Berek Halfhand, a half elven ranger from a First Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I drew it when I was 15, so that would make this 1986. Sadly the art pad got pretty damaged and I couldn’t do much to save it (well I guess there is always photoshop).
I started drawing just like everyone else in elementary school or earlier. I was always in awe of a childhood friend in school who could draw so realistically (it would still be a childlike drawing as an adult, but as a kid it was steps ahead of the rest of us).
I didn’t start really drawing until I hit my teenage years though (13+). Gaming images always stoked that fire. I know I have drawn dozens of fantasy cityscapes, castle views and characters. I also know they were not very good in comparison to others but that didn’t bother me at the time.
One problem though was we were so poor that we could only afford a single artpad I had for years. I was always terrified to use up pages, which I still did slowly up until I was 20 or so. Sadly the pad didn’t survive some of our moves and I only have a few pictures, mostly half done sketches (which still will go up). Here is the oldest one to date.
I have never been afraid of dying, and I would actually say I have been (and sometimes even now) am more afraid of living. There is a whole slew of reasons for it (toxic masculinity, fucked up upbringing, and a ton of others that probably includes the trans thing). However, the one thing I always hated about the idea of dying was that all the stories in my head wouldn’t be able to get out and that so many stories I hadn’t even spoken to others about would die.
When I was young I would draw, write, and run roleplaying games. As I hit late teen/early twenties the writing and drawing slowed down to a crawl and then mostly disappeared. The roleplaying games I run are the only way I have consistently been able to express my creativity (plus it is a great socializing thing). So roleplaying games (including larping) were my only outlet for everything I wanted to tell the world.
Instead I focused the rest of my life on school, work, etc and I thought I wanted to make more money, get myself out of poverty and take care of my family. I did do a lot of that. We took care of my parents, got the hubby’s health back online and transitioned, but I found I am not happy. I miss the creative side. I can buy stuff, but it isn’t what interests me.
So I decided I am going to forego pursing my CPA. I already hate 9-5 work. I make enough now with my degree that even though I am going to be paying forever on my loans, I can get by. Instead I want to get back into art.
I want to start drawing/creating images again, so I have a few digital art programs I am learning. I have an art pad with paper and an ipad if I want to use a pen like item, and I have started to write again. I even now track my roleplaying games in in-depth websites supporting all the content so I can go back later and tell the stories on paper/in images that we told around the tables.
That means I am going to be posting my old artwork. I am aware a lot of it is not good. I am also aware though that I have to be able to let it be public. That shyness about it is one of the reasons I stopped twenty+ years ago. I need to be ok with people to see my creative stuff. I won’t get better if I can’t accept what I did before (both good and bad). This means you will get a lot of my old stuff and I will add the new as I create it. After all, that is the goal of what is in my head isn’t it?
What I want to do is unload as many of the stories in my head into the world before I shuffle off this mortal coil.
Camp Horizon is located in Birch Bay Washington (the site of an old Air Force Station) that provides recreational facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities. I was fortunate enough for two, one week sessions, to be an assistant counselor. It is something that has stayed with me for my life, or at least the last 30 years since I did it (1988). I ended up going up to Birch Bay in summer of 2017, and while I was there I decided to go back to the camp and take some photos. In addition I do have a couple of photos from that time.
Funny enough, I had lived in Birch Bay in the fall/winter of 1987 at the age of 15/16 and I never knew this place existed. Then we moved to Bellingham that spring. There I attended Bellingham High School. When I was at the high school, I somehow got in contact with a nice young man named Russ Nelson. He was the stage/videographer for the high school. To this day I can’t remember how he got me interested, but he talked about Camp Horizon and I should volunteer as an assistant counselor.
This was a new thing for me. I had just gotten done being homeless for a year+ and then living in Birch Bay (once again I didn’t know this place existed). I thought this wouldn’t be bad to start with on my resume. I believe it paid $50 for the first week and if I went the second week it went up to $75 (although I could be off a bit). So I agreed to it. Russ was kind enough to drive me to the camp (which was about 30 miles from my home).
I got to the camp, met several other assistant counselors (and a couple of college aged counselors) and began my short lived career as a camp counselor. We were there for five days each session I believe and our days consisted of bunking in the dorms, getting up, running classes, movies, gym activities, and most importantly just being there for the campers.
It was the first time I worked with people more disadvantaged than me and I loved it completely. I will be honest though, it probably helped that I had regular meals, recreational activities and no drunk parents (they were in a bad place at this time). To this day I still remember Dayleen (I am sure I did not spell that right). A young girl who was deaf, with some developmental disabilities and I believe cerebral palsy. It is because of her that I learned my numbers and letters in American Sign Language, along with the way to say “Cookie Monster” and a couple of other phrases.
My three strongest memories were waking up and hearing “I wanna dance with someone” by Whitney Houston, going downstairs and meeting up with Dayleen. I don’t remember exactly what we were working on, I just remember her being so excited about us playing and her signing “Lucky” or some variation of it when she saw me. Sadly I had a picture of her but once we started moving a lot as an older teen, it disappeared in one of our many homeless moments.
My second strongest memory was wrapping up my first session and feeling incredibly sad that it was over. It was followed up with getting home and my parents were on a run. There was loud arguments, loud music and much drinking by several people. I just remember wishing I was still at camp.
My third memory was Melody (I think her name was Melody, not Meloney, but I could be wrong). She was one of my many unrequited loves. I was very quiet as a teenager at this time, and I never figured out how to ask her out, or do pretty much anything. However, my favorite memory with her was laying under a tree, next to her and talking for a long time (probably longer than I should have since I was after all a counselor).
The two sessions went by very quickly and before I knew it I went home and collected my check for the two weeks. I believe I bought my parents an anniversary present and my brother a birthday present with it, never spent a dime on myself (I think the remaining went to house bills). I never was able to go back the following year. This was because by that time I was working full time and supporting my family.
Fast forward to summer of 2017 and we went up to Birch bay and stopped by the camp. Surprisingly there were people readying the camp for this summer and we talked with them. They are up to 6 or 7 weeks a year of sessions and they have been constantly updating the place. They were kind enough to let me take some pictures. So below is our gallery and it includes photos from my adventure and last weekend. I know we had other photos, if I find them I will add them.
I have never cared about my shoes, or honestly about any of my clothing. For years my spouse has struggled to buy me cool things and I would wear what he directed, but never cared at all. I hated the way I looked and that was that.
Since the transition that has changed, the further along I get, the more excited about clothing. This time its about shoes. Even when I got my Uggs I was ok with it (better than normal reaction) but I was still at beginning of my transition. However, last night the red converse my hubby sent me came and I was excited.
The weird part is now I want more clothing, more accessories (necklaces, bracelets, etc) and definitely more shoes. It is the first time in my life I was excited about clothing (except larping clothes, I always got excited by that).
Just thought I would share, I want a huge closet of clothes and shoes and I realize how stereotypical that is, but it is just the way it is.
I have been very quiet for awhile now. Mostly because I started my new job, and with the much longer commute I have been tired and overly anxious. Well now I can give some feedback on it.
The money thing hasn’t hit me yet (or reduction of), but my boss and coworkers have all been really cool. I am slowly presenting more feminine, and since my two supervisors I work with (as the third supervisor) they are incredibly kind about it. My boss is totally supportive and constantly tells me to wear what I want, and not care about anyone else.
I am still not ready to do that yet. I start up my laser hair removal again next Saturday, then some electrolysis for the hard to get rid of hairs after that. Once I don’t have to worry that within three hours of arriving having so much whisker that it would destroy any ability to not get dysphoric.
I have a ton of subjects to talk about, but once again I am fairly exhausted and even this was a lot of effort, so I will get back to you all as soon as I can. Thanks for everything.
I am starting a new job today (one that knows I am trans and seems to accept it) so last night was filled with hard dreams.
I woke up from a dream this morning, around 2am. It involved me starting a brand new job in an office. It was incredibly regimented, and people were always freaking out. A coworker who sat next to me at another desk was a large black man who reminded me of my previous boss I just left (except she was a she).
He looked over at me and told me that I would have to take breaks at 1130am every day, no exceptions and it is required. I laughed my ass off at him at first and told him that isn’t true. He continued to demand it and I told him I am not “working at fucking mcdonalds” and you aren’t going to regiment me on every little thing I do.
At some point I stood up, told him to fuck himself he wasn’t my boss and we would be stepping up to the next person line of authority. That is where I woke up.
I can tell that relates back to two different people. The first was my previous boss. She wasn’t flexible on my start/end times. It was a silly rule because I couldn’t cover anyone else’s position (I am the only auditor in a group of accountants) and they couldn’t cover mine.
It was the ONLY white collar job I have had since graduating going on 11 years ago that isn’t flexible on start/stop times. The advantage of auditing is there is no customer service, and as long as you are in at a core set of hours (many times 9-2, or 9-3) they don’t care if you come in earlier or stay later then that to make your full day.
She also wouldn’t let me work extra hours on some days to make up for medical appointments on the other. There was a whole ton of other small things, but those are the big one (and I agree not the worst in the world), but my Oppositional Defiance personality has a hard time.
The other boss is from the DoD. He told me to do things that were not what I considered ethical in testing on a DoD Contractor. He didn’t want to deal with the problems I was finding. I told him no, I am pursuing it and he really didn’t have the authority to stop me since that was my actual job.
He kept pushing and pushing and griping. Eventually I told him we could go talk to the station chief to clarify it if he wants. He talked big about we don’t need to bother him, I just needed to listen to the doofus supervisor (himself). I stood up, told him to fuck himself eventually, said we are going into the manager’s office and he could decide.
The shocked look on that person’s face was priceless. We eventually went in (stormed is probably a pretty good word) and I laid out what I had found. The supervisor all of a sudden started backing down in front of our big boss. Big boss agreed with me and that was that.
Now I realize it seems weird I can tell my supervisor no, but that is because I am an auditor. As an auditor I am responsible as a professional to not veer my audit on outside pressure, that includes my supervisor if I feel we are not following “due diligence”. That was what was happening, he didn’t want to find more problems and I told him you can’t just stop looking when you find problems.
There are a lot of other small things like this, but that is why I like auditing. I can pursue problems I see and have upper management usually back me (now, whether they support it because the contractor has lobbyists is a different story, but above my paygrade and not something that was my issue).
There you have it, an anxiety dream taking two different incidents from my last two jobs to make me anxious for my new one.
I have noticed a whole slew of things that are different now that I am finishing my sixth month on hormones. The first is salt, and the second thing is boobs.
I have never liked salt very much. For 47 years I never added to my food, never cared for it separately, nothing. I have a great sense of taste and the taste of salt never made it better, just made it saltier.
Now over the last few months my sense of taste has changed drastically. I cannot pin down if maybe my eatings habits have changed so much with the 80+lbs weight lost, that things taste differently, or if hormones are causing it, but now I absolutely crave salt all the time.
I am serious, you could give me a salt lick for a treat and I would call it good.
This is a fairly recent change (along with liking spicey things as well, but that is a separate post). Now I crave salt on everything. I couldn’t tell you why, it doesn’t make any logical sense, but either my eating habit change or hormones gave me a 180 turn on salt.
My second observation today is my boobs. Yes, I am actually growing boobs. I will definitely still need implants, however they are as large as an a cup for someone not as tall/broad as me. They poke out and the hubby has announced I will need to get a camisole. That does make me happy.
However the weirdest thing has happened. As an example I was walking around the corner and the hubby scared the bejesus out of me. I leapt back and grabbed my boobs. No joke, I almost shrieked, grabbed my boobs in alarm and watched as he erupted into laughter.
That has NEVER been my reaction. I am not even sure why I grabbed them and held them. I am finding now that I tend to hold them when I am thinking or unsure of something. Also, it isn’t a sexy hold them. There is no sensuality when I do that, I don’t even notice it half the time. It just seems more comfortable.
I feel especially bad because I knew a couple of girls that did that when I was younger and I gave them a hard time about it. I didn’t understand why that was their reaction… now I do it. Maybe it is something subconscious I picked up as a boy, but I also wonder if its partially because there is something new on my chest (in the non-moob type situation).
So there is that, I evidently crave salt, and hold my boobs when scared or uncomfortable… No idea why, but I guess it works for me.
If anyone has any idea what that is about I would love to hear about it.
Well yesterday I made the first step of shedding my old look.
Since the weight loss started in March I have dropped from 300+ lbs down to 217 today in September. I feel good, I think I look a lot better (but I do feel I am not done), and because of this I have a LOT of clothing that I can’t wear.
Most of the clothing is my boy clothing of course, especially my work clothes. I have a ton of clothing that is just hanging out in boxes and bags because it won’t fit me. Yesterday we decided to get rid of the clothing, and not to keep it any longer “just in case”.
We will be giving my boy clothing to my younger brother. He doesn’t have a lot of good clothes anyways and I like being able to help him with what I do have. Combined I am giving away
- 14 T-Shirts
- 1 brand new suit (bought in march)
- 5 belts that are way too long and can’t be cut down.
- 5 long shorts
- 2 gym shorts
- 7 polo shirts
- 4 casual office pants
- 3 jeans
- 8 dress shirts
- 4 dress pants
- 1 pair of fatigues
- 1 sports jacke
This leaves me with a few bits of boy work clothing that are much smaller size (from waist size 46+ to now a 36, same with the shirts in reduction.
The surprising part is now I have to get rid of all my initial girl clothing as well, and that is the clothing that made me feel a tinge of worry and maybe regret. None of the boy clothing did that.
Don’t get me wrong, it is great I went down from that size, but it is still a little sad. Also, I will probably have to shop in plus size most of the time anyways no matter how skinny I get, since I am 6’2″+ tall.
So next month when I go up and see my brother I get to give him a new wardrobe. Both the hubby and I figure even if I gained weight back, I won’t be wearing those types of clothes by the time it happens anyway.
I am still working on my new wardrobe. The hubby is busily buying things for me as he finds them, and we are both surprised at the sizing getting smaller as we go. He says it is the first time in our 26+ year relationship (26 years married on Halloween, then a couple years before that) that I seem to enjoy getting clothes. I think he is right.
Overall the experience of shifting out clothes is distorted by my body changing shape. I have some pictures of me just in underwear from March of 2018 (what I looked like under the suit) vs now in September. However I don’t think I am ready to see that up here yet, it really makes me dysphoric.
The funny part about this is I couldn’t name why I hated myself so much before I decided to transition, but I truly did, and I still struggle a little now. Although it is getting less, and I am starting to like what I look like better. That is probably a whole entry by itself, but not today.
So there it is, I am making my first full step in shedding my old self, by packing up forever my old clothing. It is scary, but also pretty exciting.