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No time for me

img_20180921_185953I’m nearing the end of a week-long overnight work week and I’m feeling the strain. As a department supervisor, I have to go overnight to do some organizing in my department, something we do twice a year, once at the beginning of the spring season, and after summer ends. It’s a glorious task!

I’m kidding. It’s exhausting. Some supervisors only had to do two or three nights, but since I’m in one of the main departments, hardware, I have an entire week. I’m still not going to get done with everything. There’s that much to work!

So while I’m working the night shift, I don’t have much time for myself. My sleep is out of sync, and it’s getting to me. I’m not cranky or anything, but I’m just really tired. I don’t have the energy to do anything other than lie in bed and stare into the void. Or my phone.

Honestly though, I haven’t really taken any me time lately. I usually take my days off for myself, but my last day off didn’t really pan out as I had a friend who needed attention. Afterward, I decided to see my parents. I don’t go visit them as often as I should.

This coming weekend isn’t looking good either. I’m planning on going to the WT homecoming game as it’ll be the last one at Kimbrough Stadium. I have a lot of memories there. I was in the marching band back in my college days. As much as a new stadium is needed, it’s still a little bittersweet. I’ll be my last trip there as a college stadium.

Sunday, my parents are supposed to be coming to visit. I complained a bit that they never visit me in Amarillo. They go to Lubbock and Muleshoe to visit my other siblings, but never me. I don’t mind most of the time, but it would be nice for them to take time to remember me. I’m sounding too much like a whining brat, so I should leave it.

All the same, this weekend doesn’t look good for me. I do have next Tuesday off, so I’m sure I’ll make the most of that. I’ll probably end up getting caught up on my cleaning. So even if it is a Stefani day, it’ll be a shorts and tshirt day.

That seems to be my usual outfit these days. I used to get all dressed up, even if I was just going to stay in. Now I don’t bother unless I’m heading out, which is such a hassle. Showering, shaving, dressing, doing makeup, it’s such an ordeal. I love the end result, and I feel great, but it’s so time consuming.

Right now, though, I have to make it until Saturday morning. I may try to sneak a few hours for myself this weekend. I do miss the freedom to be myself. I envy those who have the courage to go all in and transition, but at the moment that’s not in the cards. I’ll have to make do with the precious few hours I do have. One day that may change. I can only hope.

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Whirlwind Days

Panhandle Pride Picnic at Memorial Park ~ © 2018 Veronica Fite.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me. Two weekends ago, I attended my neice’s quinceñera on Saturday. That was a lot of fun. I took my friend Jessica as my date. She didn’t know what a quineñera entailed, so I thought taking her would be a lot easier than explaining it to her.

The following day was Pride. Panhandle Pride hosted a picnic at Memorial Park in Amarillo. Last year was the first time I had attended. It was also the day I kind of outed myself to everyone at work. This year wasn’t as dramatic for me, but it was fun.

Again, I took Jessica. She was eager to go. We wandered around the park, taking a look at what was available. A law firm was handing out free beer, with proof of age. We had to show our ID, get our hand stamped, and then we were allowed a beer. It’s a little weird to be walking around in public with a cup of beer. Amarillo PD was roaming the park, which made it weirder.

The afternoon was pretty chill. We looked at booths of merchandise. I saw the ex-president of my alma mater, West Texas A&M University – Go Buffs!, – Dr. Russell Long and his wife. They had a booth promoting their books. I was interested in his, Jessica in hers. I plan to look them up on Amazon and get us those books!

I ran into my friend Veronica while there. Home Depot also had a booth, hosted by my former store manager from store #6831, Amanda. Talked with her a bit. Jessica ran into a lot of old friends. It was a fun day, until the combination of alcohol and heat got to me. I was probably close to suffering heat exhaustion. We ended up leaving and going to my apartment for a bit just to cool off.

Last weekend, I began my vacation. I picked up my best friend Amy and headed to Corpus Christi. My mom’s side of the family had a family reunion. All my siblings were there, except my sister. She had to work. It was a draining weekend, one with driving in from Amarillo to DFW on Thursday, DFW to Corpus on Friday, reunion on Saturday, and back to DFW on Sunday. I slept almost all day Monday!

On our way to Corpus, we toured the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX. I had always wanted to go, or at least have wanted to go for over twenty years. It was a neat experience. I can’t believe how popular the tour is! Afterward, we drove to Aransas Pass, got on a ferry – the first time I’ve ever been on a boat! – and went to Port Aransas. We visited the beach, but didn’t go swimming. We then made it to Corpus.

We got to do a little bit of swimming on Sunday, on our way back to DFW. Again, we went on the ferry, except this time I drove my car onto the boat, found a place to park, and got into the water. I haven’t gotten into the ocean since…, well I don’t know when. It might be close to thirty years since the last time I swan in the ocean. I had a blast and actually laughed joyfully, without reservation.

After our swim, I drove back to DFW. The brief swim at the beach wore me out. Made the drive back extremely difficult. I had to stop a few more times than I would have liked just to keep from falling asleep.

After coming back, well it was a pretty tame week. I finally met someone I’ve been talking to for the past couple of years on Twitter. She has a trans daughter and I believe we found each other because of this blog. I only wish I could have met her daughter, but she was out of town. I hope I can meet here the next time I’m in town.

I brought my friend Amy, who was not too keen on meeting my friend. But I was apprehensive about going alone, mainly due to my social awkwardness. She’s a lot better at dealing with people. We met at a place on the square in McKinney called Square Burger.

Lisa was there, along with her husband, Ray. It was not some run down burger joint, which I would have been okay with, but a hip bar that specialized in burgers. Not much else, but the burgers were out of this world, and the beer was cold and refreshing. So glad they suggested it!

Our conversation was primarily about me and my journey, which seems a little egotistical. In reality, I think they were curious as to what I went through in order to help their daughter. She’s a lot younger than me, but already out and living life. There’s still some anxiety about it, which I can relate. I tried to explain how I got to where I am in order to help them see how she she might improve.

Lastly, I said goodbye to my stepdaughter. My ex-wife, her husband, and their children, moved to Arizona on Saturday. I don’t know when I’ll get to see her again. It was a surreal moment for me, to say goodbye to her. I know I only see her a couple of times a year, but DFW is only a 6 hour drive, one that I do regularly. I don’t know about going to Arizona.

It’s been a hectic few weeks. I got to spend a lot of Stefani time, enjoying the freedom of being me. I spent my last day at my friend’s sketching on the couch. I created a new blog for my artwork, Artistica Girl. I hope you check it out, and follow me. I would appreciate it.

At the moment, I’m helping Amy with a few things. I have to finish packing, put everything in my car, and begin the trek home. As much as I don’t want to, I also can’t wait to get back. I miss my friends. I’ll get back to work tomorrow night and who knows when I’ll get another vacation. When I do, maybe it won’t be as hectic as these past couple of weeks have been.

New site

Hi everyone! I’m working on moving all my writing related content to a new site. Seeing as how I’m living more as Stefani, I think it’s time to start writing as such. All my book reviews, short stories will be transferred soon, and all new content will be posted here. I’m super excited and can’t wait to get started!

The blog is Stefani Writes, so please check it out and follow me. I would love your support!

Moved in!

20170314_150227[1]I’ve moved in! Well, actually, I’m in the process of moving in, but I have the apartment, and I moved the first of my things in this afternoon after work. It’s a little difficult seeing as how I’m trying to do this alone, with only a car to haul everything. Everyone who can help is out of town for spring break. So I’m doing this solo.

It’s not too bad, I suppose. I’m just happy that I have someplace to call my own. It’s really a process now, slowly rebuilding my independence. It’s scary that I’ll be on my own, but exciting that I’m leaving my safety net behind. Besides, I’ll have a place where I can be free to express myself!

What I’m looking forward to the most is my privacy, a place where I can read and write to my heart’s content. I haven’t allowed myself the opportunities to just sit down to read, or to write, like I want. There’s always something to distract me at the moment. Plus, I’ll be saving about an hour and a half on my commute to work!

I’ll probably wait a bit to move all of Stefani’s things into the apartment. I’m sure my parents will want to come by and nose around the place, open all the closets and cabinets to satisfy their curiosity. Once they leave, I’ll drive down the street to my friend’s place, pack all my things there, and haul them to my place.

It’ll be a nice assimilation of both of my genders, the male and the female. I won’t have to go anywhere to be either. I can express myself as I choose, whenever I choose. I can’t wait for that.

For now I need to get off. I have some more packing to do. Maybe my family will be back soon, and they can help me move my things over, especially the larger things that won’t fit into my car. For now, goodnight!

 

Step two – Lease is signed!

20160723_220725I signed my lease! For the first time in ages, I will have a place all to myself. There are a few things I need to do in the coming days, get renter’s insurance, put the utilities in my name, but the biggest hurdle has been crossed. I have an apartment, and I will be living alone!

I will move in on Tuesday, after I get off of work. I’ll hand over my deposit and pro rated rent for March, they’ll hand me the keys, and I’ll start the laborious process of moving my belongings from the house where I’m currently living, up an hour to Amarillo, then trudging up the flight of stairs to the apartment.

The good thing is that I don’t really have to move everything all at once. I’ll start with my necessities first. I’m already buying things that I need, towels, cleaning supplies, that sort of things. I’m also buying a few kitchen things that I can use until I have time to drive to my friend’s house to get the bulk of my belongings, namely my bed, dishes, and the rest of my books.

I’m going to clue you in on something; I’m terrified. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to pay rent of utilities. I’ve done it before, so I know I’ll get it again, but in the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how to budget for it. I know I’m stressing out over nothing, but it’s still a big step, especially since the last time I was on my own was before I got married over ten years ago!

That’s okay. I’m about to look into buying furniture. I want to buy new things, especially my sofa and love seat. I found a set that’s reasonably priced. I’ll probably see about buying a dresser on the cheap, at least for the time being. I’m also going to see about building a few things, too. I need shelves to put my books in, and I suppose I need a desk to write at. I’ll just have to buy a dining set. I wonder where I can get one at a reasonable price. Hmm….

There’s a lot to do, and it’s getting expensive quickly! I need to take a deep breath, relax, and accept that I can’t just do it all at once. I’ll be fine. I can do this. I just need money. Lots of it!

Of course, things opens things up for me. Like I’ve stated before, this gives me the freedom to explore the identity, away from prying, judgmental eyes. I’ll be able to go out whenever I please. I’ll also have my clothes and make up with me at all times. So, I can do this. This is what I wanted, after all. Only three more days until move in day.

Step one

20160916_194724.jpgTomorrow I have an appointment with two different apartment complexes, both in Amarillo. I’m super stoked about it. I’m also a little anxious, nervous, and terrified. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve lived by myself. Getting set up again is a little overwhelming. I have to completely rebuild.

Saying all of that, I’m ready to rebuild. I’m ready to get my life situated so that I can be independent again. I’ve relied on family longer than I had intended. I have a natural resistance to change. Complacency is one of my characteristics that I generally despise in myself. I settle for the status quo until something forces me to change.

That’s not entirely true in this case. For the most part, I enjoy the company of my family. It’s familiar, it’s cozy, and there’s a sense of family that I lacked for years, even during my marriage. All the same, there’s a sense of freedom that I’m lacking. That’s my primary motivation. The commute to and from work is secondary.

I’m looking forward to having my own sanctuary. I’m looking forward to having a place where I can be Stef whenever I want. I really want a place where I can have my things with me. At the moment, Stefani’s things are at a friend’s apartment, and I have to limit what I have. Living alone, I’ll be free to buy clothes, makeup, shoes, and other things to my heart’s content.

This is going a little faster than I had intended, but I’m fine with it. If I’m lucky, I’ll have a place by the end of the week. I’m not holding my breath, but I am hopeful. The the process of furnishing my own place will begin. That’ll be fun.

Moving out and moving on

img_20161129_182453Since my divorce, I’ve been living with family. At first, it was a necessity since I lost my job soon after the divorce was finalized, and living with friends was becoming a drain on the friendship. It also afforded me time to heal, in the company of those who would allow me to grieve. It was truly a blessing.

In that time, I went back to college and earned my degree, found a job, but I’ve remained here, unwilling to strike out on my own. Now, I’m starting to feel a little antsy, as though I’m ready for a change.

Well, I’ve been ready for some time. Change is long overdue. While living here has been a luxury, for some time it has been holding me back. I don’t have the freedoms I need in order to move on with my life. It’s hard to look for romantic attachments living with family. I need to support myself. It’s important for my own self-esteem.

What’s more, I would like a my own place where I can store my own things. All of Stefani’s clothes and make-up are at a friend’s place. It’s not very convenient for me. It doesn’t afford me many opportunities to be myself. It kind of sucks.

So I’m about to look for an apartment, in Amarillo, for now. Part of the hesitation to this point has been that I didn’t want to move to Amarillo. I wanted to find a place outside of Dallas. For now, however, I will settle on a place closer to home, as it were, in order to get used to being on my own again. It’s been over ten years since I’ve lived by myself, what with being married, then losing everything. It’s kind of a big, scary step.

But I think I’m ready. I’m trying to psyche myself up. I can do this. I’m ready to do this. It’s time to move on.

From Georgia with love

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Ruby Falls, Chattanooga TN

I’m winding down the remaining hours of my vacation, laying in bed as my laundry is getting done, grateful that I got home safe, and a little annoyed that it didn’t go as I had hoped. My trip to Georgia began wonderfully, as I detailed in my last post, but that’s where it goes awry.

What happened is that I got sick. I’m talking about coughing until my lungs hurt, unable to breath, and spent three days stuck in my room trying to avoid getting others sick, and hoping not to get worse sick. It really, really sucked.

My first three days in Georgia were fun. On Saturday, we – and by that I mean me and Amy, the friend I rode with to Georgia, and the friends in whose home we were staying – went hiking at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. It’s a Civil War battlefield outside of Atlanta. We quickly toured the museum, where I could easily have spent all looking at the artifacts and reading up on the battle, before walking up the mountain. There’s no off trail hiking allowed, which is a shame, but they want to preserve the area for historical and archaeological reasons.

Sunday we went to an escape room. Not much to say about that except that we had an hour to try and escape, and we did so in thirty-one minutes. It was challenging, but I think we should have picked a harder room to escape from. It was fun.

Monday, we drove to Chattanooga and did three attractions, all on Lookout Mountain. We rode up the Incline Railway, did Rock Garden, and then saw Ruby Falls, which is a waterfall deep underground, in the heart of Lookout Mountain. We did a lot of walking on Monday, and by then, I was well on my way to being sick. I was hacking and coughing, and though I didn’t feel sick, I knew it was coming.

From Tuesday on, I sequestered myself in the room. I felt horrible. I did agree to go downstairs and watch Westworld, and I think I played a tabletop game called Munchkin on Thursday. It was a lot of fun, but I just wasn’t into it. I felt like death.

By Thursday, me and Amy decided to cancel the New Orleans portion of the trip. I didn’t have it in me to try and wander around New Orleans and try to join in the festivities of Mardi Gras. It bummed me out because I had planned on being Stef for those two days. As it turned out, I only got to dress up for my ride down to Georgia. It was a complete let down.

There’s  chance that we may decide to go to New Orleans some other time in a few months, but we have no imminent plans. I know I would love to go, but right now I’m trying to psych myself up to go back to work tomorrow morning. I really don’t want to go, but I need to. Eleven days is not enough down time, especially since I spent the last six of them coughing phlegm up. It’s been swell!

Martin from Garland Texas from The Straight Up Gay Podcast


Episode 8 of the Straight Up Gay Podcast is up. If you haven’t checked it out, please do so. It is an informative podcast, dealing with issues surrounding the LGBT community. Hosted by Major, the father of a gay teen, he seeks to raise awareness.

Where’s my phone?

20161223_182901My phone was stolen last Saturday. Gone, nowhere to be seen. There’s a moment of intense panic and dread when that happens. Partly it’s because of the cost of the damn device. Phones aren’t cheap, and I was actually leasing the phone from Sprint for a small monthly fee. In April, my lease would have been up, and I could have turned it in and gotten an upgrade. That was the plan. Alas, it was not meant to be.

So set aside that I had to pay $250 to buy the phone outright, and then an extra $90 to activate a new phone on a new lease, there’s the real issue. That was my phone! It was my property – though we all know it really wasn’t – and then there’s the reality of what I had on that phone. My music, books, and more importantly, my pictures.

Shit!

I made a habit of moving my pictures off the phone. It didn’t have enough memory to hold everything, so I moved it to my computer, but I still have photos I needed to move and then delete. Also, there were photos of me as Stefani. There were no risque pictures on my phone. The issue is that there are photos of my true self. Most people don’t know my true self. I’m afraid of being outed. Afraid but not as terrified as I once was.

So now I have a new phone, which is nice, but I was trying to save up a little bit of money for my upcoming trip to Georgia. I was hoping to buy a few outfits, maybe some shoes or some makeup. I wanted to look my best for my trip. Now I’ll be struggling just to afford to go. Damn my luck!

But my trip is still a go. My friend, who was planning on making the trip without me, is paying for all the gas, so it’s not like I’ll go broke on the trip. I just wanted to save some spending money. Also I’ll be helping with gas, regardless of what she says.

I’m sure I’ll post plenty of pictures during my trip on my Instagram and on Facebook. I know I’ll have a blast in Georgia, and a blast in New Orleans. My vacation starts on the 16th of February. I can’t wait.