Wednesday, 27 January 2016

End of the Journey

I've been trying to write this post for a few days. This is actually the third version I've come up with.

Its been 7 years since I started this blog. In that time I've written a lot about my transition. That was the reason for starting it in the first place. To have somewhere that I could share my experience of transition, particularly through the UK NHS route. To share with people what transition can be like and to hopefully create something that people might come across and find useful.

During the time I've been posting I've enjoyed reading and responding to people's comments, I've also loved finding and reading other people's blogs and seeing their experiences. Through this blog I've made some lovely friends.

This blog has been about transition though and depending on my mood I see transition in one of two ways, a bit like light being waves and particles.

Sometimes I see transition as the point in time where we go from being the old self, that we showed to the world, to our true selves. For me that was the 9th January 2012 when I left my house and went to work for the first time as Jenna, as the real me.

At other times transition is where we move from being that same old self and go through a period of time where we learn how to be our true selves without hiding that person away, its a period of making mistakes and trying new things, its a time of learning to be a man or woman. It can be a time of joy, happiness and wonder.

It can also be a time of pain, heartache, a time of experiencing people who are ignorant or abusive; and for some its a time where they experience physical pain and injury, and far too often death.

The last few days I've been trying to write this post, in some ways I was spurred on by something Cass said in her post about the blogs that she used to read when she realised she had to transition. Today though something happened that made me realise that its time for me to finally put transition behind me.

I was talking with someone at work and during the course of the discussion we got onto operations and anaesthetics. As we were talking I found myself talking about some of the aspects of my surgery last summer. Nothing too detailed, stuff about anasesthetics, pre-meds, medication to help you sleep and needing to lie flat on my back for several days. I also mentioned the lovely liquid diet I had to ensure for the first few days.

This evening I came to the conclusion that that discussion was one that I really didn't need to have, I didn't need to share that information about what happened while I was in hospital with a colleague. That conversation clarified for me that my own transition has truly finished.

I have a few things I need to do, like electrolysis and sorting out my GRC, but my transition journey has finished. Come May this year I'll have been discharged from the GIC and as a result the only trips I'll make to Exeter will be to go shopping there or for other reasons, none of which should be for medical reasons.

Today I also managed to remember the password to my old Facebook account, which has been sitting around for the last 4 years even though I thought I'd asked for it to be deleted. Well in two weeks time it actually will be. Already the account doesn't show up if I search for it and doesn't appear in at least my son's friends list.

Life now revolves around my family and friends, burlesque (Mira will be performing in 5 shows this year but hopefully more), running and triathlons (still have a half marathon, two triathlons and the long course weekend planned for the next six months); and a newfound passion for photography (I'm doing a 10 week evening class which is proving to be interesting, especially as it will involve taking pictures using 35mm film and learning to develop it in a darkroom).

So this is going to be my last post on here. I have no plans to delete the blog. It continues to serve its purpose which is to provide anyone on a similar journey with something that may help them to realise that it is possible to be true to yourself and to live your true life.

The media has been full of articles about trans people, Jeremy Clarkson is the latest to cause a bit of a rucus while writing in the newspaper. The temptation is there to write things in response to things like that (although in Clarkson's case I think anything I'd write would be drowned out by the screams from angry statisticians who were mortified by his blatant abuse of statistics). Besides  people like Paris Lee and Jane Fae and so many others write far more eloquently than anything I could produce. The temptation is still there though and I might one day succumb to it and find a quiet corner of the blogosphere to put my jottings but that's not for now.

I'm not going to disappear completely though. I've had the support and friendship of others and so plan on doing what I can when the opportunity pops up to help others.

There are so many blogs that I'm following and I'll carry on commenting on them so you don't get rid of me that easily either. I'm also on Reddit and will post on any threads there where I think my experience will be useful.

The last 7 years have been interesting, they've been fun, and sad, and depressing, and joyful. Pick an emotion and you'll probably find it expressed somewhere in the 372 posts here.

The time has come after 7 years though to bring this journey to a close and to start a new one. A journey where I'm simply a not quite 50 year old woman, who has a trans history, and has a tendency to do nutty things like endurance sports and getting up in front of an audience and removing her clothes (some of them at least).

Thank you to each and every one of you that has followed my ramblings and provided support through your comments when I've needed it. Without each one of you then things would have been just that little bit harder.

And so to close I think I'll let the incredibly funny Dave Allen have the last words

"goodnight, thank you and may your God go with you"

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

You Look Great

It finally happened.

At least I think finally. To be sure I'd have to go back and read through all my posts on this blog.


I think we'll go with:

It finally happened.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Goodbye 2015

10 days into 2016 and I finally get around to writing my first post of the year.

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my going full time properly and returning to work as me, tomorrow it will be eight months since I stepped onto the train that would take me from home to Brighton and Tuesday will mark eight months since I corrected the physical defects that nature gave me.

2015 was a better year than 2014, but even so it was a mixed one.

I completed my latest marathon and actually managed to run all the way (apart from a tiny, tiny amount where I walked while I was taking on fluid at the drinks station). Having been on hormones for three years, and not having completed a marathon for even longer than that, I was pleased to just miss out on beating my personal best for the distance.

May, finally saw the culmination of a long journey with my GRS, and the beginning of a new one as I move on with my life and put behind me the need to have surgery to correct my genitals. The summer was an interesting one dealing with some of the problems that arose following the surgery. As much as it was a relief to have the surgery over with it was tinged with some sadness because Mum never got to see me reach that point and I never got to tell her what it felt like.

The rest of the year revolved around Rhys' surgeries to remove tumours from his stomach and head. For those that love what technology allows us to do this is what the surgeons used when planning out the operation to remove the brain tumour. A 3D printed skulll based on scans that had been taken of Rhys.

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull
In October and November I got to perform as part of the Burleskin troupe at Trixie Whipp's Halloween show in Puriton, Somerset and at a birthday party in Yeovil. My burlesque went from strength to strength in 2015 with not only those two performance opportunities but also beginning work on a new Christmas routine, one which I plan to have at a performance standard by next December, and also a new Doctor Who themed routine which is in the very early stages of development.

2016 is looking like it will be a good year. More performing in burlesque shows and finally getting back into racing with my local half marathon entered as well as sprint and middle distance triathlons and a weekend of races based on Ironman distance swimming, cycling and running.

I've been a bit under the weather so far which has had an effect on my training but I'm slowly getting over that so will hopefully be throwing myself back into training this week.

And finally, this week saw my son reach the jolly old age of 18 and being able to legally buy alcohol in pub, restauran, club or shop. Not that he would have tried to buy it illegally. We went out to celebrate his birthday and gave him the chance to buy his first alcoholic drinks. It was a complete failure as we must have gone to the only place that was out of anything that my wife will drink. Typical. I'm sure he'll eventually manage to buy some though.

Here's to 2016. Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe time.