Some old habits never die.
Well before I transitioned my gender and chose to live full time as my authentic self, there were so many days I rushed home from work to immediately strip off the costume of being a male in the "real" world so I could change into the clothes that made me feel real.
My evenings were often spent in my personal "closet" as I donned my clothes, my wig, and of course, my own transformations were not complete until I did my makeup.
Sometimes a friend might call and I was faced with the decision of making an excuse to not join them or transform back into the person they knew, or thought they knew, so I would not be alone. These were never an easy choice for me. The more I would say no to them, the fewer times they would ask. Keeping my balance was a challenge. I kept telling myself it was not only super heroes who had secret identities. Just another lie I told myself during that part of my life.
As these evenings continued I acquired one of those bad habits. I went to bed without cleaning off my makeup. There was the "logic" I used that I was maximizing the time I was being real. Sure, parts of me knew this was crazy, but those parts were often put in their place by a group of much louder parts. My pillowcases would usually have foundation and blush all over them. In the morning when I looked into the mirror, I often saw the possum masks of my smudged eye makeup looking back at me. Yes, I knew better, but....
Some old habits never die.
It's been over five years since I have transitioned. I no longer wear a male costume for any reason. Over the past five years I have learned to separate my daily use of everyday makeup from the going out more dressier look makeup. Perhaps I am not much different than many women, trans or cis?
There are many days now when I go out with a little bit of tinted moisturizer but I almost never leave the house without eye makeup and a little lipstick. However by the end of the day, I still have that old habit - the one that never died, that I do not always clean off my eye makeup before I go to bed. Feel free to lecture me on how bad this habit is. The morning possum is often the first face that still greets me each day. Maybe I need a good dose of this lecture, but I have not yet broken the habit.
I am at that age, when most nights, there may be a few trips to the bathroom. I listen to people who complain that they only get six or seven hors of sleep each night, with a sense of memory and longing. I am a little jealous, but I also accept that this may just be a sign of my age.
I am a bit of a restless sleeper - moving from my back to one side and then to the other and back again. There are times I know I am dragging an arm across my eyes and most likely smudging the remnants of eyeliner and mascara that have not already found their way onto my pillow. I am usually groggy and sort of know that I am doing this. A voice inside me tells me to stop, as I continue to ignore it as I have for the past fifteen years. It doesn't stop - I never listen!
The past few weeks, there has been something new, surprising, and startling happening during these nocturnal movements. As my arm drags across my eyes and then my index finger starts rubbing them, I notice my palm and other fingers are dragging across the smooth surface of my cheek and my chin. It is not a familiar feeling as I wonder if I am dreaming. I feel a smooth face and feel it again as the fogginess of sleep evaporates.
It was in the spring of 2009 when I went to my first electrolysis appointment. I did not know if I would be transitioning but it seemed like a good idea to start the beard removal process. I did not know how long it would take, and was certain that I would never be able to transition if this process was not completed. (Thankfully this concept turned out to be false.)
Back in 2009 and 2010 I went for sessions weekly, for one or two hour sessions. I had no idea that I would be still be doing these seven years later. Over the past few years the sessions have become less frequent, and for a shorter duration. However, a few a weeks after a session I have been aware of a few whiskers with pointy tips sprouting above and below my lips. Until.....
My last session was seven weeks ago. There are no pointy little nubs sprouting any more. I run my tongue around my lips and it has a free path with no obstructions. No obstruction!!! I never thought this would happen and I had no idea what this would feel like.
My lips, my cheeks, my chin are all clear. There are no whiskers, no beard, and no hair. The all-clear signal jolts me awake in the middle of the night. I wonder how long it may take me to get used to this feeling.
I would like to get some more sleep, but that all-clear signal does put a smile on my face as I roll out of bed to go to the bathroom. As I go back to bed, I have learned a new habit, one that I am very much liking. I drag my hand across my face once again to make sure I am not dreaming and it really is all clear.
Grace Anne Stevens inspires people to find their truth and live their authentic life! She is an inspirational and motivational speaker specializing on intra and interpersonal relationships. She is the author of No! Maybe? Yes! Living My Truth, and Musings on Living Authentically. Grace is available for speaking to all groups who would like to learn the values of, and how to live authentically. Visit her website at: http://www.graceannestevens.com/. Follow Grace on Twitter: www.twitter.com/graceonboard .
Grace will be presenting EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GENDER TRANSITION IN THE WORKPLACE BUT DIDN'T EVEN KNOW TO ASK at the SHRM Diversity & Inclusion Conference in Austin on 10/26/16. https://conferences.shrm.org/conference/2016-diversity-inclusion-conference-exposition/session/everything-you-wanted-know-about