The other day, a pen friend and I were talking – well, in email – about getting out. At least, when the wintery wind and rain abate, and Spring starts. BTW, is someone you email a pen friend if you don’t actually write? 🤔 Swipe friend doesn’t quite sound right and tap friend even weirder 🙂
Post lockdown, a female friend had said to me that they were tired of jeans and trainers. They hoped to break out a dress for a change. Likewise a colleague said they’d missed their heels for work, even though she felt then at the end of a long day.
I found myself writing ‘Yes, to be out again, to feel the sun on your legs, the swish of a skirt, and the sound of your heels…‘ and then I felt the critical gremlin on my shoulder react: sounds pervy. Yeah, thanks self judgment, that’s absolutely not the case and also what I didn’t need to hear. Haven’t you got a bath of boiling water to dunk your face in? 😋
Both of those comments from female friends did not provoke any judgment or second guessing from me. Only conversational curiosity, because A) I’m a noesy parker 🙂, and B) I’m interested in what folk think about.
But for me, when I talk about wanting to wear things or be out, up comes that old devil, shame. That or it’s internalised transphobia passing as shame 😉 So, yeah, that’s some baggage I carry around with me and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the long shadow of reading and hearing statements that being trans is wrong. That it’s… well, actually I’m not going to list the negatives because I’m pretty sure you can come up with your own, and I don’t really want to walk through that tunnel of ‘unlove’ 🙂 We might save ourselves the time and just look to the debates currently running in Australian government. It seems to some, to be trans, is to be less than human and our rights should be less than others.
I think the truth of it, guilt aside, is to be able to have the chance to express all aspects of myself is a gift. Yes, perhaps unconventional for some, but that’s probably true for anything unfamiliar or outside of the mainstream.
If there’s a point to this – other than to further illustrate how odd it is in my head 😉- perhaps it’s important to remember that some of the stories we tell ourselves are unhelpful and actually unkind. Perhaps thinking on that old phrase, would I say this to a friend? is worth a lot when it comes to self care.