It’s been about 4 months since I started living as Natalie full time (except for work) and I’m loving it. I’ve never been happier or calmer. I have done, experienced and learned many things.
I’ve been swimming. I was invited to a friend’s pool party, so I went shopping and bought a cute 1 piece swimsuit and a sarong to match. I felt really exposed and scared to take off my sarong, I had never worn anything that revealing in public, well semi-public it was a small party, about 5 people. But it was really hot and the swimsuit is very comfortable to wear. I took off my sarong and got in the water and no one batted an eyelid.
I was out shopping recently and a woman came up to me and said “You look lovely, I really like your dress.”
Before I was fully out I would go to the shops of a night time, fully dressed when everything was closed and there is never anyone there. I’d practise walking, up and down the street, and window shop at the ladies clothes stores. So in the last couple of weeks I have made a point of going into every one of these shops, fully dressed and in the middle of the day. In every shop I went to the people were quite friendly. I started chatting to one lady shop keeper, we chatted for 45 minutes, and in the course of conversation I told her what I was doing and she congratulated me.
I went and had my eyebrows shaped and my eyebrows and lashes tinted. Turns out my beauty therapist for the day works in my hotel, and her husband is the concierge.
I started wearing ladies clothes to and from work. I have to wear a uniform at work, and I’m only wearing ladies jeans, a t-shirt cut in a feminine shape and underwear. I don’t think anyone has even noticed.
I went out for cocktails. A friend invited my wife and I to go out for cocktails. So we are sitting having a drink and a chat when this guy, who is sitting with his girlfriend gets up and starts walking toward me. He looks a bit sketchy and I’m preparing to either ignore him or defend myself when he smiles and says, “You look really good tonight, good effort” and holds out his fist for a fist-bump. I was so surprised, and strangely pleased, by all this I just mumbled my thanks and went back to my conversation. I wish I’d had the courage and the presence of mind to invite them over to join us.
I met other girls for the first time. I met some ladies on a local networking site and we met for coffee.
Each event generated a feeling, each was a completely new experience and each one gave me something to think about and learn from.
I still get afraid, but not as often. The fear is not as strong. I think I’ve worked out the confidence trick. You don’t actually go out with confidence. It doesn’t come to you, you have to go out and get it.
I think I saw this in a film, or maybe read it, and I’m probably not quoting it correctly, but it goes something like this:
A scared, young soldier can’t go over the trench because he’s paralysed with fear. The sergeant yells at him to go over the top and young soldier says he can’t because he’s scared and not courageous as the sergeant. The sergeant tells him “Courage is a myth. I’m scared too, but I’ve learned that the courage comes after. You don’t go out because you’re brave you go out because your scared. You go out scared, do the scary thing, and come back with courage.”
It’s the same with confidence. Confidence is just quiet courage. You do the scary thing and the confidence comes later. This is the confidence trick.