The Thing About the Things

I begin way too many posts by LOUDLY declaring that, OMG, so much has changed. That’s kinda the nature of being trans. And of life. Things change. Sometimes big things. I should probably stop freaking the fuck out about it every time some new change finds me.

I’m sure that would be a calmer, more mature approach.

In unrelated news, OMG, so much has changed! Really just two things, but they’re both significant in weirdly different ways.

First, I got a makeover. Bestie and I went to Sephora, where I got the aforementioned makeover, as well as an introductory lesson to putting on makeup, myself.

And guys—literal guys—don’t you ever give a girl shit about how her makeup looks. It’s not easy to put that stuff on. The fact that all makeup-wearing women don’t look like deranged whores is a fucking miracle.

Now, I know what you ladies are thinking. You’re all, “Pfft, girl. Makeup is easy. I do it every day.”

And anything is easy with enough practice. It’s easy to walk a tightrope or juggle knives or spew abhorrent lies every day on Twitter—looking at you, Donald—if you practice enough. But when you’re just starting out, basic eyeshadow blending is some kind of black magic.

My first attempt on my own left me looking like a raccoon. With black eyes. And some kind of pigmentation-related fur problem. And I was going for a “subtle look.”

But I tried again, with some help from bestie, and it went better the second time. It’s going to come down to doing it over and over and over again until I’m somewhat competent, which I definitely want to be. My personal goal in the meantime is to have fun with it.

And here’s the thing about THAT thing. That should be easy—having fun with something as simple and (in some ways) silly as makeup. But I get so wrapped up in my own head. I worry about looking out of place, and I want my makeup to be (forgive me in advance for using this phrase) on-fucking-point.

Bestie says I should drop my guard. That I should learn to be okay with the fact that I’m headed into what will almost certainly be an awkward phase. That I should embrace it, frolic in it, even, instead of worrying about it.

Oh, but you know me. You know me so well. I’m worried … and working not to be.

I think maybe that’s where a lot of us live. Worried and working not to be. And most of my life I’ve told myself that means something is fundamentally out-of-wack inside me. You know, as if the natural way of things is to be at ease.

But I don’t think it is.

I think anxiety isn’t a curse so much as it is a challenge. Like, if you have to get to somewhere that’s a mile from where you are, there’s nothing to do but walk that mile. And if your feet hurt a little along the way or you get tired or thirsty, you keep walking.

That mile is anxiety.

And if you accept its crappy little annoyances you might find that the sky is especially blue or that the wind is at your back or even that you smell the faint but subtly sweet scent of rain in the distance. I know. That’s wildly poetic, but I mean every word.

Anxiety is a part of the journey for most of us. It affects some of us more than others, but maybe we shouldn’t wrestle with it. Maybe we should accept it and learn to look past it.

Maybe I should get over being afraid of looking like a … ahem … non-twenty-one year old who’s only just learning how to put on makeup. Maybe it’s okay that I’ll do some of it wrong. Maybe it’s better to let those mistakes happen and enjoy what I can along the way.

Holy fuck. That was a lot of adulting just now. Time for thing number two, which I assure you is way more frivolous.

So after the makeover, I took some selfies. I was happy with how I look with makeup and a wig (an entirely new sensation for me—to like how I look), and I decided to do something CA-RAZY. I updated my picture on this dating site I have a profile on. I even changed my “file me under” status to female.

And the funniest thing happened.

I started getting tons of likes. All from guys. All of whom identify as straight and say they’re looking for cis-women and who (I’d be willing to bet) didn’t read my profile and have NO CLUE I’m trans. There are just too many every damn day for me to believe there are that many guys in my town who secretly dig on trans chicks. Plus, I overtly state in my profile that I much prefer the company of female types.

It was a one-two punch of feminine experiences.

First makeup (along with the HEFTY price tag of buying my first batch) combined with the abrupt switch from being a “guy” on a dating site (meaning, no one ever messages you ever, not even if you send a very clever intro message … except on rare occasions, which usually go no where) to being a girl (which I most certainly am) on a dating site, which evidently means getting more daily pings than …

I don’t know. What’s something that gets pinged a lot? That. That ping-heavy thing. More pings than that.

Bestie says the upside is that I have “curve appeal.” (Because apparently she sees my natural habitat as a street corner. Thanks for that, bitch.) I suppose that’s good—that guys are swiping right based on my more femme look.

But it’s also one of those weird moments when you get something you definitely want (to be seen as female) and it comes with something less than ideal. Which is to say it’s like life.

AND, full circle—we’re adulting again. I’m so sorry. I’m not supposed to be this serious.

Here. Lemme fix it. Shit, fuck, damn.