It Ain’t Necessarily So

In the UK, Mental Health Awareness Week is drawing to an end. This year’s theme has been Body Image. Something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I possibly always will. And yet, I’ve learned to live with it. Most importantly, happily so for the majority of the time.

The mirrors in my home (and beyond) can be inordinately cruel. There are plenty of mornings that the only thing they are prepared to show me is the maleness I inherited from my old life. To give them their due, they are particularly effective at evidencing every last trace of Chris.

I eventually settled on trying to accept that this is no bad thing. Without him, I am nothing at all. So even a sometimes daily reminder is something I will not be sad about. However, there are still days when there is not enough makeup to hide him from me.

What you see is not always what you get

But that’s probably more about where my own head is at on any given day, than any radical changes in how I really look. The trick has been learning how to live with that kind of frequent insecurity. And yet somehow, I mostly have.

I just can’t control how I actually look, barring surgery that is unacceptable to me. I can’t stop myself from sometimes focusing too intently on the things I don’t like. But control is still possible. And therein lies a kind of peace. I do dress in a way that helps me blend in more quietly. Although I grow ever braver with colour. My make-up is also never too “out there”. Except the nights it deliberately is. And so I mostly pass without comment.

I unfortunately remain my harshest critic. The world at large is far kinder to me most of the time. But I’ve come to learn that this is sometimes just how it is. It’s OK to not be OK. Just keep getting up. And just keep moving forward. If you can manage that, the rest of the world might meet you halfway. Quite how I became such a positive cow remains an absolute mystery. But here I stand.


Any Port In A Storm

Been largely AWOL from my own blog for much of this year. Just been too busy at times, too settled at others and too lazy in general. But today I have oodles of time to make for it. Because I’m on holiday. In Crete.

Been coming here since 2014 but this is the first time I’ve approached it with a proper sense of adventure. Which is a polite way of saying there was fuck all resembling an actual plan. Just winging it all the way.

Which turned out for the best so far. The initial plan was Chania, Paleochora, Sougia, Agia Roumelli, Loutro and Chora Sfakia. Most of which hinged on hopping round the coast by boat. And then it got a bit windy and all boats were cancelled, meaning that plan was scuppered. So back we went to Chania. Although Scottish ferries would still have sailed. Sideways if necessary.

What passed for stormy weather!!!

Currently in Agia Galini though, on way to Matala then back up North to Heraklion before trundling swiftly back to Chania. Kind of have to be back because I’ve booked a tattoo appointment on Friday. As you do.

Going for a sort of Phoenix. Because that fiery little bird represents rebirth. And what the hell else is transition, if not being reborn as something else? But a tattoo is a daily reminder of how far I’ve come and Crete in particular. Let’s just ignore the little voice that says “Repent at leisure”. Nobody likes a killjoy.