I have pains like that. Not for any particular body part. (I’m still working with all of my original equipment.) But for my life and for my relationships. For things left undone or incomplete. For dreams unrealized. For friends and family I’m no longer close with.
Most tgirls will tell you that once they started following their feminine passions, they became much happier. More fulfilled. More content. And I’m definitely one of those girls. My emotional state has done a complete 180 degree turn in the past four or five years. Just when I was beginning to settle into the depths of a classic midlife depression, my feminine side woke up, kicked me in the ass (with a pair of fire engine red thigh high boots), and totally re-invigorated what had become a pretty stagnant life.
And I couldn’t be happier. I still have no idea where this is all leading. But I couldn’t be happier.
That doesn’t mean there haven’t been sacrifices. Regrets. Conflicted feelings. Nothing is ever absolute in this world. Nothing’s ever perfect. And every time we choose one thing – no matter how positive and correct that decision is – we also choose not to do about a billion other things.
I live 3000 miles away from most of my family, so I don’t get to see them very often. They know nothing of CiCi and I’m not certain when, if ever, I will tell them. But I do get to keep in touch with them – mostly through Facebook. So I know a little bit about their lives. And those lives couldn’t be more different than mine.
Whether I’m willing to admit it or not, I live a pretty alternative lifestyle. I’m gay (or bi), I’m obviously transgendered, and I spend a lot of time in dark, edgy bars that most of my brothers back East would never be caught dead in. I could be wrong of course, but I don’t think any of my close family members or old friends have ever spent much time in a dungeon. And I often wonder what they would think if they knew that I have.
The lives I see through the magic of Facebook, are not that different from the life I lived when I grew up. The life I would be living if I had stayed back East. I know that my feminine urges are strong, but if I’d stayed back East I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten the encouragement or felt the freedom to really connect with my feminine side. I’m pretty sure that I would have gotten married, had some kids, and raised a family. I probably would have bought a house in some suburban town, and I would have taken my kids to soccer practice or ballet recitals – just as my parents did for us. Just as my brothers now do for their kids.
There are a lot of people who live alternative lifestyles because they never bought into the American dream. They never wanted the big house in the nice neighborhood with the white picket fence, two cars in the garage, and 2.5 children to raise. Many in the alternative crowd grew up in that world, found it stifling, and now they want no part of it. They are the alternative crowd precisely because that’s what they wanted… an alternative to the mainstream.
And then there’s people like me. People who embraced mainstream ideals. People who dreamed the American dream. People who wanted that dream so bad they could taste it. But they just couldn’t reach it. And they could never figure out why it never worked for them. No matter how hard they tried.
I’ve worked really hard. But I’ve never climbed the corporate ladder. People love my work. I always get great annual reviews. But I never seem to get any raises or promotions. I’m never seen as “management material.” I bought a house, but I lost it. I got married, but we’re now separated. I couldn’t have children of my own (thanks, chemotherapy!!), but I did help raise a stepson. Unfortunately, we spent most of his formative years in total disagreement with each other. So the family bond that most people feel with their kids just isn’t there for me. (From his point of view, I was an interloper, an unwanted intruder, and quite literally, a motherfucker. Certainly not the best base for a good relationship.)
The funny thing is, when I look at those things I’ve just listed. Career. House. Wife. Family. Those weren’t my big dreams. Those were my minimums! I just assumed I’d have all of those. Most of my dreams and fantasies were focused on bigger things. Not just having a career, but being really successful at it. Not just having one house, but maybe having two. You know, a main house and a summer home. Even a small cabin. That would have been nice. That’s what I was concentrating on. Big stuff. And, as you might expect, while I was doing that, a lot of the “smaller” things slipped away.
Now you’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with my trans nature. And I’m honestly not sure. But I have to believe it played a role some how. I’ve spoken about this before, but while I was not able or ready to embrace my feminine side when I was younger, I was aware that something was off. That something didn’t quite fit. And while that’s certainly a surmountable condition when it comes to building a career or raising a family (many of my tv/cd friends have done it), it also doesn’t help. Most successful people are confident. Sure of themselves. Comfortable in their own skin. And I was none of those things.
I think I’ve written about this before. But to me, it’s as though I’ve been driving and I’ve suddenly hit a patch of black ice. I didn’t see it coming. I was being careful. And yet here I am, sliding helplessly across the ice. As I slide, I can see where I wanted to go. Where I expected to go. But I’m headed in the other direction now. Slipping further and further from the original path.
I can still see the other path. It looks a lot like the life I lived as a child. The life my parents worked so hard to achieve. I see it on the Facebook pages of my friends and family back East. Their postings about weddings and graduations and births. Of soccer tournaments won and academic awards received. Of cool trips to historic landmarks or exotic lands.
Some of you are probably already yawning. But I really wanted that stuff! I guess I could respond in kind and make my own boastful, braggy Facebook posts about my life. But all of my achievements in the past few years have been trans related. And the only trips I’ve taken have been to tgirl parties or fetish events. Not exactly the kind of stuff I want to share with Aunt Doris. And certainly not the kind of stuff that’s going to impress the old high school friends or college buddies.
Maybe some day I’ll be ready to share this side of me. But until then I’ll just be an observer on my vanilla Facebook page. I’ll watch vicariously as my friends and brothers go about living the life that I was supposed to live. And I’ll try to be happy for them.
Now, at this point, a lot of you are probably thinking, “WTF!! What’s with this girl? All she’d doing is whining about what she doesn’t have… feeling sorry for herself when she’s made it perfectly clear that she’s very happy with all that her tv life has brought her!”
And you’re absolutely right. That’s all I’m doing… whining. Feeling sorry for myself. Like most of us, I want it all. In one of his songs, the aptly named, “Beautiful Loser,” Bob Seeger said, “She wants her home and security. She wants to live like a sailor at sea.” And that’s the way I want it. The mainstream and the alternative. The safe home and the life of adventure. But of course, you can’t have both. At least most of us mere mortals can’t have both. (Most of us mere mortals can barely have one!)
I recently moved out of my house into a place that had a room for rent. It’s a small house and a small room, but it has a really nice pool out back. One of the things that I particularly like about the pool is that it’s totally private. The original owner built a big wall around the pool, and because there are no two-story buildings nearby, no one can see inside. That means that I can sunbathe naked or in a bikini… and I never have to worry about anyone seeing me. Sweet! It’s a great perk. And one that I never expected to find – especially at the monthly rate I’m paying.
But here’s the interesting thing. On the other side of the wall is a park. So as I lay on my lounge chair soaking up rays and getting those cool bikini tan lines, I can hear the sounds of kids and families on the other side of the wall. The family barbecues, the soccer and wiffle ball games, the shrieks and cries of delight, and the sobbing when some poor kid gets hurt. And once again, there it is. The life I expected to live. Right there on the other side of that wall. Literally just a few feet away from me. Most of the families who use the park are Latino, so I don’t understand most of what is being said. And yet I can picture it perfectly. The fun dads, the doting moms, the slightly inebriated uncles, and the squabbling kids fighting over whose turn it is to bat next or kick next or eat next.
So I lay there in the sun, my head filling once again with those regrets. Those phantom pains. And I wish for the close family I never had. I wish for the successful career I never achieved. I wish for the “normal” life I never experienced.
But you know what? In spite of all those regrets, do you know what I wish for more than anything? I wish my old high school buddies could see how hot I look in this bikini!
Maybe I made the right choice after all.
Take care out there!
Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy!