Can I take a moment to reacquaint myself with the blogosphere? I’m Kirsty. Yes, I’m still here. The URL might be the same, but a lot else has changed. No longer “Kirsty’s World”, this blog is now called “New Woman, Old Girl”. But it’s not just a change of title. “Kirsty’s World” is gone. I mean really gone. Completely deleted. This is the first post in my new blogging life. But why? Well let’s find out…
For those of you who read the old blog (and thank you ever so much for doing so) you will remember that it was pretty much a blow-by-blow account of my journey from allowing myself to present female for the first time back in February 2014, through exploring my gender identity with support groups and friends with similar and not-so-similar issues. Counselling, marriage problems, coming out to old friends, being referred to the Gender Clinic by my doctor, coming out in work, coming out to family, the end of my marriage, finding a new home, and at last reaching a point where I was living full time as the woman that in retrospect I always should have been.
The final post that I put up on the old blog told about a trip to London for an awards ceremony with work (I work for a large financial services company) where my line manager won a major internal award from the UK plc for her work in assisting my transition. It was a truly wonderful occasion. In fact, I think that it was just about the perfect end to my “coming out in work” story. So I do not intend to write about work any more, because I don’t think that there is anything else to say.
On my return I realised from what a few people had said that the old blog had gained a few readers among my colleagues. This made me feel very uncomfortable. In fact, I couldn’t bear the thought of them being able to read about the finer details of how I gradually explored my femininity when first stepping out into the world as the real me. And more than that, the thought that my colleagues could read the gossip on how my marriage ended was just too much to take. The line between personal and professional was just too sacred. So what’s a girl to do? Answer: wipe the slate clean and start again.
Several of you will have noticed that for the last 3 or 4 weeks my blog has been private. You couldn’t access it without my authorisation. I received several emails, maybe around 15, from WordPress users requesting access to my private site. I did not grant any of these requests. What I have been doing on and off during that time is archiving every post I ever wrote in cloud storage and on my own hard drive, then deleting the post. It took a while, there were 197 posts. And now I’m done. So “Kirsty’s World” may be gone from the internet (barring a handful of mirrors that I’m hunting down) but it still exists on my private storage. It was my diary of an incredibly eventful period of my life, and I had no intention of losing it forever. So it is now for my eyes only – it’s my diary, not yours.
So what has happened while I have “gone dark”? Christmas, that’s what. Christmas was better than I could reasonably have expected. Unfortunately I was sick in the week before Christmas with a horrible flu that mutated into a head cold just as the fever & aching everything was subsiding, which meant that Christmas preparation was crammed into very few days. However, things with my ex remain good enough that we were able to take a day to go Christmas shopping for the kids together, and that’s something that pleases me greatly.
My friend Karen, who has just begun living full time as a woman, had invited me to her 50th birthday celebrations on the 23rd of December. She had booked out a restaurant, Blu, for all her family and friends, with food and wine for everyone. She even said I could bring a friend, so who better to invite as my “plus one” than my great friend Andrea. And with it being a late night, I was able for the first time to have her as a guest in my house which was lovely after me having been to hers so many times. All in all, it was a very enjoyable night.
On Christmas Eve after Andrea had departed I went to my ex’s house to make stuffing and bake a cake with the kids (i.e. the kids and I together made stuffing and baked a cake, I didn’t make child stuffing and kiddie cake) in preparation for Christmas Day, which I would be spending with them. Yes, with my ex too.
I got up good and early on Christmas Day to get myself ready for the 10-minute walk round to her house. I arrived around 8.30am and the kids were under strict instructions not to enter the living room to get the Santa presents until I arrived. So just as it was in previous years, I was there with them as they went in to see what he had left them. It was a good haul, all told.
I stayed at my ex’s most of the day. In fact, I made the Christmas dinner and we all sat around the table together having a very good time. Probably better than 2016, when the pressure of knowing it was the “final” Christmas as a family was all-pervasive. There can be a better future! And not only that, my ex’s parents (whom I now refer to as my “outlaws” since they are no longer my in-laws) left a load of presents all addressed to me in my new name. How great is that? And to think I thought they would completely cut me off!
I got back to my house around 7pm, made myself a coffee and flopped down in front of the telly, where I remained until just after midnight. At this point I lurched back into life with the sudden realisation that I had more presents under my own tree! Yippee!
The rest of Christmas week was quite constructive. Finally after living here for over five months I managed to paint both daughters’ bedrooms; Amy’s a pastel pink all round, and Melissa’s lavender on 3 walls with one plum feature wall – their choices, not mine! I also bought several new pictures to put up in the house, making it feel altogether more homely. And I built a wardrobe in Melissa’s room! When I relayed this to a (male) colleague he asked if I read the instructions. When I replied that yes, of course I did, he said that was conclusive proof that I was definitely female!
I had a very enjoyable dinner round at my friend Ali’s house on the 29th. There were 7 of us round the table, two of whom I hadn’t met before, but the craic was great and there was a lot of laughter. Then Ali dropped a bit of a happy bombshell on us. The New Year honours list was being announced later that evening and she was going to be in it. My friend has been awarded an MBE! I don’t know if I have mentioned it before on the old blog, but she is the principal of a primary school. The chair of her board of governors had nominated her and it was accepted. So at some point in the next 7 months she will be going to the palace to get a medal from the Queen! So exciting. Of course, I curtsied to her as I was leaving, it was the appropriate thing to do.
One last big update since the final post on the old blog. As of the 18th of December, I am wigless. I am now the proud owner of a layered bob cut, and it is just great. I mean, it’s not the style I want to end up with, it’s still too short for that, but it is hard to overstate just how great it feels to cast aside the wig forever. But no photos. That was the old blog. The feeling of having the wind in my hair is priceless. No fears that the wig is going to get dislodged, no more wearing a hairy hat. It just feels so liberating. And I can wear a proper warm hat in the winter without any worries that the hair will come with it when I take it off.
That’s enough for now I think. Next time I’m going to start branching out into more general topics and less about my life. But losing the wig is a big thing, so it’s worth writing about. So things like that will continue to feature.
The blog is dead. Long live the blog.