Some days you cruise through life and it feels like it’s a free ride, then there are those where you feel like you are trying to climb the empire state building and you’re afraid of heights. We all want to be viewed a certain way, treated a certain way and we don’t usually understand how other see us.
When I go out in public regardless of how I am perceived visually from other people, I still have it burned into my mind that everyone simply see me as male. It’s even to the point where my outlook tends to frustrate the people who care about me, more than that is it frustrates yours truly. But that is the external and will take time for the mind to comprehend the changes.
When I weighed 200lbs and made a decision to change in order to not only better my health but better myself it was a life changing event. As the pounds shed I couldn’t wait to see how I would look at 170 or even 160. At my lowest I hit 146 Lbs and before you think OMG you have to realize that I’ve always had a very feminine bone structure. My wrists and hands were always very girlish and even my ring size was only a 7.
People that hadn’t seen me in a while would stop me and tell me how good I looked and asked how I did it. I was proud to know I could set that goal and stick to it. But the problem with the whole thing came when I would look in the mirror. Even at my current weight of 150 I still see a fat face and belly. It doesn’t mean that I’m looking to drop more weight, I am comfortable where I am as long as I don’t gain now. No matter how many people told me I was skinny now I still couldn’t see it in the mirror.
On a trip to the mall this discussion came up with my wife and she asked me how big I thought I was. I pointed to a guy walking by and she pretty much laughed at me. So I asked her, ok smartass how big am I?
She noticed a pretty attractive young lady and said you are about her size. I couldn’t and refused to believe her after all even dressed to me that I feel like a linebacker in women’s clothing. I finally reserved myself to the fact, it will just take time for me to see it.
Now lets focus on the emotional stuff for a moment.
I have a really cool friend that I converse with daily on aol instant messenger. She has been a tremendous source of support and feedback, beyond that we just tend to have some really great conversations. Yesterday I had to ask her if she could see the female side of me in our conversation. It bugs me that everything is always taken at face value I guess, I have a mind for things needing to be proven out or validated.
She told me that she could easily see it and explained that most of my conversations with her are very feminine in nature. It does come through. There is a certain amount of relief to hear that beyond what I say I am that someone else can see it for themselves. When I explained the conversation to my daughter she hit a nerve with me that almost had me in tears. She told me that she has been able to connect with me a lot deeper now because of that emotional depth I have gained and she feels much closer to me now, so much so that she wished we could have had this in our relationship years ago.
It was quite thought provoking to have my daughter validate my female emotion in that way and an even bigger payoff that she can be closer to me because of it.
When I was younger and trying to cope as a make in a male driven world it was very frustrating for me. Those emotions were always there, but try sharing those things with the guys. You’ll probably get slapped in the back of the head. It took a long time to realize just why guys attitudes and shallow conversations perplexed me. I was living in a world that emotionally I didn’t belong in.
I remember years ago when I first started working for the company that I am in now. I got called into my boss’s office to get yelled at for something I had done. I vividly remember trying to stare at he lights in an attempt to stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. I can only imagine how I would have been perceived for breaking down in that manner not only in front of my boss, but someone who came across as very macho to begin with. I can just imagine him bellowing "There’s no crying in machining!!"
As the hormones have settled my brain down that ability to cry has increased substantially, I wouldn’t give that back for anything. It can be embarrassing at times but the bottom line is it’s an emotion that I can now embrace as mine and not a perceived weakness.
I’m quite touched to have my emotions not only validated but embraced by others and not have to feel ashamed of them anymore. For the first time in my life people are getting the whole me and not just a shell.
Life is moving forward and is good!