These images are exactly 3 years apart. I do work hard to stay in shape and keep that feeling of renewed life I had in the photo on the left (despite the difficult circumstances and major stresses I had at the time). At the time (20 months into transition), I was trying to figure out how to buy the condo I live in now (so my kids didn’t have to sleep on the floor in my one bedroom apartment), while still in the middle of a divorce, and thinking any surgery was years away as my company insurance plan still excluded all #transhealthcare. So, I was paying out of pocket for what little I could do to maintain my transition. Yet, look at that smile I still sported on the left. I knew I would get to the day depicted on the right.. today. Maintaining a positive and forward looking outlook is so essential to staying healthy and mentally strong during transition. I am physically and mentally stronger than the version of me on the left. I am also better at relationships, friendships, and just at being happy with who I am. All of this took concerted effort over time, while maintaing a positive view of what I had already made it through. Your circumstances compared to where you are trying to go may seem impossible. Your outlook influences so much of your eventual success. You will get there! If you can’t see past the forest of challenges have friends lift you on their shoulders! ❤💛🧡💜💙💚 (p.s. I find it funny how I just recently decided to go back to this hair length after all this time!) #nofilter #transitiontuesday #transformationtuesday #positivity #girlslikeus #transvengers #transpositivity #glowup #thisiswhattranslookslike #TransIsBeautiful #pride #lgbt #changes #hairchange #brunettetoblonde
An Update About How Life is Going for Ariana (Including Dating) – June 13, 2018
This long post is a general update with many pictures spread throughout, because it has been too long since I did a proper write-up. I have not been streaming or writing longer blog posts much lately because I have been actively dating. By actively dating, I mean for nearly every free night I have lately, I have been scheduling a date.
It has been going very well. Both dating apps that I chose to install have served me well I think. Is there someone special yet? Not specifically, but there have been a couple of people that I have now seen more than once and others with whom I am planning a follow-up date. While I am certainly playing the field, I am not sleeping around or anything like that. I am the type of person that needs to feel connected to someone before I jump into that. So, if you are looking for details to that effect, there are none… yet.
I always disclose the fact that I am transgender within the initial several instant messages and most certainly before I meet someone for drinks or coffee. I am not interested in wasting my time or their time if they for some reason can’t see themselves with someone who has transitioned. There have been a few people that immediately disappeared and unmatched with me after I let them know I transitioned. It is important to just expect this and chalk it up to unfair stigma. That person is not necessarily even a bad person for doing it, they possibly just are dealing with a fear similar to the one that used to prevent me from transitioning when I was much more weak in my personal confidence and my outlook on life. I actually smile at times picturing a little person shaped hole in the virtual wall that is my dating app. They sometimes get out of there really fast!
Too bad for them! I know this is not the approach some transgender women take, but this is right for me. Being post-op, I could probably “get away” with not disclosing, but honestly I look at it as a good filtering mechanism. If someone is too wrapped up in what others may think, or they have their own “deeply held beliefs” a.k.a twisted ideas about transgender people, then buh-bye! Also, I am an OUT transgender woman. With my website, twitch channel, and social media activities doing my best to support others like me, there is no way I am going to go into hiding for someone.
Have there been some surprising moments and even some tender moments? Yes. I am very happy to say yes.
I am being treated well by those I have met in person. I would even go so far as to say that I have had one “perfect” first date experience. It was.. just amazing. Sadly, things are not moving along with that person like I had hoped. At least, not yet.
That is okay though. I have now repeatedly proven to myself that I can do this. There have been dates where I would even say I was the much more confident party in attendance and that just blows my mind 😉 I know this sounds like I am bragging, but my blog has always been about the highs and lows of my transition and my friends this is most definitely a high point!
In addition to dating, I have had my first bikini wax and subsequently worn some fun one-piece swimsuits to different pool parties. I no longer feel the need to wear one of those one piece/short or skirt combo swimsuits. I am looking to buy a good two-piece bikini, but I have yet to find the right one.
Does this all mean everything is wonderful all the time for me? Of course it does not. I am still to this day tracking down and dealing with making sure transition related bills get covered properly by my insurance and that the remainder gets paid out of my exploded budget. Financially, I have a killer job, but because of what has transpired the last few years I live like I just got out of school and have a mountain of student debt.
Also, I deal with the same horrible media representation of transgender people that we all do. I am regularly attacked by people online that hate me simply for being who I am. I have family members and former friends that don’t speak to me (though thankfully I also have a ton of both family and friends that are supportive and loving). There are days when it all gets to me and I just have to cry it all out.
(I know it is weird to have a selfie of me crying, but I actually do this to help track when I feel this way) Once I do have a good cry and release all of that negativity, I pick myself up and I attack my life as best I can. I prefer to head off any crying spells with a good bike ride/workout, but sometimes they still happen. You know what, that’s okay, it’s healthy to cry away stress from time to time.
Today, I was able to get out there during my lunch hour and beat my personal best on one segment of a trail that I ride.
This is a hard life. There are times when I look back on the past few years and I am just in awe that I have made it through all of that. If I can do it, believe me anyone can. Learn how to take care of yourself, your body, your heart, and your soul. Amazing things start to happen when you love yourself and believe you can constantly learn to do better in all things. When negativity strikes, do not let your thoughts trap you in the moment and in present circumstances. Instead, focus on the things you know you can improve and work on them. There is always something! You know how I mentioned feeling like I was just out of college and dealing with a mountain of debt? Well, thankfully I also feel like I am actually that age (despite the fact that I am about to turn 44). I am in the best shape of my life since my high school days when I played soccer. It has everything to do with actually being free to be myself and attempting to live my life to its fullest. The only fountain of youth I know about is all about just being you and living your best life.
Hey there! Guess who’s birthday it is? ^^^^This girls!! ^^^^
She had an amazing weekend. It started off actually on Thursday night with a fancy sushi dinner with five awesome friends.
Then, on Friday, she got to see the movie Rough Night, followed by dinner and drinks at a piano bar. The pianist sang happy birthday to her along with her 7 girlfriends that were in attendance 🙂
.. Then, she got to spend Saturday with someone very special to her. That time included shopping at a consignment shop where she found a great skirt for work and a new swimsuit (all using a gift card she received on Thursday) – followed by purchasing a gluten free, dairy free birthday cupcake, more shopping, then out for pizza (gluten free) and sorbet. Yum!
Finally on today, her actual birthday.. she got to enjoy swimming in her new swimsuit while spending time with her wonderful kids. This was followed by a free birthday burger at Red Robin, where she and her kids enjoyed bottomless fries and lemonade.
I of course swam in my new suit!
I agreed to not feature my kids on my blog, but here is the closest I can come to showing them. My daughter is the blurry beautiful teen waving in the pic below..
and my son is the bundle of non-stop energy waving in the next pic..
Perhaps one day soon, I will be able to show them up close and discuss in more detail about our relationship and how they have been handling it. For now though, I will just say that we are all three doing well. I thanked them both for making my birthday so much fun. We played catch in the pool and I was lifting and tossing them a bit too. It got much more crowded later, but we had lots of time with just us in it too 🙂
I am so grateful for my kids, my family members, my friends, and those that care about me that I have met through tumblr, twitter, and twitch.
Thank you all for making me feel loved, happy, and so full of life that I do not feel like I am actually *gulp* 43!