21 September 2009

Changing Seasons

Summer's about to end, at least officially. I've seen it coming: The days are getting shorter. However, the weather has been sunnier and a bit warmer than it was through much of the season. So go figure.

I remember that in the early years of my transition--and in my "cross-dressing" days--I looked forward to the coming of fall, as I did to the coming of spring. The problem with the summer was that summer clothes left more of my body exposed, and I felt that the only way I could "pass" was to cover myself.

Now, I must say, I lament the passing of this summer if only because I had to spend most of it indoors. I would've liked to have seen what it would be like to go to the beach and not worry about what my bathing suit would reveal. Now all I need to do is to lose some weight: Swimsuits really do reveal every bulge, wherever it may be!

But I will miss the passing season for another reason: I feel that it was one of those times that was intense, albeit in a wonderful way, because I learned so much in so little time. Of course, I've learned about my body, and a few things about myself. And I also learned what it means to have a community, even if it's not all in the same geographic location.

Well...I guess it's time to apply those lessons. If I do say so myself, that's what I've begun to do. I'm finding that I've always had some sort of charisma within me that I never could or would acknowledge. Now it seems that I can't help but to show it.

Yes, more former students have stopped me in the hallway or come to my office at the college to wish me well, or simply to talk with me. So have a few of their friends; so have some students and others I'd never before met.

And today, I realized that I was completely wrong about one of my colleagues. I'd always assumed she didn't like me, or was just generally a snob. Once, when I was running the tutoring center, she made a comment about my position that I really didn't appreciate at the time. Or maybe it wasn't a comment; it may have been a facial or bodily gesture. Anyway, I felt she was being dismissive of anything that wasn't a faculty position.

After that, I made no effort to communicate with her. I told myself that she didn't like me; the truth was that I didn't want to like her.

During the first few days of this semester, I scarcely even looked her way, even though her office is directly across the hall from mine. But over the past week or two, I've noticed that the "good mornings" and "good nights" have turned into full-blown conversations. I've asked about her classes and some of the research she's been doing; she's not only been willing to talk, she's done so without condescenscion. I'd say she's speaking in a "friendly learned" matter, which I much prefer to "learned friendly."

And then she, out of the blue, expressed admiration for my rapport with students. Two of my former students are in her honors seminar. She said she's seen me talking with both of them and "could see that they trust you, they love you."

"That's how I feel about them."

"And they know it."

"Well, I'm sure they're ready to benefit from what you have to offer them. And that's quite a bit."

"Thank you."

Hmm...It looks like this fall might reveal a few things I hadn't anticipated.