There is so much feeling put into the preparation of becoming the woman we envision. The excitement that builds as a certain time gets closer. It can be the world’s greatest distraction. The hands of the clock moving at a speed slower than snails on a glue trap… Many have the luxury to dress daily or frequently, while others must calculate, plan, adapt, and be ready for heartache when plans go awry for a special day.
So many have shared their stories, their personal excitement and successes. You can read about them in the article archives. I want to explore the feelings after the dress comes off, the makeup is removed, and our inner-woman is once again pushed down into the place we hide her.
My life is infinitely better for having my feminine side. Way back, it didn’t feel as such. The instant the dress came off, I might have tossed it, and the recently purchased shoes, into the trash. I would go through the shame, guilt, and futile promises of “never again.” It was as bi-polar as it could get. The buildup, the excitement, the living in the fog of the moment… and then… it ended. I’d hate myself, what I did, and what it meant to MY (perceived) life. It would take a while for the negativity to dissipate. And yet… I found myself better mentally after it did. I was happier and more settled, even focused on the tasks that I needed to do. But…
It wouldn’t be long before that itch pricked my brain, and I would spend waking and sleeping thoughts on when the next time would be. The plotting and planning to buy that next pair of high heels and what to wear with them. This cycle would continue over most of my younger adult life. It never “clicked” for me; that it was the gaps afterward that were the problem. Shutting out a very important part of myself created the tension that needed to be satiate. It took a divorce and another failed relationship to see that I was the ultimate problem in the equation.
Taking off the dress and putting/ tossing it away was a momentary pause to the bigger issue not addressed. I have a feminine side that is never going away. It can’t be eradicated, destroyed, convinced, challenged, or ignored. I didn’t know or understand it, but she did. And she is very persistent. Eventually, I came to understand why she is so important and to recognize that together as one, we are a much better individual. I still have my anxiety about what the world will think of me if she is exposed. Although, that feeling continues to be less threatening to me.
Today, I appreciate the opportunity to put on the dress, and I take special care when it is taken off. Reverently, I set it aside for the next time. Oh yes, I know there will be a next time and another one after that. I’m blessed in that I start most of my mornings giving way to my feminine side. It’s not about becoming passable (I rarely do makeup) or living off the pent up excitement dressing once meant to me. It is instead the bringing together of my particular unison. The exploration and the completion of myself. I can honestly say now that having to take off the dress is more likely to make me sad as I feel a greater pull toward my femininity these days. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like my male side; I just find more comfort and connection with my feminine self. This blend, this union, whatever you wish to make of it, it has helped me to find more peace within.
I hang up the dress, stow away the nylons, shoes, and wig until tomorrow. It’s rare that it is longer than a couple of days (only because the male world had a hook in me) before I am me again. Yes, me is wearing the dress, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Typing with my acrylic nails (sometimes extra-long) always makes me smile. Brushing the wig-hair out of my eyes and seeing the lip-gloss stains on my coffee cup feels right. I’m not acting, playing a role, or even trying to pretend; I’m just being me. I’m also me when the pants and guy clothes go on so that I may blend into the world and what it expects of me. Little does it know that I’m no longer an either-or.
Not only has my mindset adjusted, so has my body. The maleness smartly hacked away to offer more in conjunction with the feminine perception. My morning ritual would be more acquainted to womanly than manly. I still shave, only now to keep my face more neutral and less huntsman. My normal scent is citrus (shampoo and body wash), I use a neutral cologne, deodorant, and body lotion and have long stopped worrying if others notice. (They don’t care, and neither do I!) My jeans are women’s (men’s don’t fit right—but is that my perception, my feminine perception, or just a reality?) Who cares? I like the fit better, but I miss the deep front pockets… My natural nails are longer, the hair on my arms trimmed and shaved back, torso as well. I wear women’s underwear (I do keep a few male pairs around for guy trips—fishing.) Why do men like boxers? I never did… but is that my femininity at play? I can’t help but wonder how many men would give up their standardized clothes once they started wearing women’s attire? It just fits and feels so much better. Women are always right.
My wish for all of you is simple. I hope you find your own peace. We have a life to live, and sometimes it demands a certain obedience. The consequences can be harsh for not following procedures. I get it, and so do your sisters in arms. My hope is that the next time you take off the dress, you’ll consider what it might really signify. Not the end of an experience, but rather the connecting bridge to becoming a more contented you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a feminine side, or in its expression. For me, that dress is a lifesaver. What is it for you when the dress comes off?
Be well, be happy, and be amazed by the little things that surround you…
Until next time,