16 November, 2009

small victories and updates

today, in the mail, i received my undergraduate diploma....with the correct name on it (granted i graduated over two years ago)! i'm looking at it now, having a hard time believing it was that easy to have my request fulfilled. i had a lot of trouble with the registrar's office in the past with my name change. at first they wouldn't change it and gave me some phony excuse and then when i persisted they said a "glitch" had changed my name in their system...go figure. so when i had sent out my paperwork to request a duplicate diploma, i was a bit nervous about receiving a diploma with my old name on it. i guess they decided to cooperate this time!

this past friday (november 13) i hit my 1.5 year mark for being on testosterone and i feel great! i haven't been working out as much as i would like to, though it takes little for my muscles to begin to bulk up. friends of mine continue to comment on how skinny i look, though i don't think they realize that my body fat has redistributed giving the illusion that i have lost a lot of weight. i may have lost a few pounds, but nothing significant. my body hair is out of control and continues to take over. my facial hair, however, is taking its sweet time - it is continuing to grow, though just much slower than the rest of my hair.

it has also been about a year (november 4, 2008) since my initial top surgery and about three months since my revision (august 4, 2009). my chest is feeling great and i am slowly beginning to get back into serious workout mode. i am also beginning to get more and more feeling back - though this sensation is quite awkward and sometimes is slightly painful. it is hard to believe that it has been a year and a half and a year since beginning t and having my top surgery. often times it feels like much more time has passed. each day is a new day with lessons, journeys, adventures and i am thankful for every step and every opportunity.

pre-t versus 1.5 years

12 days post-op (initial) versus 1 year post-op (3 months post-op revision)

11 November, 2009

images of a man

i've been thinking lately about images, ideas, stereotypes of men. the first insight i've noticed is that the image i have of myself in my head is very different from my actual image - the image the public sees. i definitely think looking ambiguous for so long has had a large impact on this image because while i know i look male, i look a lot less male in my head. i can still see pieces of my female self in my face when i look in the mirror - i don't necessarily anticipate never being able to see that person again when i look in the mirror, though i worry that others will see that female side. why all of the worry?! i keep telling myself to have patience, to give myself time to grow and change. it does get frustrating though when i know and feel like a mature man in his mid-twenties, but my body is still playing catch-up.

second insight i've come upon is how this frustration impacts my physical expectations of my own body. when i get frustrated with my body i often day dream about maturing into a tall, muscular, bearded man. while i know that i have some control over my body - being muscular and in shape - there are other things such as my height and my facial hair that i have no control over. it's really just a matter of accepting the things i cannot control. while i am a man, i am not a "typical" man...maybe more like man born from extraordinary circumstances. i am constantly reminding myself that this is the body i was born into and that there is only so much i can change physically - the other changes have to occur upstairs, in my mind.

along with all of this, i do not regret the fact that i was born into a female body (i'll explore the phrase "born into the wrong body" later...). while this body has brought upon many struggles and difficulties, it has also allowed me to experience life in a way that many other people do not get to experience. i have lived in many worlds and spectrums and have been fortunate enough to live and grow from all of these perspectives. i am a collection of perspectives, life experiences, journeys, identities, ideas, perceptions and am intelligent enough to realize how learning from the past, taking from the past, dealing with life as it has been dealt to me, understanding and having an awareness of what i can and cannot control is the only way in my personal journey i can come to a sense of peace.