Order is coming to the managed chaos that all too often exists throughout my world. You'd think that I'd be totally moved in and unpacked after a few weeks in my new place. Well, you'd be wrong. I go home to Charleston on weekends. I'm taking a course on weekends, as well. Evenings lately have been spent attending team dinners at work, studying for a class I'm taking, or even - perish the thought - relaxing.
One thing I've been doing little by little is learning what's around here. Much to my delight I found a Chuy's yesterday. Chuy's is my favorite Texican food restaurant from back when I lived in Austin. I didn't realize that they had expanded this far east. Needless to say, I'll stop in there sometime soon. It's in a cluster of restaurants that include Maggiano's (already been there), CowFish (been there, too), Cheesecake Factory, and a number of other yummy offerings.
I've had teams here from around the country for the past two weeks. The upside is that it's nice to meet people who I've only heard before - most of our teams are scattered around the world so half of a typical day is spent on teleconferences. This has provided the opportunity to put a face to the voice. More than that, though, we've had a chance to go out and socialize a bit. It's nice to get to know people outside of the workplace setting.
I find I'm a very private person in these kinds of situations. I really don't go out of my way to be too social, and I certainly don't share all that much. Some would say that this is contrary to the "Be Out and Proud" mantra but the fact of the matter is that there are elements in my life that I like to keep private, and I choose to share mostly with those who have attained some deeper level of intimacy or trust with me. I don't feel as though I'm "hiding" anything. I don't think we've had political or religious discussions, either. Talk typically ranges to work, careers, spouses, family, weather, sports, hobbies, pets, where we've lived....not all that deep. Still, it's good to get past the exterior we all have at work.
I posted a recent selfie on Facebook recently. I'm not sure when I shared a recent photo of myself here - hopefully, it was a while ago. I'm of the opinion that if you routinely post more than 1 photo of yourself a month on FB there's something deeper going on but that's just me.
I sometimes look back at my old blog entries....like, back when I first started it in 2004 (link to Archive here). I enjoy looking back on these kinds of things, and I especially enjoy the pictures. They show an evolution, of sorts, so I don't want to lose that continuity.
Someone noted that I look pensive in the photo. I agree. I don't particularly like it, but I don't really dislike it either. It's just one of the many expressions I have.
I've said in the past that one of the decisions I made when I first created my website and later, when I started the blog, was that I wanted the photos I post to be "real". That is, I wanted to stay away from posed, edited images and ensure that if/when people who visited the blog and I ever met they'd realize that I look like myself (I think and talk like I write, too, but that's another story). I still feel that way.
At the beginning of my transition I couldn't conceive of what "Steady State" would be like. That's a term in my IT life used to describe a system that is no longer in development, but is now fully operational and doing what it's supposed to do and has transitioned into more of a maintenance mode. That's what happens after gender transitions, too. We enter our own version of "Steady State".
Steady State for me involves the day-to-day drudgery that passes for life these days. Getting up, going to work, dealing with the weather, going to the gym...just, well, living. We find our own "look" or "style" and we kind of get into a groove. The neat thing looking back over the photos in these blog entries is seeing how that groove has changed over time. I've certainly aged over these past 10 years, but I like to think I've matured and settled into myself as well. I'd love to freeze things in time, but as someone far wiser than I said long ago, "Time waits for no one".
I remember worrying at the outside what life would be like 10, 15, 20 years down the road. Once the energy and focus on mid-life changes dissipates, the newness of this new face and new body wear off, and the realities of living, aging, relationshipping, staying healthy, staying employed, and staying sane become part of the day-to-day lives we lead I couldn't even imagine what it'd be like. Well, now I'm living that reality. And I'm as relieved as glad to say that it's good.
The thing I'm most frustrated with right now is the need to spend more time in the gym. With everything else going on that has become quite the challenge. It's integral to both my physical and mental state, and once things calm down over the next couple of days I'll be there regularly.
Speaking of fitness.....
In a national news story on my radar, a California woman who transitioned several years ago has sued Cross-Fit (story here) for refusing to allow her to compete as a woman. It has made international news (another link here). I'm no lawyer, but she's going to get rich on this. They're saying that it has nothing to do with discrimination, but actually it has everything to do with it. This is ground that has been covered before...for example, in 2010 long-drive golfing champion Lana Lawless sued the LPGA for a similar "born as female" rule (story here). She won. The argument over physical advantage loses time after time, both in competition and in courtrooms. At the end of the day - she's right.