I have spent my entire life holding onto the good parts of my childhood. My best memories like game night at the family dinner table. Or going to the video store to rent a movie for the weekend. I have been quite stubborn in many ways afraid, or even unwilling in some cases, to try new things.
I watch the same TV shows over, and over. Mostly Boy Meets World, That 70’s Show, Friends and a handful of others. I have a staple crop of about 30 or so movies I re-watch on a consistently regular basis. Gremlins, Lethal Weapons 1 and 2, Star Wars, A Nightmare on Elm Street, American Pie 3, The Faculty are among my annual repeat viewings. I even replay Super Mario World on SNES at least once a month. I am very consistent.
Naturally many things began to change once I started publicly transitioning. I suspected as much too. I find myself enjoying shoe shopping whereas before I dreaded the activity. As a “boy” shopping for shoes was an annual ordeal. I needed new shoes to replace the pair I wore out. As a girl I took my time and I savored the experiencing hand picking the perfect pair of boots. I only wore then to work 1 week and I already have the desire to hit the shoe sales and grab a few more. At first it was mimicking female behavior I witnessed from other girls I knew. But then walking out of the store with those boots I understood why women love shopping for shoes. It clicked. My desire to return wasn’t driven by learned behavior nor was it a need to experience that thrill of buying my first pair of women’s shoes. No, it was pragmatic. I love my boots but I am sad to say they don’t go with every outfit I intend to wear. Nor are they entirely fit for every activity I might find myself pursuing.
I started experimenting in makeup at first as a way to stave off my dysphoria. The more feminine I can appear the better I feel about myself inside. It was just a few weeks into hormone therapy I discovered the changes to my skin. My pores are noticeably shrinking. It was at that point I found myself taking a trip to the store in need to buy skin care products I would have never contemplated when I was living as a man. Yes, I was living a lie but I hid for so long certain mannerisms became the norm for me. Sitting at home applying those facial products as directed I felt something.
You often hear men say women are high maintenance. This might be true but I have quickly discovered I find it strangely more fulfilling in some ways sitting down focusing on my appearance and healthy more so than sitting at home eating junk food watching Ghostbusters for the tenth time this year. Even my tastes in music, movies and video games are changing.
I have read online accounts of transwomen who shared similar stories. Even reading women say their tastes and desires changed I wasn’t fully prepared for how much I would also be stricken by this.
Today I walked out of the store with a basket full of items I would have never bought before I began transitioning. One item was a DVD copy of Mamma Mia. Now I have always been very unapologetically a fan of Abba so I suspected that day would come eventually. But I didn’t hide it and I wasn’t ashamed. I am going to explore the world with new eyes, new emotions and new feeling as my skin changes too. For now I will savor every new discovery I make as the world is more wondrous and magical than it has been longer than I can remember.