8am - Charleston, SC:
There was a time when I fell into the trap that long hair is a necessary feminine cue. It, in itself, didn't necessarily convey a message of feminity but that cue along with others was an important "definition". My earliest wigs were long, when I first tried to transition and didn't feel my hair was sufficiently long enough I got hair extensions, and the end result was more about being overwhelmed by my hair than feeling "feminine" about it.
Five or six years into my transition I had most of my hair cut off, and up until fairly recently (the last couple of years) I found that shorter hairstyles flattered facial features that I like about myself. But the beauty of having hair is that you can grow it and you can cut it depending on your needs or your moods.
Well, yesterday I was in one of those "moods". My hair is typically up off my neck - either in a pony tail or in a clip. When it's down there isn't all that much "style" to it (as in, layers). So, after a full day of "stuff" yesterday I went to a salon and showed them a picture I've had on my laptop for a while of a medium layered bob. I asked if they could do it, and if they thought it would look nice. They said they could, and that it would, and so they did.
Waking up the second day after having 3 or more inches of hair cut is when the buyers remorse kicks in. That's when the euphoria of a different hairstyle wears off, and you say to yourself "what the hell have I done??!" Thankfully, I didn't have one of those moments this morning. I'm happy and comfortable with my hair right now. It just makes sense for me.
So, as I type this I'm in Charleston. I got up early yesterday and drove here to take care of some things....pick up my mail, get some things I need from my storage unit here, run some errands. But I also took an equal amount of time to just enjoy it here. I went to the beach for a long walk, and to watch sunset. I went to one of my favorite local restaurants for a nice dinner. I stopped to see some friends. I went for a good 3-mile run. And I treated myself to a late-evening gelato and a walk downtown. I still love it here.
I'm coming to peace with a concept I know and accept in other aspects of my life, but somehow seems to have gotten lost in this whole "roots" thing. I don't find everything I need from other people in any one person, so I have a number of people in my life who help me by filling different "roles". Some of my dearest friends are shitty communicators, and I need people I can talk with and share with, so I've come to NOT expect that from them as they either can't or won't do it. The same is for other intimacies...there's no one person.
Would it be nice if there WERE that one person? Perhaps. And maybe one day there will be. But I find it's easy to bypass others who aren't that one person in the fruitless pursuit of everything-or-nothing.
So, too, is it with "roots". Part of the goal this weekend was to experiment with what it's like to drive the 4 hrs. from there to here. In a way, it's the best of both worlds. And as I type this over breakfast my sense is that it's something I'd like to do. It's not necessarily here OR there. In my mind, it's here AND there. Each addresses different needs, and I'm not unhappy sharing worlds at least for a while.
It was a good week at work. I had my laptop by Wednesday and I'm becoming productive quickly. It's a very "chill" place....people wear shorts and sneakers and flip-flops pretty much every day. It's not business casual...it's just casual. It's all part of the culture.
To show how unique it is, I've mentioned before the "food" culture there. Well, there's also a "fitness" culture there as well. Next to the elevator there's a sign encouraging people to take the stairs by displaying how many calories you burn. It multiplies it out by 3 trips up and down over the course of a day, so in a year you'd burn 17,000 calories (or some crazy number like that).
There are treadmills on each floor, with big desks attached, so people can walk on the treadmill while doing their work. Honest to God - I've never seen anything quite like it.
Anyways..this unique corporate culture suits me well. Week two begins tomorrow. Today I've got a few things to do here, I'm heading to Myrtle Beach, then I'll turn west for the 3-hr drive back to my little hotel room. It's certainly not the life I hope to be living 3 months from now but for the mo ent...it just works. I'm fairly content, and after all the craziness and uncertainty of the past few weeks that's a minor miracle in and of itself.
9:30pm - Raleigh NC:
Well, the day is nearly done. I've had my obligatory margarita, and a couple of cookies from my Trader Joe stash. I'm pooped.
My world is significantly more cramped right now. That is, I brought a lot of stuff back with me in the truck and it's all up here in my hotel room at the moment. It took me four or five trips with the luggage cart to bring it all in. So, the packing and the driving and the in-between stuff....all makes for a pooped Donna.
I got a lot done over the past couple of days. Some of it was stuff I needed to do, and other stuff was simply enjoyment to balance it out. There was over 500 miles of driving in there, too, but the weather for these last two days was simply incredible so it wasn't that big a deal. The driving was actually some of the most relaxing part of the weekend!
I have an 8am meeting tomorrow morning. Most of the time if someone schedules me for an 8am meeting on Monday morning I'm going to let them know it's not cool. But for this new kid on the block....I'll save the histrionics and just show up. I don't have much to add at this point, but I've got a vendor onsite this week so we need to make the most of the time.
Still at the top of my list To-Do - find a place here in Raleigh. I've sent a dozen or more notes and visited a couple of the homes. One I didn't go it. The other....not really sure how I feel about it as it's kinda far from where I want/need to be. So, that process continues.
One thing this weekend provided was a sense of what life can be like spending my weekdays in Raleigh and my weekend in Charleston. One weekend does not balance make, but so far so good.