08 June 2010

My Image And Likeness

Today I had a really nice lunch with Bruce.  I think I still had a bit of an endorphin rush after yesterday's ride.  And the kind of weather we had today doesn't dampen spirits:  It was windy and rather cool for this time of year, but the sky was so full of sun that even the puffy but scattered clouds seemed like bundles of light.

Maybe that's why I brought my camera with me and asked him to take some photos.  It was such a pretty day:  I felt as if its light could make me look good, or at least not too scary.  For the past few months, I've told myself that I need to lose weight and get botox and that all sorts of other things must happen before I could have any photos taken of me.  I think I got spooked after someone at the college took a photo of me on a day when I was tired, wasn't wearing any makeup (By the way, I'm not wearing any, save for eyeshadow and lipstick, in any of the photos I've posted.)  and was generally feeling ragged.  And he posted that photo onto the college's website.  From there, it ended up in Google images, so that for a time it was the first image anyone saw of me if he or she Googled my name.

Pre-transition, I used to hate being photographed.  I hated it so much that someone had to wrestle a camera out of my hand after I grabbed it from someone who used it to take a photo of me.  Had I not been wrestled, I would have smashed that camera.

Early in my transition, I allowed myself to be photographed for any and no reason.  I guess I felt liberated and didn't care that I was hardly (if at all) "passing."  Bruce, Elizabeth and Dominick took some photos of me that I liked--and, at various times, I've posted some of them on this blog and in other places.  In those early days, it seemed that I was changing practically every day.  At first, it simply was a matter of the novelty of my transition and the fact that I was trying new looks.  Then I started taking hormones and they had their effects.  

But after a couple of years, I wasn't as enthusiastic about being photographed.  My appearance didn't change much for a while and I knew that I wasn't a thing of beauty or a joy to behold.  I was waiting--until I changed some more, until I had my surgery or awoke from some dream that left me looking like Angelina Jolie.

Then, I was photographed a few times just after my surgery.  I looked the way people look after surgeries of any kind:  tired, in spite of the joy I felt.  For the first half of the fall semester, I didn't do much besides go to work.  Then, as my energy came back, I decided to lay low anyway:  I wasn't looking for a new love, or a new anything else, in my life.  As someone I know would say, I was "cocooning."  I was waiting for not only my physical healing (which had already happened by that time); I was also waiting to blossom. As fall turned into winter, I guess it made sense that I would feel as I did.  I wasn't in a hurry to meet someone new or to make any major changes in my life; I wanted my metamorphosis to be complete--whatever that would mean.

It was during that time that someone took that awful photo of me.  

Now...Perhaps getting on my bike again has made me more confident.  Even in the condition I'm in, I think I look better with or on my bikes than in most other ways.  Getting out in the sunshine and open air helps me, too.  

And, as Velouria has told me, I look better in pale lilac, powder blue and related hues.  Those are the colors I like best, anyway.  And they're the ones I've been wearing most of the time lately.  

She and Gunnar told me that the photo that someone took of me on Saturday in Juniper Valley Park was pretty.  Bruce and other people have told me I'm looking good lately.  I'll allow them their delusions, and me to enjoy myself.  That sort of thing can be addictive, you know--just as getting photographed is becoming for me, or so it seems.

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