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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Wake Up Smiling

Fully back at work, lessons have started, and we're two days in. So far, I am nowhere near as stressed as I normally am and I know that I have gaps in lessons but... it's working, sorta, so far. I'm getting up in time, getting through my morning and-

Yesterday morning, the app has removed
my blue shirt for some reason.
This isn't the point. I am going to bed and waking up with a smile. I know. I am smiling. I spent some time, half awake, thinking about trouser suits for work - you know, with wide legs and a boot-cut to allow for modest heels. I signed off a task set for some of my older students as Mx - it's not offical, but it felt like the right thing to do. I may enquire into ways to make that a proper and more 'official' thing. I... I liked using it. It's been really strange using my disguise-name as well, like... more than I have ever known before it just doesn't feel like me. Because, I guess, it never has been and the difference is that now I know that too.

As I went into work today a colleague, female, to whom I have not come out and has no way of knowing, went out of her way to walk with me a bit. She said: "You look really... relaxed, like you've had a really good summer. Fresh, yes, you look fresh. And I love your hair!" I was taken aback, I don't think I've ever had it where any colleague has, apropos of nothing, offered a physical compliment. At least, not recently enough that I remember.

Tonight, we stopped at a park for a bit,
those are how my eyes looked, but the
app, as ever, struggled with the t-shirt
Later in the day I passed another colleague, female, who I know reasonably well and who, again, does not know nor has ways of finding out. She made small talk and then, as if looking at me properly, followed with "Oh, I do like your hair. You're looking so much happier and relaxed, you know, it suits you!" Again, I did my best to accept gracefully, but, again, I really wasn't expecting that. Finally, at the end of the day, I passed a colleague, female, who I had come out to last week: "Oh," she said, "You're looking really well. You do suit your hair, you know, it looks fab. And, also, you're looking so happy!" So, I guess I'm looking happier? Well, like I say, I'm going to bed and waking up with a smile so probably, yeah.

I mean, I'm wearing my hair with an alice band and my new glasses (not the cat-eye ones) and the weather is sunny and warm. The outside wall is repaired, the price is paid, and tonight I had the Boy over (we went for a walk because he hadn't been outside all day and yesterday only to get the bus to a drumming session and back). What can I say? I think I might actually be feeling mostly... content? Huh. It's pretty good.

In other, totally unconnected digression, I heard someone talking about Gender Studies and recalled at University how much I wished I had signed up for what was then called 'Women's Studies'. I saw it at Matriculation and was very, very tempted but chickened out and took German instead. I wonder what difference it would have made?

Short entry, but I feel it says everything I need it to say.

6 comments:

  1. Joanna,
    You mentioned the several women who complimented you on your hair. This is not usually something they would do for a man (at least here in the States). Given your clothing choices (bell-bottoms, low heels), your hair and the Alice band, they have figured it out or their friends have told them, So, just enjoy the ride and don't worry about it. They have already accepted you as you.
    Leann

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    Replies
    1. Hi Leann!

      That's what I was thinking but, in my defence, I teach in brown trousers, tweed/suit jacket, shirt and tie - all male tailored; and smart male shoes.

      It's the hair and alice band alone!

      But yes, it would appear acceptance is the order of the day (a female colleague I don't know terribly well commented today that, with the alice band, I was "rocking the slightly aloof French footballer look").

      I'll take it!

      Joanna

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    2. Joanna,
      You could have a talk with your friends/colleagues like Ms Warrington in private and see what her opinion would be if you were to slowly replace certain elements of your "uniform" with a more feminine version. You could, for example, substitute a blouse for your shirt, it would have to have a collar that would work with your tie. Later you could get a pair of women's slacks. Finally, you could replace your jacket with a more tailored version. Do it slowly (as your budget seems to require) and see what happens. Even if no one notices, you will feel better about yourself. Lastly, if you could go to out after work with those that know, you could make a quick change into a more feminine outfit maybe by just putting on a skirt instead of the pants. Once you do it, it will become easier and you will learn what you are comfortable doing.
      Leann

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    3. Leann,
      You speak wisdom. I had considered the blouse option - still looking for a blouse, let alone one with a collar that would allow for a tie. But, again, I have not yet spoken to Miss Warrington or others who might know where to acquire such a thing.

      You are right - even wearing socks that aren't 'male' has been a massive boost and improved my mood. The under-dressing is similar.

      In many ways, I know where I am, and I know my direction of travel. Only the velocity is unclear.

      Thank you, honestly, for your wise words.

      Joanna

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    4. Joanna,
      I guess the question comes down to how long of a vector you wish to be part of. :) :)
      Leann

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    5. I'm looking forward to finding out, Leann! :) :)

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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!