'Tis the Season...

Christmas is coming! I am so excited that I will be back home for the holidays. Every year we have a family gathering that rounds up a bunch of aunts uncles and cousins for a day of food, fun and catching up. Unfortunately I haven't always been able to make it. This year it comes too early for me to attend but I do hope that while I am in the neighbourhood that I will get a chance to visit with at least some of my extended family.

I have a lot to look forward to with a few days to relax and travel. I am hoping the weather holds so I can make it back to my home in BC as well. I am a little apprehensive about seeing everyone after so much time away but every time it gets a little easier and I hope that is the case for them as well. I can't remember the last Christmas I spent at home with my mom so this year will be really special for me. I will actually get two celebrations because my sister and her partner will be coming for Boxing Day.

For most people, six months isn't a long time and usually you'd have no trouble recognising your friends or relatives save a new haircut or diet perhaps.  For someone who is transitioning six months can be the difference between who you were and who you've always wanted to be. Between the girl or woman your family remembers to the man they now see emerging in front of them. It can be difficult for people who haven't seen you for a while to reconcile how they remember you and who they now see in front of them.

I haven't been home since my surgery in July and before that it was April to visit my grandmother for her 90th birthday. There was some staring and stumbling and some awkwardness which was to be expected but overall I was really proud of my family for being so accepting and adaptive. It is always nice to be surprised when you have been imagining the worst.

Living far away from friends and family has been really difficult for me and transitioning while being so far away has definitely had an impact on me. While I have been more prone to bouts of depression from homesickness and severe loneliness after my break up part of that could also be attributed to the long dark winter of the arctic. Holidays are really difficult times to be alone and the isolation I've experienced over the last year has certainly shaped my character but in a positive way despite the hardships.

I can honestly say I am becoming my own man without any interference (for lack of a better word) from parents or friends or other family members. Even though they would have likely had my best interests in mind, I am glad that decisions about who I want to be and how I want to express myself have been entirely my choices. I have asked for and taken advice, questioned myself and explored parts of myself that have been hidden away for a very long time.

This Christmas I will appreciate my family more than I have for a long time. I will be generous and patient and enjoy them for who they are and how each of them has taught me something about myself and about life. This Christmas I will return home to the landscape I love, the mountains that make my heart ache for a time long a go when life seemed simple. I will soak up the spirit of the holiday and try to remember the feeling s of love and happiness and kindness when the misery of March trickles past. I will visit friends and make every moment I can a happy authentic experience so that I might bring back the memories and reflect on them when the distance becomes too much.

The countdown is on to the holiday!


A Pair of Giant Glittery Dancing Christmas Balls

So I have a brand new addition to my list of men I admire: Preston Leatherman, (probably not his REAL name), but how do you not love a kid that calls himself Leatherman!

I am a super chicken shit when it comes to doing anything in public. Public speaking, or an art demo or even a workshop I am ok with but being a total goof like singing forget it and dancing well I am terrified of it but deep down I wanna dance like that in a mall too. Watching this video made me really want to break out of this fear that is holding me prisoner and live one happy blissful Christmas Carol dancing through the mall with reckless joyful abandon. Every time I watch this I want to BE him just so I can experience the joy he is feeling. This kid makes me so happy, I couldn't help but post it for everyone.

Preston, wherever you are and whatever you do, don't stop dancing in public with your ipod. I can see the absolute joy in your face and feel your happiness just by watching. Thank you so much for sharing and for being so very brave!

Merry Christmas to a kid with a great big pair of glittering Christmas balls!


Time for a Little Catching Up!

I must apologize for neglecting the blog for so long. It has been a busy year and now that winter has descended upon the arctic in the most miserable way I will finally have some time to write again! So here's to a little catching up.

I haven't had too much to say about the influence of Testosterone, but will give you a peek at how 18 months is looking and how the chest is healing up this weekend after I get all cleaned up for my Christmas party. It's a semi-formal dinner affair so I got me a new sweater vest and tie to wear with my shirt and cuff links. Can't wait to see how this boy cleans up!

I have kept busy and though I have gone through a couple rough patches with respect to my mood and mental state, I am optimistic about the winter. I mentioned that a lot of my friends have moved south for the winter and even though I stepped down from the SPCA, I joined a new board of directors for the local Arts Society which will keep me busy volunteering and involved with the Art scene.  I will be working with a group of artists, musicians, storytellers, and dancers on a production of the circumpolar folktale of Sedna, the goddess of the sea and marine animals. I am pretty excited about working on the production and pushing myself in a new uncomfortable direction by performing on stage for 3 shows in March! We will be rehearsing all winter sometimes with the dancers and musicians and sometimes just as artists (more on this later).

I will be visiting the doctor tomorrow to get the results of blood work, adjust prescriptions, and talk about possible revisions to my top surgery, and at long last, the hysterectomy. I have been pretty good about eating well and while the only exercise I get on a  regular basis is shoveling snow, I plan to use the snowshoes I bought if/when the weather warms up.....to at least -20C.

Work is going really well, I recently received a nice compliment and a raise so looks like the upcoming year will bring me closer to getting out of debt and a lot of valuable work experience. A few more weeks of hard work and I'll be on vacation celebrating Christmas with my family. So that pretty much catches you up at the moment. A more detailed description of T changes and a post surgical update coming soon!