Sunday, March 04, 2007

stubble + introspection

Thinking a lot lately, but not writing. I don't particularly want to cast the self-fulfilling prophecy that testosterone makes me less communicative, but it's certainly something that I've noticed and am wrestling with. Important for me to remember and acknowledge that hormones rae powerful agents, and that mind/body don't have as strong a disconnect as I'd like to think. Throwing out the first thing that comes to mind when I ask myself what kind of cognitive/emotional effects testosterone has had on me, I'd say that it's an intensifier and a wall. A lot of my feelings are more intense and immediate- they appear quicker, they are harder to ignore, they demand more of my attention. I notice it mostly with feelings like frustration and irritation- things I've always felt, of course, but which feel harder to control now. At the same time, though things feel sharper and harder to sweep under some inner rug, it also feels hard to bring things forward, like I just can't find the opportunity or the words. Which ties into my other jumble of thoughts, which is that I'm finding it difficult lately to articulate myself and to concentrate on specific tasks. My attention span isn't what I'd like it to be, nor is my ability to articulate myself.

I wonder if part of it is something I've heard other transguys talk about, a feeling that has come as they move through transition, of pulling in, feeling private, shutting down. I think I'm less interested in exposing and analyzing my every idea and impulse and inclination. For a long time, I was looking ahead and planning, and wondering how to bring about some enormous changes. Then I was real busy actually bringing about those changes. Now...stting with these changes. Wondering if there are more coming- I feel less in control than I have for a while. I guess there's only so much time I can spend at the helm of my own puberty.
In other news, I've been growing out my facial hair, just for the hell of it. Shaving just my neck for the past week has left me with, honestly, a jawful of more (and more even) stubble than I was expecting, but it still looks juvenile to me. I like the feel of it scruffy against my fingertips when I'm idle, and I like the multitude of colors I can pick out- I think it's going to be a complex reddish blondish brown when it finally comes in. Not sure how long I'm going to leave it, or if I'm just going to cut it down to some sideburns soon- it's clear that I've got the strongest growth there. Here's a gratuitous picture.

A couple of funny moments lately with folks who have no idea of my trans experience. Going to a campout and being assigned accidentally into the female bunkhouse with Rochelle, it was an easy, laughable joke. The organizers quickly transfered us to the co-ed bunkhouse, and for the rest of the weekeend it was "Hey Eli, how's life in the girl's bunkhouse? Ha ha!" Funny how easy it is to joke aout something that would've been uncomfortable and painful if it'd happened a few months ago, when people regularly mistook me for a girl and there was often an uncertainty and an unease about my ambguity. I don't want the answer to be "and now nobody suspects that I'm of trans experience, so I can kick back and rest easy" both because it's not necessarily easy and also because I wish I'd had more allies then and I want to be an ally now. But being an ally doesn't have to mean being uncomfortable all the time, and it's damned good not to feel like that anymore.

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