Ah, hello Friday, you end of the week minx, you. The call of a distant bell reminding you that the weekend approaches and it’ll be down tools o’clock for the much-awaited weekend. I hope the week has been kind to you and yours.
It would have been a week ago when I went to the conference to give a little talk (blog post here, if you’re curious). A few things lingered about the event long after everyone drifted away. They were the good feelings that I felt that I’d done something to try and help. Not just from answering questions, but also from the kind feedback from both the organisers and some of you out there in blog-land. So, thanks. It’s appreciated. ♥
The other thing was the question of How does it feel when you’re able to be your other look?
I mentioned last time that it’s like the stress metre slowly turning down from 11, or perhaps finding that the heat’s gone from the boiling pan and the water turns from boiling, to steaming, to finally, still.
At work the other week, a group of us were sat post-event enjoying a much-needed recharge. Using, of course, the British Standard Unit of Power: a cup of tea. The conversation drifted and colleagues spoke about how they unwound. One said playing their guitar worked for them, one said it was baking, another loved dancing and another going for a long run.
As someone who loves to cut some rug, I could identify with the dancing. While said colleague’s was more organised – stylistically speaking – the movement, the option to improvise within the tune, and perhaps to give yourself into the moment; well, all of those I could agree with. Indeed, the Jogger asked if Dancing Person got, well, a little antsy if they didn’t get to go out and get this type of exercise? Both agreed that for them, this was the case. Symptoms of restlessness, a tension within they couldn’t push away, or indeed, feeling a little out of sorts. Hmm: sound familiar?
In my 20s when I’d regularly be out at music clubs dancing the night away, I would indeed feel the pull to be on the dancefloor and in that moment shake free the tension. Again, I wonder if we trans folk are not as unique in our needs as we think? Perhaps with more understanding around cis folk’s loves, we find that we’re more alike than not. Okay, other than the ability to rock to wardrobes, but I think you get my point 😉
An eyeopener for me was a social event where a number of the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s Internet friends had come together in a hotel, and social media was alive with questions of is this too short? Do these heels work with these tights? Trying a new lippy, but not sure. Not fishing for compliments, but seeking reassurance that they didn’t look a sight. If I’d swapped the names out of trans people I know, the story would be very similar. Again, similarities.
So it is then that as I got changed on Thursday evening, I could feel the tension slipping away as if the music moved me, or, in the case of the Running (Wo)man, the pound of the pavement under her feet as she pushed herself to clear the housing estate and run into the nearby park.
Laying out my clothes and picking out my makeup is perhaps part of the ritual. Which eye palette to use? The Ever Lovely Mrs J had gifted me with swapsies on an eyeshadow palette that wasn’t really her, bless. Which lippy? Choices, choices, choices. So too is the earlier Very Close Shave (™) and the slow application of shapewear and padding to give you a figure that’s definitely not him.
I didn’t feel elated or excited, but content: happy in my own skin as I stepped into my shoes and brushed my wig into shape. All that was left was to shoulder my bag, ask Tanya to lock upstairs as she left, and I head down to catch up with friends – new and old – at Chams.
All in all, it was a good night. A long and heartfelt conversation with a couple visiting for the first time. IMHO, it’s always lovely to see someone trying to support their partner, so props to them for that. I tried on some new shoes – a further chapter in the quest for some nude heels 🙂 – and these felt so comfy after kicking off my heels. It seems the 8s are a little too small and the 9s a little too big. Oh the humanity! 😉
Val’s kindly taken away the signing in sheets to see if we can find a pattern about attendance, and how that might influence the funds for the group. Evidence-based decision making? Whatever next 😉