Thursday, 20 December 2012
Two amazing days
Against a really horrible (and getting worse) backdrop, I managed to carve out two Rhiannon only days. I have had the best two days of my life ever. Which given my situation, was somewhat surprising.
The opportunity to do this comes based on the decision I took that I'm just going to be brave and not shrink back from going out and about. Its been in the rumination for a while and a number of you have given me advice and encouragement for this over the past year. But I finally decided so what if I am fat, so what if I'm tall - I'm going to do it anyway. i have to be honest, I still struggle with the 'so what if everyone is looking at me' element but I'm starting to win on that one too. You realise of course they are only looking at me because I'm beautiful :o)
The adventure started on Tuesday morning. For various reasons I didn't want to get ready at home. Not sure it would have gone down that well to be honest. So I drove into the office, before the working started and got myself ready. Make up first. Jeans, green top, light brown cardigan, flats and face the day. My office is small with only one other person there mainly and other people cycling through. The other person arrived, looked me over and was happy. We worked through a busy morning of activity together - she was so fabulous and accepting. Dressing in the office is going to become a regular feature.
At just after lunch, I needed to hit the road - the reason for the journey was that I was on a nationwide tour of present delivering in preparation for Christmas. We walked out of the office together and this time did not encounter anyone. That won't always be the case, but I was good with that as a starting point.
I got into my car and headed to the first stop, Milton Keynes. As I set off I realised that I had committed a schoolgirl error and not filled up with petrol while I was in boy mode. I only had 80 miles left on my range, so I needed to fill up fairly urgently. Deep breath and I need to get used to this type of thing. So I pulled into a mediumly (is that a word) busy services and filled the tank up. Got a look, but I will for the time being, so I'm ok with that. Always more obvious when you hand over your credit card in your boy name to pay I guess.
With petrol in the tank, I set off again. I arrived at Milton Keynes earlier than expected and had half an hour before I met the lovely Sarah. Again a decision point. Do I sit quaking in my car or do I go in on my own, order and wait. In for a penny and all that. I got out of my car and headed inside. Smiled and said hello to the staff in the shop and arrived at the Costa section. Hot chocolate and a granola bar selected and paid for, I sat down. When I arrived, I breathed a sigh of relief, it was fairly empty. All of a sudden, it filled up. I just held my ground and thought that I'm going to have to be around people at some point, so I just smiled and got on with it.
Sarah was lovely and brought a friend along who was a lovely lady - we had a fantastic conversation and a really enjoyable time. But before long I needed to get back in the car to get onto Hampshire to deliver presents, so I packed up and headed trepidaciously to hold Rhiannon's first meeting with my mother. Flipping scary.
I arrived at home and went in. My mother was absolutely fantastic, as expected. She clearly found the whole situation surreal, but she coped very well and was very kind to me. She thought I looked nice too which is always a bonus. I had worked hard on my make up and look that day as I wanted her to get a really good impression of me - and she did.
Make up off and into bed ready for Day Two. I woke up early and did some more work - emails don't write themselves, but needed very quickly to get ready to meet an awesome old school friend for coffee in Winchester. This is without doubt the biggest thing I have done so far in terms of public appearances. A busy and crowded market town full of people getting ready for Christmas. I met N outside Marks & Spencers and we took a walk for a coffee down to Starbucks. Honestly, she was amazing. She didn't even bat an eyelid when she saw me and she relaxed me all the time. I felt so supported and comfortable.
I was trying to explain (badly) to her that I think it is really brave for non-trans folk to go out with us because they share the stares with us. But she didn't even seem to notice. Afterwards we went to a couple of shops and to the Christmas market and continued to chat. We've hardly seen each other for years, but we rabbit together on Facebook and it was like no time had passed at all.
Once we'd finished I got back in my car and headed off back to home. But I couldn't let it pass at the that. On the way home I regularly shop in boy mode at Fosse Park shopping centre in Leicester and today I had a little bit of time before I needed to get back. I pulled into a very busy car park and went around doing some window shopping and bought a couple of bits and pieces that I needed. I was bothered about being noticed, but the difference was that it didn't stop me. And this time I was a girl on her own. Another first.
Shopping done. Back home. Quick change in the car and I'm ready. Sad that it can't last forever, but happy to have had my first full on two day experience. I really can't begin to tell you how great it was and how often I forgot that I wasn't actually a woman and just was going about my daily business.
Sorry, its been a long one, but I was so excited that I just needed to share it with you. Well done for lasting until the end. :o)