What transitioning has done both to and for me in 2015

Family – my marriage is ending and at least one family member won’t speak to me, although my kids still love me unconditionally

Friendships – have not lost any yet (the few I had are still around), and gained some new ones

Weight – down about 35 lbs from the time of the “before” photos above (overall weight loss over 50 lbs since early 2014)

Cholesterol – from high and needing medication to perfect scores with no medication needed

Confidence in self – way.. way up

Being out in public as my true self – from never to nearly full time

Self Confidence – also way up!

Happiness – from the most painful year of my life to unending hope for the future

Breasts – from falsies to “Oh baby I have actual B cups!”

Strength – lost a lot of muscle, but I have NEVER been STRONGER!

Overall body shape – curves in many new places 😉

Age – I started HRT at age 40 on Halloween of 2014, I am now 41

It is never too late to figure out how to be your authentic self!!

Happy 2016 Everyone! I love my tumblr followers. Thank you so much for your messages of support. They have always come when needed most. This has been the most painful, most difficult, most stressful, happiest, and perhaps healthiest year of my life. I have made it through a lot but there are still many challenges ahead. Buckle Up for the Year of Ari 😉


EDIT 01/20/16: The last photo had some weird lighting so I posted a more recent pic

I got my ears pierced!!

Okay, now that the big news is out of the way 🙂 I also had a killer first week of 2016. I did declare this “The Year of Ari,” and it is off to a great start. These pics are in reverse order because I wanted to lead with my shiny new ears 😉

Tonight I got a light trim on my hair and had it styled straight just for fun. Then, I was off to the Piercing Pagota in the center aisle of a busy mall where the lovely Cindy pierced my ears 🙂 She was great and had fun working with me I think. We took a few tries to get the marks in the right spots on my ears. I got the square princess cut piercing earrings (posts). I am so excited 🙂

Moving onto yesterday, I had gone to Ikea (the day before yesterday) and purchased new artwork for my apartment. It feels so good to decorate with artwork that I feel a connection to 🙂 I bought some lovely feminine prints that I framed. I am going to hang them this weekend. For now they are on the new desk I built for my daughter to use when she is here.

That night, I went to Payless and purchased back some boots I had actually returned. The clerk joked that I have a love/hate relationship with them and she sees it all the time – lol! She also told me she loved my makeup. I don’t care if Payless employees are trained to be that nice or not… l love the compliments 🙂 After Payless, I went to Kohl’s and bought 3 sweaters that were an insane 70% off.

I have other new items that I used to decorate my apartment. I will have to show those in a new post this weekend though since I hit the 10 pic limit.

What a great week 🙂 It helps a ton that I switched to Laser hair removal instead of electrolysis. With electrolysis I had to grow out the facial hair each week (yuck!), but with laser I need to keep it all as closely shaved as possible(woot!),  so now I don’t have to be in boy mode the first part of each week anymore – yay!

luv you all,


Sunday Shopping Trip

I was in a bit of a funk today since it is the last day of my vacation time. It is back to work tomorrow 🙁 I took the opportunity to go out shopping though. I needed to return 2 pairs of heels and 2 pairs of boots to Payless. They were online purchases that just did not fit right. I have still yet to find a pair of riding boots that work “just right.” The heels were purchases I made while preparing for the Holiday Party I went to a few weeks back. Neither pair of heels fit right and I ended up buying a new pair at the store about 90 minutes before the party was supposed to start! It was a bit of a funny sight I imagine.. me walking in with 2 boxes of heels and a giant cardboard box containing two huge boxes for tall boots. My feet are not entirely small you see.. 😉

Anyhow, the girl that works at my local Payless was nice as usual even though I was bringing in a haul of returns. I got my return receipt and browsed the aisles a bit. I did not see anything that caught my eye so I went on to my next stop DSW. At DSW (pictured above), I was returning a pair of men’s dress boots. I had purchased those to wear to my daughter’s concert that was a few weeks back (had to be in boy mode for that). However, the weather was unusually nice so I just wore a nice pair of shoes that I still have. These particular boots were a lot of money and since I likely will be full time soon I don’t really want to hold onto them. I decided to shop around at DSW after I finished my return. I found a purse that was 70% off of the sale price of $29.95. The purse in the last photo is mine now and it only cost me $8.95. It is sitting next to the purse I have been using which is really more of a fancy clutch bag. The clutch bag is something I bought for only $5 during my very first time shopping as myself at Goodwill many months ago. It really is too small for everyday use even though I love it 🙂

After DSW, I went to World Market to look at mirrors for my apartment. I struck out on finding a deal there, but came home with 3 bags of my favorite popcorn (Toasted Sesame and Seaweed Artisan Popcorn) and some cute wine glass tags. Finally, I needed some odds and ends for the apartment (an HDMI cable, finish dishwasher tabs, and Almond Milk) so the perfect place to go was Meijer. As I walked into Meijer, the greeter ended up having to help me get a cart. They were stuck together and I was fighting with it. The chivalrous greeter came to my aid 😉

To tally everything up that was 4 cashier interactions, two employee interactions (such as “are you finding everything ok”), and probably something like 60 people that definitely saw me, without a single negative thing happening.

As I mentioned before my ID and my credit/debit cards all still have my male name so there were plenty of things that could have gone wrong, but I was treated with respect and kindness at each stop. The cashier at DSW even confirmed my savings club membership by saying my male first name out loud after I entered in my phone number and I just said “Yep that’s me” with a smile.

This is getting easier and easier to just be myself 🙂 I still have my moments where I need to take a deep breath when about to push a cart down a crowded aisle, etc – but really it does get easier!


p.s. My outfit was a bit more sheer than the photos show. I actually love that top. It does not come off as “grey” as it does in the pics. I am wearing a black cami underneath it because it is so sheer in reality.  😉