Fatherless Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the great Dads out there. And to the Mums having to do both roles.

My own Dad has been gone more than 20 years. No bad thing to remember him today though.

He was full of sage advice but often simultaneously completely irresponsible. You do not make matching crossbows for children under 10. At least not in the same house as my Mum.

He did leave me with one golden nugget however. If you don’t want to be stuck with a task for all time, do it terribly the first time. You won’t be asked again. A mind like a steel trap!


I Can Hardly Weight

Since I had my operation I’ve been something of a lazy pie. Seven full months of inactivity have resulted in me putting on more than a stone in weight. I’ve gained more pounds than I ever imagined in such a short window. But to be honest, I’ve been as happy as hell and the little belly I’ve acquired has mostly been a thing of comfort. I just kind of like having it.

But my frame being more Winston Churchill than Winona Ryder, not so much. So this week I’ve actually joined a gym again. I used to go to the gym three times a week. Ironically when I wanted to Man Up. Look how well that worked out. So I do know that what I need is not impossible. If I work on my core then my little kebab baby should very easily be dealt with before things get out of my reach. And it’s own reach is already considerable.


It is going to take some hard work. And another lifestyle adjustment but considering the adjustments I’ve already made I think it’s totally doable. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with carrying excess weight by the way but now that I’m kind of settled, I genuinely want my start as a Woman to be the best that I can give it.

That will involve some serious effort on my part. My op went phenomenally well, I’ve enjoyed half a year of being myself without once considering the consequences of eating for three. And now, I really think I owe myself a fair crack of the whip. I simply want to get back to my life, my job and where I was. And I was never a perfect shape. Nor do I want to be. It doesn’t exist. But to be a little more trim wouldn’t hurt me either. My body will thank me for it. Even if I do actually resent the hell out of it.


Poking The Bare

Because I didn’t grow up as a girl I missed out on establishing certain key skills as I progressed through life. Consequently I am not particularly successful at Woman-ing much of the time.

I’m not a complete novice but there remain numerous things I just haven’t ever gotten to grips with. Mostly to do with hair if I’m honest. Eyelashes and eyebrows are apparently an ancient art best left to skilled practitioners, I can live with that. I’m too long in the tooth to learn to deal with either. And too fundamentally lazy to try.

Legs and underarms, I kind of figured out as I went along. Although they are never as smooth as I’d like and often simply my most effective means of contraception. I suspect that’s just due to a laxness on my part in following any kind of schedule. Your leg hair is too long when you can lasso the TV remote from your bed. A very rough benchmark.

But in my new post op world, hair does remain a constant conundrum. Particularly the hair down there. WTF do you do with it?. Specifically when it resembles Cousin Itt. I realise there are professionals but also know that I’d like to see a professional before seeing a professional. It’s just a lot trickier than ever anticipated. There really should be classes whilst you transition as you don’t get to learn this stuff. Hopefully I’ll also work it out as I go along. Or else I’m moving to a country that embraces fullness. I hear Japan is lovely anyway. Hair today, gone tomorrow.


On Reflection

This is still at least nominally a transition blog. So I suppose an update on the actual transition might be about due.

Now several months into being post operative, things are better than I had ever expected in the physical sense. I see documentable change all of the time.

Ok, it’s mostly in the form of a fatter arse, a wee bit extra belly to carry around and my thighs threatening to annexe the neighbour’s flat. But it’s also meant extra boobage. There’s a whole Yin and Yang thing going on with my body. And I kind of like it. Because more and more of the time, I see a woman in the mirror. With bumps in both the right and the wrong places. As it often is.

Which has been great for my confidence. Which is currently flying high. Which means that even having folk in the same supermarket line questioning “Is that a man?” this week couldn’t upset my apple cart. Because the positive to take here is, it was a question. Not a statement.

That bodes well for the future. I’d like to believe there will be a day when nobody feels the need to question my validity from mere feet away. But it matters not as they still accidentally built me up despite their pig ignorant selves. I will admit though that today’s song was totally in my head at the time. Possibly theirs too.


Knocked Down In May

Haven’t been bothered to write anything here for a week or so. 2018 has been relentlessly difficult and so I feel no shame in having circled my metaphorical wagons and just having allowed myself to regroup.

This year so far has been bullet pointed by illness, tragedy and unfortunately deaths. In my immediate family. And in those of the people that really matter to me. Despite my “Always Tomorrow” sort of outlook, I might have to admit to feeling occasionally just totally fucking defeated. Not really the happiest of bunnies right now.

But it does seem human enough to sometimes want the perpetual emotional poverty of this year to end. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with acknowledging that I sometimes feel beaten.

I’ve loads to look forward to though. I’m still building back torched bridges with family. Nights out are circled in the diary with decades old friends that help me make sense of it all. So plans for some sort of future are at the very forefront of things.

I totally know his shitty month will end. And I’ll still probably be picking myself up at the end of the next one. Because that’s just what Scottish folk do. In my defence, I already saw myself most of the way through May. I’ve been up and down and over and out. But being back in the race is certainly doable. Because today I have a day off from everything. And the phasers are set to Fun. Monday is fucking cancelled though. Possibly Tuesday. Wednesday is on standby only.


That Thing We Don’t Talk About

Today is sort of slap in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s also my actual birthday. With each passing year, I grow more grateful that I’ve reached a positive headspace and I’m surviving pretty well. We aren’t all as lucky.

Mental Health isn’t just a thing that happens to other people though, it’s something we internally navigate each and every day. When things are stable, you are hardly aware of it but when things are tough, it can be tricky to spot that it’s not doing too well by yourself. And my point would be that this is OK. At least it is if you have people around you. Again, we aren’t all as lucky.

It’s so important to take care of yourself and, where you are able to, to take care of those around you. And it doesn’t take a lot. Just a friendly ear or an encouraging word here and there. Stress in the modern world is a given, coping with it isn’t always. The Mental Health Foundation are giving that issue particular focus in this year’s campaign. You can check it out here.

Don’t ever be afraid to speak to someone about your own mental health though. It’s vital. And to be entirely dramatic about it, it might save your life. And if you happen to feel you have nobody to do that with then there’s:-

Samaritans (UK) on 116 123

Samaritans (US) on 1(800)273-TALK

Breathing Space (Scotland) on 0800 83 85 87

NHS 24 (UK) on 111

Or find your own country here.

No matter what you could be feeling, someone is waiting to take your call. And it’s really always worth talking. So if this applies to you, please just call someone. It will be the best birthday gift you could give me. I don’t expect you to wrap it though.