The Actor 

Years ago there was a child actor who played a character that turned out to be likeable and fairly popular.  Being young and a little insecure, this actor had the thought that the character was more popular than the actor was capable of being, so the child stayed in character whenever around any other person.  The character and the actor soon became indistinguishable from each other to everyone except the actor.  

The character served the actor well.  With no one to write a script, life experiences molded how the actor played the character.  The lines between actor and character even blurred in the actor’s own mind sometimes.  At other times, though, it was quite clear to the actor that there was a difference between actor and character.  At these times, the actor longed to show the world who the actor really was, no matter the reaction.  Those feelings would fade and the actor continued to live as the character.  Every decision, every move and every word in front of others was filtered.  Here is what I would say or do, but what would my character do?  The actor then modified all behavior to conform to the character’s nature.  Applying this filter and guarding behaviours became normal for the actor from a young age right up to mid life.

At this time though, the actor realized just how alone she was.  Everyone knew the character, but no one knew her.  The actor realized that by putting on this character to protect herself, she had indeed kept out some of the coldness and harshness of the world, but the character also insulated her from warmth and goodness. It was time for her to shed the character, quit acting and live as herself. It was an odd sensation at first.  She felt naked and exposed without this covering she had worn for years.  It took effort to not automatically use the filter.  It did become freeing as well. What she found was that yes, some people disapproved of who she is, but that was far outweighed by the warmth other people showed and the happiness it brought her to be herself.

It has only been a couple of months now since she shed this character for good.  Parts of that character is already starting to fade from her mind, though.  Every now and then she catches herself thinking like the character and realizes now how uncomfortable she was in that role. The character definetely helped shape the person she grew to be, but the person she is today is the person that has always been there, mostly hidden at times by the mask of the character.

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Changing World (Fiction)

Picking out the perfect person online is difficult.  Looking through all these profiles to find the right match and then left to wonder if I will be their perfect match, too.  I have already looked at the ones who thought I was their match, and ruled them all out for various reasons.  At least these profiles don’t complicate things with any insight into their personalities.  After all, its just their body I am interested in.

Sometimes I get nostalgic for the old days that I never knew.  Sure, the methods and outcomes may have been cruder back then, but maybe it was easier.  Judging from the stories of prejudice and discrimination in the history books, it wasn’t easier.  It is hard to believe now that those things actually went on, though.  Time and distance seems to have a way of romanticising.  Even wars can seem noble and romantic instead of gory and tragic, given enough time.

Enough daydreaming, back to the task at hand.  The database of profiles seems endless, but of course it’s not.  Once I narrow it down by geography, sex and age, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

This technique was perfected a few years ago.  The usual controversy accompanied it, but with the appropriate regulations, it is fairly standard in many countries now.  It was such a simple idea, match male bodies with female bodies, what could be easier.  Now anyone can register in the database in the hopes of finding a match.  Then they simply take your essence and swap it with the other persons.

Ok, not so simple.  I still don’t understand all of the mechanics of it..  Basically though, all of your thoughts, memories, brain patterns, everything that makes you who you are, except the physical body, is downloaded and put into the empty body of someone else.  Formerly someone else, technically.  

Some were worried that criminals would use it to escape justice.  Maybe rich people could use it to escape old age or disease.  That’s what the regulations are for.  All changes are between similar ages and health levels.  All of your old records go with the new body and fingerprints.  

So here I am, looking.  Back in the old days I would have been researching surgeons, I suppose.  That was how they used to do it.  Nowadays, if your sex and gender don’t match, you find your perfect other sex match online.  Only people wanting to switch can register.  After everything is settled, thirty-six hours at the clinic is all the change takes.  You both walk out in bodies you are more comfortable with.

Here’sone that could be a great match.  I will let them know I am interested, maybe I will get a positive response this time.

Shopping is Supposed to be Fun

Overall, it was a good weekend. I didn’t have to go to work.  I did spend about a half hour Sunday working at home, but that was really no big deal.

I was really excited about my Saturday.  I had an eye exam scheduled first thing, then planned to shop the rest of the day.  I was super excited to start my fall//work wardrobe.  I am getting quite anxious to present as female full time.  It bothers me when I pull out my old clothes to wear.  I don’t care about those clothes anymore and want rid of them.  As a result, I wear the same thing over and over and it probably shows that I don’t care about my clothes.  

The eye exam went great.  Perfectly healthy eyes and a new prescription for lenses that will make work and reading much easier.  Armed with this new prescription, it was time to pick out frames.  The young man who was to help me with this task asked if I wanted to change it up a bit and try a new look.  What an understatement! I said yes, I want feminine frames.  He was taken back a little, but was polite.  He asked me why, in a very respectful way.  After he was clear about it all, we had a great time picking out the new frames.  He was very kind and helpful and even helped me save more money.

After that, I couldn’t wait to shop.  My first stop was to be a great consignment store that has been super helpful in the past.  After a half hour train ride to the suburbs, I walked into the shop.  The clerk was with another customer across the store.  She asked if she could help me, and I told her I would just browse.  She informed me in a loud voice that they only had women’s clothes.  A few other customers looked up at this, and I simply replied, I know.  She then said, in a sarcastic tone, no men’s clothes.  More people looking at us. I said ok and walked out.  I was pissed and disappointed and totally out of the shopping mood.  Why should she care what I wear? Why would she choose to address me loudly in front of everyone else?  

After writing bad reviews of the store, the owner contacted me.  The ownership changed this past month and maybe that explains the change in attitude. 

The rest of the weekend was great, though. A whole nine hours of sleep Saturday night and shopping on Sunday.  I still was a little leary of shopping.  I didn’t buy anything, but went out looking.  I think I had to convince myself that Saturday was an isolated incident and not the norm.

Transitions

No, it’s not a typo, I have realized that my transition is plural.  I think bra shopping helped me realize this.

Last weekend I went to a lingerie store and bought a bra that actually fits well.  The big thing about that was just going into the store and explaining what I needed.  At the time, it really wasn’t a big deal, but that is what makes it such a big deal.  Four or five months ago, I wouldn’t have gone into the store, and if I had, there is no way I could have asked for what I needed.

When I realized that, I thought about why.  The store staff is probably no different, I wouldn’t know but I can assume I would have had the same service.  It is entirely me that has changed.  In the last several months I have gone through a very important transition.  This one wasn’t physical, but the transition I have been focused on couldn’t happen without this one.

Months ago, I was ashamed of who I am.  That had been the case for years.  I wouldn’t have gone into the lingerie store because I would think the staff and other patrons would be just as ashamed of me as I was of myself.  

With a lot of help, some pretty scary moments, and paying attention to myself, I see that my shame was not earned or warranted.  I spent years not doing things I wanted to do or being who I am because I felt I was wrong somehow.  I really did build a prison for myself and made sure I stayed locked in it. Transitioning from that to where I am today has been freeing. No wonder I feel lighter now.  I figured everyone would feel the same about me as I felt about myself if they knew.  I never gave them or myself a chance. 

I am so happy I took the leap and made that transition.  In a way, that was a bigger change than the physical will be.  It was definitely more personal, it is not something anyone else can really see.  Maybe they can see some indications, but not really the magnitude of this change.  

One transition down (even though there is probably still to do), I wonder how many I have left to go through?