Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Not Enough Raindrops

Yup. Another song. Been stuck in my head for about a week.


There's a couple of reasons for that. A few, maybe. First, I recently watched Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid again, which is where this song started out. Then sometime later, I was listening to the Forrest Gump Soundtrack, and the song was there again (radio version this time). I think the third reason, if I  may, is because of me. I feel the optimism in the song, and my spirit just won't give up, no matter what. I come real darn close to giving up, but I never do.

If it's ok with you, I'll focus on a few of the lyrics, and let the thoughts they evoke drift to the surface.

Raindrops are falling on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothing seems to fit
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling

"Nothing seems to fit." Gee, that feels familiar. Except that the thoughts I always have are that it is ME who doesn't fit into things, not the other way around. Sometimes I can take it literally, like trying to find tops that will fit. I'm not really large, but I'm large enough to where so often, the arms are too short, or taper off too early and can't even be properly rolled up. Or heck, the darn thing is flat-out too short, not covering my torso. Can I get a show of hands if this happens to you?

More often, though, it's me not fitting in. Right now, I don't even feel like I can be part of trans or crossdresser groups, whether it's online, or, by some miracle, in-person were I to finally find one. I did locate one near me and am slowly trying to see what it's about. With COVID still around, the group seems kinda dormant since February, but I hope something some from it. They meet for dinner, etc., once a month, and already I am wondering if I can fit in there. You'd think I could, but all my hang-ups come to light when I think about it.

So, recently, I have withdrawn and have been occupying myself in other ways. My recent medical adventures and The Big Freak-out have thrown me off-kilter. I'm not even really able to chat with anyone except my two best allies. I just don't feel comfortable. Hopefully, it comes back, but like the song says, "Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling."

My favorite part of the song, and the part I have been singing around the house constantly, is where the hope comes in, the determination:

But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won't defeat me, it won't be long
Till happiness steps up to greet me

In the radio version of the song, the singer B.J. Thomas really stretches out the words "I know" for musical emphasis, and that grabs at me. I love that part. I'm not even sure what keeps me going at times, but I still seem to feel the future will be better. The little things I am trying to do have got to pay off at some point. After my last post, my girl Angie mentioned to me that she could see through my writing that I was trying hard to keep positive. And I really am. What choice do I have, really?

'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining

And yet, that line brings me to something that kinda has me confounded. My wife always tells me to stop being a victim. She's not saying that in an encouraging way. And it puts it in my head, maybe I am one of my biggest problems. I dunno. I mentioned this in therapy today, and I think it's good that I at least acknowledge the possibility.

Yesterday, I chatted at Transgender Heaven for a few minutes but had to stop when someone there, trying to be helpful, told me that I had to stay positive and make changes instead of just complaining all the time. I know this is true, I even write it above and feel it in the song, but often I forget. I see others doing their thing, and instead of being happy for them, I compare to my situation and just get frustrated. I have to work on this, and I will. I sure hope I can change that way of thinking. Nobody likes a whiner.

So finally, our subject song provides the rub. The part I can't quite get to. But want SO BAD:

Because I'm free
Nothing's worrying me

I so much want to be able to calm down and relax and just LIVE. I know the chances of having nothing all worrying me is unreasonable (or is it?) but approaching such a state of mind would sure be nice. As much as I am fearful of the changes needed in my life, if I'm ever going to get to the "I'm free" line, on the way to "nothing's worrying me", I'm gonna have to make that happen. Nobody can do it for me.

Until then, I'll keep going. Some days the raindrops are warm and not so much as to get soaked with, perhaps like in a sweet sun shower. Other days, I'm getting drenched. And yet, I have this feeling that there will never be enough raindrops to keep me from seeing, and talking to, the sun.

Take care of yourselves, everyone. Eternal thanks for reading, from me to you.

(Also thanks to Burt Bacharach and Hal David for writing such a wonderful song.)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Big Freak-out of June 17th

This morning, since my wife isn't home (taking care of her parents) and both my kids were staying with friends, I took care of our dog. I only do on rare occasions like this. It is ostensibly my daughter's dog, but she's 18 now and working a lot, which is an easy excuse to pawn the responsibilities onto her brother and mother. My son loves the dog, who is a basset hound, and so does my wife, but he is high maintenance.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Gonna Be OK

It makes itself known each day at 3 AM. It has for maybe a year now, and it shall continue for quite a long time, I reckon. Until it's not needed anymore.

It lasts all day. Unless I am finished with it earlier. Which, I am proud to say, I often am. I also often am not. It was born of necessity, and it has done its job well. Its predecessor is effective, too, and is also still in service. I owe both a fair amount of credit if such things are actually able to take credit for anything. Really, they are simple things, used by many to equally great effect.

Reminders.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Gender Euphoria

The funny thing is, to-date I have experienced gender euphoria many more times as a man than as a woman. I aim to change that, of course, but it requires time and opportunity. Some of those things I will need to create since life deems to not grant me such wishes without consequence. But, I digress...

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Confidence

It's been a while since I wrote anything. Anything I published, at least. In the past month, life has continued on its rollercoaster ride. Living in the time of COVID-19, work being crazy busy, frustrating times with family, all kinds of stuff. And all the while, dysphoria. Different dysphoria than before, but it's still there. I haven't quite been able to find the muse to get my thoughts out like I want.

I'm fairly sure I could not be a professional writer. Forcing things doesn't seem to work. But, I know when the time is right to start hen-pecking like I'm doing now. Again, a movie I saw today kinda provides a vehicle for me to share some of what's been on my mind.

There is only one place in the world that truly matters, and that place is between our two ears. If the noggin isn't happy, all the peripherals don't matter. Of course, those things all influence what's going with us on the inside, and how we deal with it is key. Groan all you want, but I watched the movie I Feel Pretty today, starring Amy Schumer. Circumstances conspired to get me to watch this one (most especially a very-soon-expiring Showtime trial), and as is often the case, I'm glad they did.

The gist of the movie is that a normal young woman, life sabotaged by what is between her ears, suddenly gains amazing confidence in herself, and as the cliches all go, her life changes for the better. We can learn a few things about ourselves in watching the events unfold, and the main thing I took away from it all was the idea of CONFIDENCE. With it, we can move mountains. Without it, things seem a whole lot more difficult.

Amy's character Renee literally wishes to be beautiful. She wants to experience the things that she perceives the beautiful girls do. And they do get these things, there's no doubt about it. When whatever magic happens that deludes her into suddenly seeing herself as gorgeous (though she looks exactly the same), success begins to come to her. If you've ever watched a similar movie before, you know the magic isn't likely to last.

In this case, I thought the twist was that, unlike most other movies, she doesn't become more beautiful or glamorous and no one perceives her visually any different than before. Heck, we don't even see the false visual in mirror shots of her. It's completely in her head. And it will get completely knocked out of her head toward the end (a seriously funny and quick bit of slapstick that made me laugh despite the huge gash in her skull).

Yes, it's a rom-com. Yes, the happy ending occurs. Sure, maybe it's cheesy. But there are good points made in it, especially for women and how we perceive ourselves. I identified with it because I lack confidence, and unfortunately, a lot of that is due to my body image. That's where the dysphoria is right now. One minute I'm thinking, I can definitely get into the world as a woman if I have some decent clothes, the next I feel like there is absolutely no way I can, and if only I wasn't like I am, I wouldn't have such a problem.

The truth with Renee is, she actually looks fine. She's not super thin in this movie, but she wears some really cute clothes, even before the magic confidence. I'd love to look as good as that, considering all I see right now is that my figure is terrible, my hair will never measure up to the average female, makeup intimidates the hell out of me, and on and on. I sure wish I could find that confidence.

Most of us do, I think. Towards the end of the movie, Renee re-encounters a beautiful girl after spin class and she's upset. She'd gotten dumped. And she has confidence and image issues, despite what the world at large would consider a killer body and looks. So, it's all relative. Part of me says, you don't want to be delusional about appearance and embarrass yourself, as Renee might have (actually, she really never does to any great degree). The other part of me says to just own it like so many women, both trans and cisgender, and live my life.

I'm working on all this. We all need to keep working on "it" (whatever your "it" is) if we aren't where we need to be between the ears. I know I'll never be beautiful, but I can work with what I have. The other day, I bought a cute shorts outfit at Target. I thought it flatters me enough that I can wear it out. I hope I will. I posted a few pictures of it on Flickr and haven't had a single reaction. But that's ok. I'm not on there to really show off. I felt cute in it. I blanked my face due to no makeup and general ugly face-iness, but showed my real hair for the first time. Up and down I go, ebbing and flowing.

To conclude, I just will say to anyone struggling with anything: hang in there. It's really all we can do. What choice do we have? We are here, we ought to make the best of it.