. It lasted a few weeks then it went away. Well guess what? Being temporary was only temporary because they are coming back and this time here to stay.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sarah has a problem...

There is a funeral this Saturday for Heather's grandmother. I should go because I love Heather, but I don't know if I can do it. I hate to say it but the reason I don't think I can go has nothing to do with the woman who died, instead it is because of my own family losses. It seems like just a couple months ago, but it was 8 years ago that I lost my little sister, and four years ago that I lost my dad. Since then, even a funeral on tv makes me think of them, and gets me quite upset. If I go this weekend I should be grieving for Bryar, but I know I won't. Even last year at my own grandmother's funeral I couldn't seem to think about her for more than a minute. I cried, but I cried for Laurie, I cried for Dad. I am not a religious person, yet it is so easy to imagine that my grandma's spirit moved on and could somehow see me, and somehow know what I was thinking and that would be so terrible if she knew that at her funeral I wasn't even thinking about her. I felt really guilty about that, but I still didn't grieve for her. After that I decided that I was done with funerals. I planned out exactly whose I would go to, and I left a couple slots open for people I just haven't met yet. I don't know if I am being selfish or not, but I do know I am not 'over' those two deaths, and I do know if I go to that funeral this weekend I will just end up reliving and refeeling two of the worst days of my life. I am torn between going to show love and support for Heather, or staying away to protect myself.

Monday, September 05, 2005

If you deny yourself the life you are meant for, you simply end up without a life.

A little over a year ago, if I had to tell someone what I thought the future held for me, I think I would have had two answers. I would have the public answer where I'd voice 'confident', 'well-adjusted', and 'optimistic' predictions. I would also have the private answer that only lived in my mind. I couldn't dare reveal an answer that would be so pessistic and negative. In fact, it wouldn't be a vision of a future at all. It would just be more and more of the same dreary unhappy soul-killing present, which in itself was just a repetition of my past few years anyway. It would be a prediction of existence but not living. A prediction where if my inner health changed at all it would be for the worse. A prediction that, according to more than a few of my worst thoughts, made me believe that whatever future I had would be a short one. I suppose it was this feeling of hopelessness that made me finally seek help. It turned out I needed barely anything more than to tell some people, and to have them believe in me and support me. Once I had found support, suddenly my vision of the future didn't involve anything negative, instead it let me explore that other private future. The one I have had for my entire life. You know the one I mean.It was a future that over the years I had let slip and slide away from me due to the masculinization effects of age, the pressures of society, and a reluctance to embrace change. Suddenly though, when compared to the dismal future I had imagined, this new scary and exciting future had become the only obvious path my life should take. Not long after the new future began to take shape in my mind I found that I was doing whatever I could to make it happen in my life. With plans made and goals identified I carried on living, but now that I had events to look forward to I really began to enjoy the passing of days. Each milestone just seemed so small and easy to reach compared to how I had originally imagined it playing out.

A year has gone by already, and I decided to look back on my life. It seems that for years I was holding position along a great slope. All my energy went into holding myself there and I was afraid that any minute I would slip and fall. When I was at the limit of my endurance something had to give, and it did. I used to be worried I wouldn't survive such an event, but as it turned out the difference is that I was no longer stuck at the same place I had been in for years. I was no longer fighting to maintain a position in life I wasn't suited for. I wasn't falling like I had feared, I wasn't struggling to maintain a foothold, instead I just found myself following the course my life had set for itself. My entire life I had been fighting an uphill battle and all it did was rob me of any purpose in my life other than the fight to stay where I was. As soon as I gave up that pointless struggle I found myself travelling easily on my true path. I learned you can't fight who you are, and that if you deny yourself the life you are meant for, you simply end up without a life.

One thing I have found fascinating about these pictures, is that I was getting older up until 9/2004, and ever since then I seem to be getting younger.

Ignore the mess in the background...

... but pay close attention to the cuteness in the foreground.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

New pictures...

...same old shirt.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Don't take too many of those!

Today my mom was saying if she forgets to take her 'head pill' for a couple days she becomes loopy. I told her that I never forget to take my hormone pills, and sometimes I mistakenly take it twice in one day. To this my mom gasped, "Don't take too many of those! You'll get morning sickness!"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Spare Birthday

September 17th is my birthday. Pretty soon I'll be 34... holy shit that's old! Thank god for my other birthday! I have two birthdays because it was a year ago today that I had my first real honest complete disclosure to someone I know explaining that I was transgendered. So one birthday indicates the day I was born, and the other let's people know what day that I truly came into this world. The day Sarah began to live. So on the seventeenth I'll be 34, but as of today I feel like I just turned 1.