Wednesday, September 05, 2007

going soft

Mmm, it has been a while, hasn't it? Not so much to report. I haven't been working out, so I've lost all those lovely muscles I had for a few weeks in the middle of summer. Since being on testosterone, I've felt worse about myself when I don't work out; I feel much more keenly the wasted potential, the possibilities of fitness that I could achieve with T's help. I have more muscles now than I ever did before T, even in brief periods of dedicated working out. It seems an actual shame not to work out these days, given the guaranteed results.

I often think my aversion to working out stems not just from laziness, but also from disappointment that I don't lead a more necessarily active life. I feel a little foolish with my dumbbells and yoga mat and swiss ball, sweating on the floor of my bedroom for no real purpose besides vanity and shoring up my self image. I mean, smooth muscles and improved cardiovascular health isn't NO purpose, but it seems there's so much actual work to be done in the world that it's downright wasteful to burn energy on the Sisyphean, essentially meaningless motions of working out. I don't feel like I have much opportunity in my life for meaningful labor, though- not a lot of ground to plow in Manhattan.

Sometimes I like the softness of my edges, since it's a definitive break from the traditional masculine-muscles connection that seems like it could be easy to get sucked into. And indeed, I am sucked into it, because I liked the few weeks I spent feeling buff. Perhaps one of these days I'll get re-inspired and start small again with the pushups before breakfast, and build from there. It does feel good to see my shoulders bunching and broadening in the mirror, and presumably someday I'll be in a place where there's space or opportunity enough for me to engage in less selfserving exercise.

I've been growing my hair out a bit- I never had long hair when I was living as a girl, beyond a brief experiment in 8th/9th grade that saw my hair get just to my shoulders before my burgeoning babydykehood demanded I shave it off. As a kid, I varied between a vaguely pixie-ish shag and a downright butch boy style. Now I think I'm ready to try the shaggy dude look, which out to go well with the rest of me, which continues to get shaggier by the week.

My chest hair is shading in slowly but inexorably, and my belly hair is creeping up to meet it. I know it's not given to a man to choose his body hair patterns, and I'm nothing but pleased with what I've developed thus far, but every once in a while I'll see a guy at the beach with furry back and shoulders and I'll send up a silent plea: keep the hair on the front, please!

I'm still waiting for my facial hair to creep far enough up my face for my beard to connect with my moustache and be worth growing out again. I figure I'll give it a shot in November- that'll be 4 months since my last attempt, and give me a solid 7 or 8 weeks to try to grow something respectable before heading home for Christmas- enough time to determine whether my efforts will look nice, or if I'll need to bust out the razor to look nice for the family photos during the holidays.

I had a small epiphany a short while ago, and resolved that I should stop comparing my facial hair to the men I socialize with, who are generally in their early twenties, because it's inevitably a bummer. I need to remember that, endocrinologically speaking, my peers are the high schoolers/young undergrads, and when I look around at the patchy/scruffy chins I see on them, I feel much better about myself.

I've been thinking a lot about my future these days, and where I'm going next- I'm starting to feel ready for the 'next step' in my life, whatever it might be. A bit odd to remember that I'll have a lot of decisions to make around disclosure of my trans status, whenever I do start the new job or new school or whatever new step I find next. It's something that still hasn't come up that often, since I don't have that many people in my life whom I've known for fewer than two years whom I didn't meet in an explicitly transmasculine context.

Mostly the issue has come up in deciding what to tell my partner's friends, whom I'm gradually meeting. I mostly prefer to be Rochelle's queer boyfriend rather than her trans boyfriend, unless the topic comes up in a relevant way. I think of it as good practice for helping me to understand the contexts in which I want my trans experiences/history to be relevant or open, and in which realms I prefer to keep quiet.

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