Sunday, 25 November 2012

Life Circle 2012: Where am I at?

As the year is drawing to a close, and its wet, windy and horrible outside I thought that I'd have a look back at some of the things that I'd planned as part of the Life Circle and see where I've got with my goals.

6 months
Its nearly 11 months since I began my RLE. As far as my 6 month goals were concerned I haven't performed in any burlesque shows. I did help out at a theatre show by being a hostess pre-show. It was fun but I'd have enjoyed it more if at least one of the other Pink Kitten girls had been there with me.
The Valentine's show didn't happen as far as I was concerned due to car problems. I couldn't make the Easter or Halloween shows due to being away and not having a car. I'll not be making the Christmas show either as I don't have a routine ready to perform.
Mags moved to London earlier this year and I've not been in touch with her for a while, I need to sort out getting the corset for my costume and eventually sort out the skirt for it. I'd like to get that for when I get around to performing my Messin' with Fire routine after I've developed it.

I've not sorted out the training to allow me to teach Burlesque yet, it seems that other things get in the way of that. It will happen though when I get the money together and have the time to go through the training. I'll try and sort it out next year at some point as I'm sure that there are several people that I would be interested in it.

As far as work is concerned I eventually wore a skirt and have done so on a number of occasions since. I tend to wear trousers more now that the weather has turned somewhat.

1 year
I've entered the Outlaw triathlon for next year. Training starts on December 10th. My training is mapped out all the way through to next July.
Going to the gym has continued to be a bit hit and miss but I'm hoping that I can rectify that because my son has membership at the leisure centre which covers his life saving lessons but also gym sessions. At the moment unless I take him he wont get there.
I managed to get back into running because I trained and completed the Bristol Half Marathon. Even though the training didn't get off to a good start it settled down enough that I finished in a personal best time.
I've not performed at any burlesque shows this year but I'm planning to remedy that in 2013 by performing a silk fan routine to Moon River at the Valentine's show. With luck I'll perform the other routines I plan on working on at the other shows throughout the year.
The hormones are working nicely. Emotionally I'm a lot more stabled that I was at the beginning of the year. I'm also experiencing noticeable results in the breast growth department. In fact my mum commented the other day when I was at my parent's, and not wearing breast forms and bra but a figure hugging roll-neck top, that I would need breast reconstruction when she saw how my right breast had developed in comparison to the left one which is the one I had removed to deal with the gynaecomastia I suffered from when I was a teenager.

2 years
On track to achieve my goal of having completed the Outlaw Triathlon. Will also be aiming to have completed a couple of aquathlons, a DIY olympic distance triathlon and the Outlaw Half triathlon by summer 2013.

5 years
As far as being post-op is concerned I'll be looking to have had my surgery by the end of 2014. It should be possible for me to be referred for a second opinion at the end of 2013. If that went as it should then in theory I could be having surgery 6 months later, smack bang in the middle of my son's GCSEs. That would be too much pressure to put on him and so I'll be looking to delay things just enough to see to it that surgery happens after he's completed his exams.
By the time I've finished working on the ideas I have for burlesque routines I'll have 5 routines that I can perform and if I stretch out debuting them then I'll have at least another 4 shows to perform in ahead of me. Hopefully it wont be one show a year.
Fitness will still be important as I'm planning to do a number of endurance events in the next 5 years. The Outlaw triathlon is the first. After that I plan on doing a long distance cycle ride, the Dart 10K swim and if everything goes to plan the Marathon Des Sables when I hit my 50th birthday.

For some of the more specific goals that I set myself.

Developing C# Programming ability
I've not done anything with this for most of this year. I've simply not had the time.
On the job front things have settled down. The redundancy process was completed and although I pulled out after submitting my voluntary redundancy application initially, when the VR window was reopened I applied again, unfortunately on that occasion I was turned down.
I did, however, have two job interviews. The first I got turned down due to not showing that I had the aptitude for a test managerial role, which was something I wasn't expecting to be interviewed for.
The second interview went a lot better with the company turning me down but stating that I knew my stuff and that if a suitable job came up then they would be in touch to ask me to attend an interview. That did actually happen but it was after I'd been turned down for VR and it simply wasn't financially viable to take another job.
Developing my C# skills is still something that I need to do.

Get fit
Definitely keeping my fitness levels up. I achieved my aims with the Bristol Half Marathon and have noticed an improvement in my swimming with my 400m time dropping by half a minute on one occasion.

Decorate small bedroom
The small bedroom has had the wall paper stripped, the built in cupboard has been removed and the wall filled with copious amounts of polyfilla. All that needs to be done to it now is to sand down the woodwork and polyfilla to give a smooth wall and ceiling, paint the ceiling, door and woodwork, and wallpaper.
At the moment though the room is full of boxes with bits and pieces that came out of some units that we got rid of in our living room. Its also got one of my road bikes attached to a turbo trainer that I intend to use over the winter when the weather is to bad to get out and cycle.
Looks like decorating the bedroom will take some time yet to complete.

Tidy garage and garden
Having sorted out the garden the weather has been such recently that we've let it go. The grass needs cutting and a lot of stuff that came out of the garage when we handed the keys back to the local council after we got rid of our old car needs to be taken to the dump. As soon as I've got enough time to load up the car and take it to the dump then I'll be getting rid of it. Not sure when that will be but it will definitely be before the end of the year.

Lots of progress in some areas, mainly the ones that I have control over and really want to work on. Not so much progress in the areas that I don't want to work on or where I've not had any control over the situation.
Even so I'm happy with where I've got to this year. Next year will be another interesting one with hopefully as many things, if not more, achieved as this year.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Right where are we

Its been 10 months since I transitioned and the year has gone better than I could have imagined. I'm more settled into living as a woman now than I was in January. I still have some issues when it comes to my voice but when you have a guy address you as "love" when the alarms go off as you are leaving the local supermarket and he comes over to check your shopping trolley then you know that you've passed muster.

Since we bought our new car I've managed to get to Bristol for a Pink Kitten Advanced Lab session which was great fun. It was so good seeing everyone again.

I've also been to the first of four vintage hair styling classes that Pink Kitten are running. I'm sure that the burns on my thumb and forehead from the very hot curling wand and hair tongs will fade in time. The first class saw us learning to do finger waves. This week is victory rolls and the week after will be a 50s style. Sadly it looks like I'm going to miss the last week which was the 60s and the Beehive.

I've now got four songs that I'm going to be working to put fan dance routines too over the coming months. The songs are Moon River (silk fans), Messin' with Fire (small marabou fans), True Love (large fans) and Knock 1 2 3 (large fans and maybe some other bits to fill out the five minutes of the song). First up will be Moon River in time for Valentine's next year.

I'm still waiting to hear if the funding for my laser hair removal has been approved. I should hear sometime this week I hope.

Today I had my first speech therapy since last February. My new speech therapist is really nice and I spent an hour chatting with her. She suggested that I record myself reading a passage in order to have something to listen to and see how my voice changes as we work on it. She's also suggested I think of a woman who I would like to sound like, presumably so that I have an example to work from. Sounds like a great reason to watch some of my favourite actresses on DVD and television.

My training for the Outlaw triathlon and my first ever Ironman distance event begins shortly. I've been doing bits of training since I completed the Bristol Half Marathon. I've noticed that my swimming has improved hopefully that will continue to happen between now and next July. Just goes to show what a bit of structure to your training can do.

Last month I made it to my first pre-op support group meeting at The Laurels. It was an interesting evening. I'm not sure when I'll go to another one, probably in the New Year now. I'll definitely be going though as I met some really nice people there.

With a bit of luck I'll be in Southampton between the 3rd and 7th December on my first training course as Jenna. It will also be my first time staying at a hotel for a few days. I'm looking forward to it, not just because the course is something I've been trying to do for nearly 2 years but because it will give me a few days to myself so that I can do things that I've not had the chance to do, burlesque practice for one. I'll be travelling to and from Southampton by train because my other half wants the car so that she can go to her Mum's on the 7th because it is her Mum's birthday that week.

Although I've not formally been asked to not go with them, my other half has talked about me not going because my brother-in-law, it seems, doesn't want to see me as Jenna. That's his decision and it means that I will spend the least amount of time I can at his home, when we go there for New Year I'll spend a day or two there before going to my sister's and staying with them for NewYear before coming back home on the 1st January. At least I'll get to see my nieces quite a bit over the festive season.

For the record though as its my mother-in-law's 70th birthday I would have reverted to my old self for the weekend and dressed androgynously, with hair slicked back and no make-up.

I have one more appointment with Sara at The Laurels in December and then one further appointment with her and Dr Dean in the New Year and then I don't need to go back to see them until the end of 2013 when I'll have completed my two years RLE and will be in the position to work towards surgery. I should be able to simply get myself referred back to the clinic at that point and not have to jump through hoops to get there.

All in all, things have been good over the last couple of months and the rest of the year seems to be similar. Roll on 2013 and the completion of my first year of RLE.