Monthly Archives: February 2012

Rock, Soul…and Blues

As I mentioned before, this past week I’ve been helping K the best I can to keep her spirits up as she deals with issues at work.  We had a great Saturday doing some sightseeing.  First, I need to point out that we live near Memphis, Tennessee.  The home of Elvis, B.B. King, Otis Redding, and many others.

We’ve lived here for just over three years now, and we just finally made our trip to some historic places in the city. First stop on Saturday was Sun Studios, where Elvis made his first recording.  Learning the history of how important Memphis was to the history of Rock and Blues, really helped tie us to our new home city.  They have the master of “Rocket 88”, considered the first rock album, recorded in the room where we were standing.  The recording studio, where so many greats have recorded, and still record is completely original and untouched.  They had a picture, taken in the 50’s, of the million dollar quartet, a jam session with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash.  To think of those four, in the same room…wow.  Needlessly to say, we got a whole new appreciation of what Memphis means to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second stop on Saturday was a visit to Stax, the home of Soulville, USA.  Stax recorded amazing artists such as, Rufus Thomas, Booker T. & the MGs, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Heyes, and so on.  Again, we got a whole new appreciation for the positive things that came out of Memphis.

After our little outing, we went back to the apartment, got a couple of drinks and listened to a whole lot of music from Sun and Stax, and watched the Blues Brother (one of my all time favorite movies).

So as you can see, Saturday was a good day, K’s mind was nowhere near her issues at work.  Then came Sunday and just one little incident that changed that state of mind.  As K was taking some clothes out of the dryer, she immediately noticed that she had left a pen in there, where it exploded and staining a load of clothes.  This little incident triggered all those feelings she had been trying to avoid all week.  When she flipped out about the clothes, I knew immediately that her anger had nothing to do with the ruined clothes.  I knew that it had everything to do with her issues at work.  After a good cry and some talking, she was feeling a lot better, letting all those emotions out, and we were soon back to figuring out how to salvage some socks and shirts stained with ink.

So I guess you can sometimes push bad feelings aside, but in the end, you’re still going to have to deal with those feelings sooner or later.  I hope you all have a great weekend,

Katie

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Balance

photo credit: dleell

photo credit: dleell

This week, Katie has taken a back seat, as there has been more important things to deal with this.  This brings me to the realization of how important balance is to any relationship.  My wife, K, has been listening to me about all my thought on Katie over the course of the past year.  This week, K has had a hell of a bad week at work, and has come home to vent to me.  One of my best attributes is that I know how to listen.  I often can’t help fix the situation (I wish I could), but I know that it helps K so much to be able to talk to someone and get her thoughts off her chest.  It’s times like these I know the last thing I want to talk about is Katie.  Could you imagine? “I know you had a bad day at work honey, but look at these heels I found online!”  K needs her husband, and she needs him to listen, and be there for support.  It’s only fair in the end.  She has listened to me, and has helped me so much (with fashion, makeup, ideas to write about), and I need to be aware of her needs. It’s all about balance.  It’s great to have self awareness about who you are, and to think about where you’re going, but you can’t get there alone.  You have to think about those around you, and support those loved ones that need it, even if it’s just a pair of ears they need.

Hopefully things will improve in the weeks ahead,

Have a nice weekend,

Katie

Thoughts on Yoga and Meditation

Photo Credit: lululemon athletica

Photo Credit: lululemon athletica

2011 was a transformative year in my life.  A lot of things changed for me, in the way I saw and felt about myself.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I do yoga on a regular basis.  It’s something I started doing about 6 months ago, and it has really helped me view myself in a new way.

Last year, K told me that her small fitness studio was going to start offering yoga for men.  It’s something I was thinking I needed for myself because I had been dealing with lower back pain, on and off, for a couple of years.  My mind set going into the first class was that I wanted to improve my back, and that was it.  I had heard about meditation, and the spiritual side of yoga, but I wasn’t really interested in it.  I’ve never been too interested in religion and spirituality in most forms.

During most of the sessions, there were no other students, so it was just the instructor and I.  I guess that yoga is still seen as a girly thing, I don’t know why.  I’ve gotten a lot of personal attention from the instructor and, to say the least, my back has been doing great.  During the sessions, you start and end the classes with meditation, where you sit, or lie down, quietly breathing, and keeping a clear mind.  It’s unbelievably hard to stop your thoughts from wondering, at least for me, those thoughts were not trivial.  During the meditation, I would have some deep reflection on who I am, who I was becoming.  It was during these sessions, that I really began to accept who I was, and not to shy away from it, but to embrace it completely.

I’ve read from some other friends’ blogs about the idea of a gender spectrum.  After some deep thought, I accepted and validated that I am not 100% M (for the lack of providing my full name), but that I am at times Katie as well.  I’ve always been a shy and reserved person, and I’ve been trying to break out from that.  By understanding who I am on a deep level, I’ve gained the confidence to start letting Katie out of that warm closet, and letting others get to know her.

The funny thing is that I had some of these thoughts even before starting yoga, but it was with yoga and meditation that I pulled all those thoughts together into a cohesive understanding of who I am as one person.  It’s an unbelievable feeling, which words can’t describe, when you have such a level of conscious understanding of who you are.

One of the interesting things about the last couple of weeks, when meditating, I’ve tried to revalidate these thoughts about myself, but stopped.  I stopped thinking about these feelings because I didn’t feel the need to revalidate them again.  I understand and accept who I am, and there was no need to focus on those feelings anymore.  I think I can now finally move beyond that, and try to focus while meditating, to keep a clear mind.

Beyond these benefits from yoga, I’ve gained a good friend who understands what it is to be self aware, and accepts me the way I am today.  The instructor helped me realize that yoga was more than just back pain relief for me, but that it provided much, much, more, to my inner self.  So if you are interested in yoga, but never took it up, I highly recommend it.  It’s Katie and M approved!

Katie

Friday Quotes

Here’s another quote I saw on my Facebook page today that hit close to home.  I thought I would share it with my readers/friends. Happy Friday,

Katie

Looking Way Ahead

Since discovering Katie and letting her evolve, I’ve spent everyday having some thoughts about her.  Weather it be trivial things, like what kind of makeup look I want to try this weekend, to the deeper thoughts, like where am I going, who am I?

I’ve talked previously about some short-term goals I have for myself, but I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about the long road ahead.  My wife, K, and I are known to be planners and organizers.  In fact, we have family and friends who joke about how we have things so organized.  K has all her things in folders, and binders, all color-coded.  I have spreadsheets with finances, and rough plans for our future.  It was only in my nature to ask myself, what do we do about Katie when we decide to have kids? K still has a year or two before finishing her degree, and then we’d like to save for a house, and start plans for a family.  We really haven’t talked at all about where Katie will fit in.

I know that this is something what will happen in the future, but the years can go by quickly.  I also know that in the end, whatever happens, we’ll make the right choice for our family and our relationship.  Over this past year, I know that Katie has become a deep part of who I am, and that person will never disappear, even for the sake of starting a family.  I know that suppressing a part of yourself is not healthy for anyone.

I am going to be very interested in reading books, and doing research on other crossdressers who have had to deal with this issue, at least to give me insight on what we can do.  I know there are some people who will hide this fact from their kids for as long as possible, and others who will be very open.  There are challenges in either case, and we’ll have to find the right model that will work with us.

These are just some of the thoughts I have on a daily basis.

Katie

Wig Review

I had a chance to dress up today and I thought I would write a little on wigs.  I’ve bought several wigs over the past year, starting with a few wigs I got from ebay in the range of $20-40 each.  These wigs were a good start for me to figure out which styles I liked best, along with which colors looked good with my features. Over the last year I’ve learned so much about how wigs are constructed and the different options you can get.  I never thought a few years ago that I would know this much about wigs.

These wigs were great to play around with, but if you wore them for an extended period of time, you could really notice how thick, heavy, and itchy they could get.  Last summer I started doing some research into wigs towards a purchase of a higher quality wig.  I ended up buying this Jon Renau Zara wig in a 130/4 color, has been my best purchase so far.  It’s a lot lighter than my other wigs, and I can wear it all day long without even noticing I have it on.  One of the best features of the Zara wig is the SmartLace, which gives the look a natural hair line, without the need for tape.  Here’s a more detailed look from YouTube.

Katie

Music Friday

So, it seems like a lot of the blogs I follow love to talk about music.  I thought that I would add my thoughts this Friday by letting you know what I listen to after a long week working in the lab.  I love to come home on a friday afternoon, get a glass of some home brewed beer, strap on a pair of heels, and listen to some blues.  One album I’ve been listening to a lot lately is Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s Ledbetter Heights.  The first time I heard the album, it reminded me so much of that Stevie Ray Vaughan sound.  Have a nice weekend,

Katie

I’m not afraid…I think

I guess I should say that I’m becoming less afraid of my feminine side, and I’m becoming less afraid of people knowing that Katie exists in my life.  One particular event underlines my progression over the course of the last six months or so.

I signed up for a yoga-for-men class late last year at a small fitness center nearby that my wife attends.  I was interested in yoga because I was having some lower back problems, and I knew that some yoga could really help with the pain.  For a couple of months I was the only guy attending the classes, so after the winter break I decided to try something.  For the past six months or so I’ve been painting my toenails, and after winter break I wasn’t in the mood to remove the polish before going to yoga.  Knowing the instructor was an open-minded person; I decided to keep the blue toes, besides I would be the only other person there, right?  Well, it was just my luck that on that day there was a second guy attending.

As soon as I walked around the corner and into the yoga room I paused, and my heart started racing, fearing what might be said or thought.  But then something interesting happened while I was sitting on the yoga mat, waiting for the class to start (still had my sox on).  I started to think, “I don’t care what the hell this other guy thinks, I am me, and I wear nail polish”.  So I took off the sox, and started the class.  To my relief, not a thing was mentioned.  I did catch the instructor glance at my toes at one point and gave a quick smile.  After the class I messaged the instructor and told her that I was working on starting a blog.  She now knows about Katie and is very supportive and kind.  She’s become a good friend.

These events may be inconsequential for some, but to me it was a big step in being comfortable with myself around others.  I’ve had similar experiences at makeup counters, where I don’t mind trying on makeup and asking questions to the staff about products for myself.  These are small steps, but it sure has built up my confidence.

Tomorrow I have another yoga class, and I have my toes painted with my new MAC dark angel polish. 🙂

Katie

Helpful Quotes

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.  Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them”

Thomas Merton

My friend and yoga instructor introduced me to a group on Facebook called Paradigm Shift.  They post daily quotes that are sometimes the right thing you need to read at the right time in your life.  I thought I would share this group with you all, because it has helped me think about issues a little differently.  It’s not something that will change your life, it’s just something that can make you think about issues in a different light.

Katie

Super Bowl Weekend

So I didn’t have much time this weekend to get dolled up as Katie because I had to take care of another hobby that I have.  We had to bottle 5 gallons of home brewed beer.  As the name of my blog suggests, I may post random thoughts from time to time that doesn’t involve crossdressing.  The beer that was bottled today is a Scottish ale that will be ready to taste in two weeks after it carbonates.  Read the rest of this entry