|Widemouth Bay, Cornwall|
Of course the danger is that when the pink mist is in front of your eyes there's a strong chance that you feel you've achieved much more than you have in reality. So it was that I came down to earth with a bump.
I usually have a holiday in Cornwall each year and 2011 was to be no exception. Although I would be going in male mode as usual, thoughts had been turning to the possibility of spending a little bit of time there as Susan. In addition. I'd become friends online with a girl living in the West Country and I approached her with the idea of meeting up for a day. Although there are a number of very active TG communities on the Internet, I've always found it to be very difficult to establish good genuine friendships. The girl in the West Country was one of those few exceptions and I felt I was building a friendship that was valuable.
Her response was that she would like to meet up and suggested a Saturday shopping trip to a major town centre. I was horrified! The idea of being out in such a busy place was something I would never consider and it began to bring home to me how limited my horizons were. I wrote back asking to meet somewhere less public and she agreed, making some suggestions. But what worried me was that she didn't seem to understand my reaction. By this time I felt that the matter was in danger of putting a strain on our friendship so I decided to call off the meeting on this occasion.
(I was to discover much later that my friend had gained the impression from photos I had published that I was getting out and about to many public places. This was incorrect and although it had never been my intention to give the wrong impression I discovered on this occasion how easy it was to do so. The good news is that our friendship endured and later on we did have our meeting and day out together - in a major shopping area. That I could now do this was in part largely due to her help and encouragement. So at the time I had been right about one thing, her friendship was indeed valuable.)
Sadly though at the time I was left wondering about my status as a TGirl and wishing that the whole thing would just go away. At times it can be quite alarming how rapidly you can go from feeling on top of the world as a TGirl to being down in the pits. It is true though that there were other things going on in the rest of my life that were pulling me down and although I didn't realise it I was very tired. Just how tired I was didn't really show until I arrived in Cornwall at the start of my holiday.
I'd left home in the early morning and arrived on Dartmoor absolutely whacked. But this particular day the moor was in one of her benevolent moods with some gorgeous sunny weather. I spent most of the day there just lapping up the lovely weather and scenery. Finding a group of Dartmoor Ponies and photographing them seemed to have a therapeutic effect. By the end of the day I was still tired but somehow refreshed. The rest of my holiday proceeded well although strangely enough on the second Saturday, which was the day I would have been meeting my friend, I went down with a nasty head cold. It laid me low for all of the day but by the next day I felt well enough to travel to Taunton to watch some cricket with a friend. What I didn't know then was just how much this town was going to figure in my development as a woman in the coming year.
The following day, (Monday) I was feeling well enough for a full day out, but sadly it was the last of my holiday. I had brought with me a set of clothes to have a day dressed if I wanted to. As I was running out of time I decided it had to be now. It wasn't possible to fully change where I was staying so most of it, including my makeup had to be done in the car. I'm never keen on this but in this case needs must. The day was another perfect one and I was able to enjoy a drive around the North Cornwall coast but this time in my preferred gender. The photo above is one I took overlooking Widemouth Bay.
By the end of this brief excursion I felt back on top of things again. But I was still fooling myself if I thought I was really getting out and about. This state of affairs was to persist for some time before I was able to break out of it and really get out as a woman.
More next time.......