Am I Adulting Yet?

When I left home, I moved into a sharehouse. From there, in with a partner who I would spend the bulk of my ’20s with. After that, when I began transitioning, I moved back into a sharehouse. What I’m getting at is this: I have always lived with other people. You can… probably guess where this is going.

I’d been planning to try living on my own this year. For the first time in a decade, I have a stable full-time job. Not the best paying in the world (it’s game dev, after all) but one where, frustrating bugs aside, I enjoy the company I work with and the company I work for.

So I’d been saving up. Figured out the suburb I wanted to move to. Thing is, it wasn’t supposed to happen until June or July.

Sometimes, the best things happen to us when our hands are forced. I had to borrow money. I had to scramble a bit, but suddenly knowing I had merely two weeks to find somewhere to live… I managed it. I found a 90% perfect apartment in the suburb I wanted, my application was accepted (in fact, my application for my backup apartments were accepted to – unlike every other time I’ve been apartment-hunting in my life) and just 9 days from first finding out I had to leave… I am living here, in this apartment, alone for the first time in my life.

I’d say I was about 80% excited and 20% scared. I’m quite an extrovert, and I need human contact to recharge my batteries, so to speak. So living without housemates outright terrified. But I am moving to within walking distance of about 6-7 very close friends, so that softened the blow a bit. Plus, I figured, who knows when I will get the chance again? I am dating right now, but the people I’m seeing… it’s quite casual. There’s no domestic partner on the horizon for me right now, so it seemed like the best time to give it a go. Who knows – maybe I’d love it?

It’s weird suddenly realising that I am alone here. No housemate to run social events by. No partner to check in with before buying new appliances, crockery or throw rugs. It feels… amazing. Not that I wouldn’t love to share my life with someone again, but right now, this feels like everything I needed.

I spent the last four years living with friends, who in a way acted as a buffer. I had little contact with real estate agents or the like, so I could quietly transition and get used to my new life.

Well, I’m used to it now, and things are… easier. I realised that before I transitioned, dysphoria’s attendant social anxiety, for me, meant that I would do anything to avoid interacting with strangers. Neighbours, shopkeepers, even delivery drivers scared me.

Not any more. I smile at my neighbours. I voluntarily go to a normal checkout at the supermarket rather than seeking out the self-checkout lane.

Is this… adulting? I hate the term, but life doesn’t scare me now. I can do all the household things, I can deal with my real estate agent, make smalltalk with the kid working the til at the local supermarket.

I don’t think I realised how much dysphoria-related anxiety had affected my life until recently. But now, it feels like I can be, with little care or fear. They’re just other humans.

So here I am, in The Sims buy mode, making my house and preparing to play single-player for a while.

The Nostalgia Offset

I had a bad day yesterday. Emotionally, I mean. New Years is always a rough time for me. It’s the anniversary of beginning my transition, amongst other things, so for me the usual new-year ennui gets magnified into, sometimes, full-blown despair. Yesterday was that. When I get like that, I can tell myself a thousand times that things aren’t that bad (and they aren’t) but I still need to find a balm until it passes.

That balm is usually nostalgia. So I engaged in numerous forms of it last night. Now, I’m… Generation Modem. On the cusp of Gen X and Millennial, and yet not quite either. So for me, my nostalgia salve was these: An old-style video game I love. A ’90s low-budget film about feelings. A playlist of ’90s music. Listening to a pile of ’90s .mod, .s3m, .xm and other tracker files.

As I bathed in these and began to feel a little bit better. Then as I watched “Singles”, Cameron Crowe’s sophomore and one of many little ’90s films about Feelings I hadn’t seen before, and “Slacker”, a film I know I love… I had a funny realisation.

Image result for slacker movie vhs
Slacker
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Four Years

Exactly four years ago (probably close to the minute – I was incredibly fastidious about taking my pills on time early on), I began feminising hormone therapy.

I still remember being terrified – I planned to start on the 1st of January, but after utterly failing to sleep on the night of the 30th, I decided ‘fuck it’, and began early.

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Nice Girl, Pretty Girl

I walk through the supermarket entrance, making a bee-line for the carrying baskets. As I pass an old man walking up to the information counter, I notice him dropping a twenty dollar note. The cashier notices too, and pauses briefly, obviously conflicted about leaving her booth or returning the money to the man.

I reach down, grab the note, smile at the cashier and quickly approach the man. “Excuse me,” I say. “I think you dropped this.”

Continue…

Blogging, Redux

Hi there! Yes, it’s me, I’m back. After server crashes, life changes, and vanishing into the ether (seriously, I used the tele-ether device sold by ACME Professional Supervillain Industrial LLC – I can’t recommend it enough)… I decided to try blogging again.

I didn’t loose the data from my previous blogs, but configuring them again turned out to be a nightmare. (Pro-tip, folks: if you used to be a linux sysad and think you can handle your own linux box with Ghost installed as your blogging platform, you’ve obviously forgotten how boring and frustrating it is.)

So I will be re-posting some of my transition blog posts, with notes now they’re nearly half a decade old. (Gosh, time flies when you’re uncomfortable getting used to casual sexism and homophobia.)

I will also be posting… whatever I want. I want to blog more. Now I’ve all but stopped using social media apart from the odd insta or twitter blast, I want to try and do this long form. I guess I’ll figure out the details later, but I paid for a year’s web hosting up front so… let’s see what happens?

As for a general life update…

I’ve gotten a bit into electronics, 3d printing, flight simming, and just general makery.

An example of some of the fun I’ve been having outside of business hours:

OpenForge dungeon tiles with magnet connectors
Simpit panels
Arduino Nano-based gaming console
Simpit-in-progress

Once I’m done with the simpit, I plan to get into 8-bit computers, too. Like, building one. I’ve already bought a few MOS 6502 (and Z80 in case I decide on that instead), plus a bunch of useful timer chips, sound chips, interface chips, etc. That’ll be much tougher, but I am apparently always in need of a new hobby.

I’m going to try to update here fairly regularly, if I can, but honestly, we’ll have to see just how I feel. It’s odd getting used to a full time office job again after nearly a decade of working from my garage, so to speak.