Tag Archive | Life

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.

Advertisements

Get away

15800351_1871620909739954_751089145125419329_oJanuary is almost half over, and I haven’t even posted anything! What the hell is wrong with me?! Maybe I should be forgiven since I haven’t had anything to share. Frankly, I still have nothing to share. The best I have is that I’m still ticking. Yay me!

I haven’t had too much Stefani time lately. I feel that’s too often the case. Work is taking up so much time and energy, that all I want to do is go home and crawl into bed. Couple that with the drive to and from work, a two-hour round trip, the inability to dress up at home, and the limited places I have to go out, then you can see that dressing up is a bit difficult.

I did manage to go out for dinner about a week ago. Yes I, Stefani, went out in public, to a restaurant, and had dinner. Italian food, downtown Amarillo, at a place called Napoli’s. My friend came with me, and we had a quiet dinner. The staff was great, the food superb, but my nerves were still a little frayed. It’s not easy going out in town.

The good news is that I have a vacation coming up next month. Towards the end of February, my friend Amy and I are heading to Georgia to meet a couple of friends. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them personally yet, but Amy has. I was supposed to meet them back in 2011, but circumstances  conspired against me. Now, over five years later, I have that chance again.

They don’t know about Stefani, so I won’t dress up there, but we’re planning of taking a detour through New Orleans. I’ll probably spend the drive to New Orleans and back to DFW as Stefani. We’ll probably spend a night or two there. I plan to spend the whole time there as Stef.  I may dress up for the drive to Georgia as well and change before we get to our friends. Haven’t made up my mind.

It’s been growing on my mind that I need an adventure. This is my first opportunity in ages to venture out and do something new. As exciting as going out as Stef was at first, it’s not quite the same. I want to do more now. I want to spend days, even weeks as myself. I don’t want to hide it. Maybe a change is on the way.

I don’t know, but what I do know is that my soul needs some time to rest. I would like to find some peace in my life. I would like to find someone to love me, and more over, someone who might actually want me, and want to be with me. I want a soulmate, not a fleeting, vacuous moment.

I’m looking forward to next month. As great as my life has become as of late, I do need to get away, reevaluate my life, and where I want to go. I’m becoming aware just how short life truly is. I’m running out of time. The time is now.

2017 and Beyond

20160918_153238If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 40 years of life is that life sucks. I’ve also come to learn that life is a marvelous thing. It’s one or the other, or it’s both. Life is a matter of perspective, and sometimes it’s simply a matter of attitude.

2016 has been both, but my perspective has changed, and so has my attitude. I’m focusing more on the positive, letting go of the negative, and enjoying life all the more for it. I can’t point to a specific moment in time, a decision that changed my whole outlook on life. It was a gradual change, one decision impacting the next, each affecting my mindset until the world no longer seems so ugly. The world hasn’t changed. I have.

I’m happier than I have ever been, partly because I’ve accepted me for me. The one whose acceptance was the hardest to gain was my own, but it was the most important one to win. I learned to love myself, and part of that was due to my friends who have embraced me this past year. I have opened a piece of myself to them, and found them to not only be accepting, but also that they loved me all the more. I couldn’t believe it! I love you all!

So as one year comes to a close, and a new one begins, I want to state that I am at peace with myself, probably for the first time ever. I have gained myself this year, and that’s a gift that many deny themselves, mainly because of how much that costs. I’m still have a long road ahead of me, but the journey doesn’t seem so daunting now. Moreover, I have friends who will stick with me. I count myself as blessed.

My resolutions are simply to live my life more fully, to read and write more, to open myself to the possibility of finding love and companionship, to become a true participant in my own life. I will enjoy the company of my friends, I will share this side of me with more people, and I will embrace the ride, forgetting the ultimate destination, because that’s what life is, a ride.,

So, Happy New Year, and I hope you keep reading. I’ll keep writing. And, if you don’t mind me asking, if you life what you read, please subscribe and share with your friends.

Love,
~Stef~

Still about my hair.

20161209_215002

Sans wig. Looking rather blah.

I bought a new wig. Two of them, as a matter of fact. Should come in on Wednesday. I can’t wait! I want to wear them now! Chop chop!

My current wig has had it. It looks great in photos, but up close, it’s pretty ratty looking, especially in the back. No amount of conditioner or brushing is fixing the issue. I’m growing my hair out, but it’s not where I want it, yet. It’s getting there, but not yet. It’s so effing frustrating.

Gyahhh!

So for the time being, I bought a couple of wigs that should last me until my hair grows in. I’ve considering it for a few weeks now, but I had been hoping to last, but my last excursion into the world without made me change my mind.

As I’ve stated a few times before, I’m considering extensions as well, but I’m not there yet, either. Maybe I’m not ready to venture there quite yet. I don’t know, really. I should probably start to at least go looking at them, see how much they’re selling for, see if I want to pay that amount.

Thus far, I haven’t paid all that much for my wigs, which I’m sure has been part of my problem. If you go cheap, you’ll regret it, and I have. I’m going cheap once more, but I’m hoping for the last time. I’ll pony up a little more for extensions. Maybe. I’m such a tightwad when it comes to stuff. Then I’ll spend an ungodly amount buying something here and there, and end up spending more money that I had intended. Silly me.

So what advice do you have for me? Are extensions the way to go? Does anyone have any experience with them? My hair is getting pretty long, so maybe it isn’t a stretch to think about it. Let me know what you think!

Also, email me at tgstef@stefanilara.com

20161209_215409

Isn’t this better? ~Stef~

Last Friday Night

img_2016_12_16_22_24_34I think I’ve grown somewhat comfortable going out in public now. It’s a strange feeling, no doubt, to go out uninhibited. I’m still a little hesitant, scared of being recognized, worried about being attacked for being true to myself. This journey isn’t an easy on to undertake, and I’m not even transitioning! Mad respect to those who have taken that step.

For the time being, I’m content to live in this dual existence. It isn’t easy, but I’m not yet willing to make that drastic a change. I’ll confess that I have thought about it. I have wondered what it would be like to start hormones, feminize myself, and take on the physical characteristics of my gender. The male side of me just wants to play with my boobs. I think the female side of me does also. Is that normal?

Regardless, I spent a few evenings this past weekend getting dressed up. I dressed up Friday night, thinking I was going to stay in. I didn’t. I got dressed, and I took my friend to see the lights up in Bishop Hills. They were beautiful. I followed a parade of cars lining up to see the lights. It’s a nightly event in the wealthy area. I don’t know how they stand it!

We went back to her apartment, and around midnight a coworker invited me to join her at a bar. I hesitated, fearing the new place. I didn’t know what kind of place it was, and if it would tolerate a transgirl. Promising that she and her group would take care of me, I joined them. The place was a bust. My friend didn’t like it, so we left.

We made our way to another bar, and this place was jumping. It was packed, and there was a line out the door, waiting to go in. We waited a few minutes, but I didn’t like being exposed. As we walked away, my friend suggested a strip club. I said yes.

I don’t like strip clubs. I find them depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I like looking at the lovely ladies, but I sense a desperation in there. I went in despite my reservations,  a transgirl, in a strip club. I was immediately humped from behind by one of the girls. I wondered who was behind me. She was tall, thin, blonde, and utterly gorgeous. I enjoyed it a little too much.

We sat down, and I did what I usually do and people watched. I had a couple of beers, looked at the strippers, and the gentlemen vying for their attention. I conversed with my friends, but for the most part, I watched. Not my kind of environment, but it was an interesting night. I’m glad I went out!

As for yesterday, I didn’t mean to stay in town and dress up, but the weather was bitterly cold, and it had been snowing. I thought the roads might be clear, but I didn’t want to chance it. I stayed, dressed up again, but stayed in. I watched a documentary on NetFlix instead, For the Love of Spock, before watching an episode of a new show, The White Rabbit Project, featuring the former build team from Mythbusters.

Waking up this morning, I did not want to strip of my Stefani persona, but I had to. I wiped off what little make up I still had on, took of my nail polish, my shorts and long sleeve tshirt I wore to bed, and reemerged as my male counterpart. Ugh!

It’s such a joy to dress up, and I resent having to come back. There may come a time when I’ll have to confront the notion of transitioning head on, but it isn’t today. Honestly, I never would have thought I would have the courage to go out at all, especially where I live. I wonder what the future holds!

Thank God It’s Almost Over!

20161107_205203

In my hotel room in OKC, earlier in the month. ~Stef~

This has been a shitty month, it really has! I haven’t had a chance to relax all month. Basically Stefani has been put on hiatus for the duration of the month. I’m not at all happy about it. I’m glad this month is almost over.

It almost all revolves around my job. At the beginning of the month, I had a trip to Oklahoma City to make a presentation for a class. Basically, it’s a workshop for department supervisors who at least show the potential to be assistant managers. It’s a way to get ourselves seen by the district team.

That was on the 8th of this month. The following week, on the 17th, we had inventory. Now, all retailers go through the inventory process once a year. It’s to account for what we have in inventory, and to see how much we shrank. It determines a stores and company’s profits for the year. Needless to say, it’s a stressful time, and we worked long hours to prepare for it, up to the day before. We left at 1:30 in the morning, only to return at five, three and a half hours later, so work another full shift. We were allowed to leave at three that afternoon, when our part of the process was completed. I fell asleep until after six, then drove home, and slept until eight the next morning.

The following week, which would have been this past week, was all about getting ready for Black Friday. Fuck my life, lol. Two of the worst weeks in retail, back to back. There was no time to rest and recover. We went from one process to the next. Another round of long hours and fatigue, all for one day of shopping madness. The only good thing was that we did have Thanksgiving day off, so we all had a chance to recuperate slightly before the mayhem of the biggest shopping day of the year. Our sales reflected it, too. I’m glad for it. I would have hated to have suffered all that for nothing!

This coming week, I’ll end the month as I started, by going to Oklahoma City, this time to walk a store and evaluate how it’s doing. It’s part of our training, and we’ll have to do another presentation on our findings in our class. That means it’s another four hour drive to OKC, walk the store, and then the drive back. At least I get paid for the drive. I’m going to rent a car this time, the company pays for it, so why not?

Next month will be hectic, but maybe not as much. We have our Regional Vice President coming in for a walk, which will make our management team a waking nightmare for the next few weeks, then the week before Christmas, our TOM (Territory Operational Manager) will be in the store for three days. The last thing a store wants is to have a TOM digging in to the store’s operations. They only visit if somethings not right. Not good!

I’m hoping to have a chance for some Stefani time soon. I might carve out some time on Monday. I’ll still have to finish up NaNoWriMo. I’m on track to get my 50K words by the end of the month. On top of everything else, I committed myself to this madness, and I’m stubborn enough to muscle may way through. I’m almost done, the month is almost over, then I’ll collapse in a heap on the floor, and sleep until 2017.

Almost nightmare

20160918_1610191I accidentally sent all my pictures to everyone in my contact list. I was a virus I downloaded, I suppose, something that outed me to everyone I knew. It was a horrifying moment in my life, which thankfully, was nothing more than a bad dream. I very, very bad dream. Can you imagine? All my secrets, out for the world to see? Well, I suppose they are out here on this blog, and on my Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook, but who’s watching, right?

A lot of people, apparently, not that I’m all too concerned with it. I’m moving slowly towards full disclosure, but not quite yet. I’m not ready to let those I care about know about it, and while I care about most of my coworkers, ultimately they aren’t who I’m worried about, at least as far as Stefani is concerned. It’s my family whom I’m referring about.

I told my HR director about the dream, and she said it was probably telling me that it was time to tell my family. I looked at her, and with all due respect, I said, “Uh, no!” Very profound of me, I know, but really? My family?

I know, however, that she’s right. Don’t tell her I said that. It’s been growing on my mind lately, that soon I’ll have to fess up, tell them about Stefani. I may not introduce them to her for some time, if ever, but with the secret out, maybe I can find a little more peace in my soul. The duality of my existence is sometimes too much to bear.

 

And another one finds out

27

At Myriad Botanical Gardens. Forgive my crazy eyes, lol! ~Stef~

It seems like I’m being found out all too often lately. A few weeks ago, my ex-wife called me to tell me that my step-daughter saw my pictures on my ex-wife’s phone. Okay. No problem. Not what I wanted to happen, but she’s okay with it, and we can live with it. Then last Monday, a co-worker hinted that she found my Facebook profile and asked if that was me.

Yikes! I thought I was being more careful, but I also knew it was inevitable. I pulled out my cellphone, opened up my profile, and asked if that was what she found. She nodded excitedly before berating me for not telling her. She has two gay sons, after all. Not that being transgender and being gay are the same thing. Still, she had a million questions, which I tried to answer discreetly.

We tried to talk a little more on Friday, but again we couldn’t say much. Too many prying ears, so I said we should have lunch sometime to discuss my crossdressing even further. She did ask if I was gay. I am no. Bi? Well, not really, but I have fooled around a few times. Does that shock you, my readers? It freaked me out. I almost had a panic attack the following day after my first time.

But back to my co-worker. I wondered if she wanted to hook me up with her son. He’s currently in a relationship, so I doubt it, but what if? Is that what I want? I don’t think so. I mean to say that I’m attracted to women, but the thought of being with a guy no longer terrifies me. I’ve kissed one. I’ve given a few guys a blowjob – but not at the same time, mind you – and I enjoyed the experience. I’m keen to do it again.

But what about a real date? I wouldn’t mind going out on a movie date some time with a guy. Maybe go to a nice restaurant, or an art gallery, a musical, opera, etc. What I want are experiences. I’ve closeted myself for far too long, especially to myself, that I have no true idea of self. I’m only a reflection of who I think people want me to be. Isn’t that horrifying? The me that exists is merely a mask I wear to please those around me.

As I write this, I’m forced to conclude that I don’t know who I am. Which one of my identities is my true face and which one is the mask? Is it even fair to ask the question? Can’t both be part of my true self, different halves of the whole, man and woman made one in me? More importantly, can I have both a boyfriend and a girlfriend?

I read Alice in Genderland by Richard J. Novic, M.D., and he found himself in a marriage that allowed him the opportunity to live as Alice on the weekend, and as her was in a committed relationship with a man. I admit that I was fascinated and a little jealous when I read that. Isn’t that the fantasy I have, of having a wife and a boyfriend with their respective blessings?

I don’t know, but truth be told, I have to admit that it is. It feels like the moment of truth is circling ever closer. It’ll be soon that I’ll be outed at work, and what then? Some will be intrigued, some few maybe even excited, but I suspect most will be repulsed. I’ll become the laughingstock of my coworkers, the butt of their jokes. I’ll be mocked and made to feel less of myself.

I hope I’m wrong, of course. Sure, some will mock me for sure, but I pray that it would be as bad as I fear. Part of me just wants to be done with it, to let the world in on my secret. It would simplify so many things. I’ll no longer fear being discovered and outed to a hostile world. I’ll be able to just be me, and let the mask slip from my fingers.

I’m supposed to have lunch with my friend, hopefully this coming week. I believe she wants to go out with me as Stefani next weekend as well. I’m not committed to that, but I’m thinking about it. It would be nice to have more friends in my corner, should the worst happen.

Pride

20160625_201925Amarillo celebrated Panhandle Pride as part of LGBT Pride month last Saturday, June 26. Sadly I didn’t go. I had to work all day, and by the time I did get off, the festivities were over. It’s convenient for me in that I can say I would have loved to have gone, but would I really have gone if I had the chance?

Don’t misunderstand me, I would have loved to have gone as Stefani, and tried to interact with other transgender people like me. The issue would have been outing myself. You know the dilemma, I’m sure. Had it been in a larger city, I don’t think the issue would have been as great. The larger the city, the larger the crowd, the easier it would have been to get lost in the crowd. In Amarillo, I don’t think I would have blended in as easily. That, and my manager and a co-worker had a booth. It would have been awkward, at least for me.

I did see the pictures that were posted, and I part of me longs for that freedom. I envy people how have that strength to be true to themselves. It’s a strength of character that I seem to be missing, though at times it makes itself known, more and more as of late. I suppose being Stef is a journey, and it isn’t one that’s easy to make.

At the very least, I wish I could have gone to 212 to celebrate at the club, but of course I had to open the next morning. There’s always something in the way. I’ll try to get out and hit the club again soon. It’s the closest thing I have to being out as I can manage. There’s some sense of freedom in the act of going out as me. Maybe it’s a start.

My day not quite hiking

20160517_161634.jpg

Looking down onto the canyon floor. I love this place. 

20160517_162117

Enjoying the sun, or rather the cloud cover, at Palo Duro Canyon State Park . – Stefani Lara 2016

 

On Tuesday I did what I said I would never do in town, I went out as Stefani during the day. The sun was out, people were going about their business, and I had had enough of my self-imposed confinement and ventured out into the day, fully aware of the risk of being discovered by someone I know.

At that moment, I didn’t care. I knew I had to get out. It was off that day, and I hadn’t made it home the previous night, having stayed at my friend’s apartment where I store my things. The next morning, I debated whether or not to get dressed up, but I had no plans, and I was wanting to experiment a bit with my new eyeshadow palette, so I cleaned up, dressed, and nothing.

I hadn’t come prepared for a day in. I didn’t have a book, nor had I packed my laptop. There was absolutely nothing to do. Finally in desperation, I looked over at my friend and asked if she fancied a drive. Of course, she said yes, then was surprised that I meant at that moment instead of after dark, as had been my habit.

We drove from Amarillo down to Canyon. I used to be nervous driving around, even in the dead of night, but now the novelty has worn off. No one knows it’s me, nor do they care. They are too busy paying attention to what’s in front of them to pay attention to a another driver cruising the streets during the day. It’s absolutely freeing.

I drove to my Alma Mater, reminiscing about going to college, my first forays into crossdressing, and how far I had come from those days more than twenty years ago. I could never have gotten in my own car and cruised around back then. I could now, and it was okay.

Next we made our way to Palo Duro Canyon, paid the fare to go in, and continued to drive. I finally worked myself up to stop and step out of the car. I didn’t go prepared to hike, and I don’t think wearing heels and strolling the trails is advisable, so I contented myself  to taking a few pictures and enjoying to brisk, drizzly day.

We stayed down in the canyon for over an hour, wishing we had had the foresight to at least bring something to snack on at the picnic tables. Finally we wound our way back up the canyon walls, stopping a few more times for me to take more pictures, and drove back to her apartment, relishing my time in the sun.

It wasn’t some grand adventure, to be sure, but I stepped out during the day, and I survived. I enjoyed myself tremendously. The fear I felt even as recently as a month ago, has begun to lessen with each subsequent outing. I have become emboldened with each successive trip, waiting excitedly for my next foray outdoors.

Check out the rest of my pictures on Flickr!