Lezlie

The boots I ordered through the net came.  While it took a bit to figure out I hadn’t taken out the last plastic stuffers, after those were removed they fit well. 

I was most interested in the motto on the box from Avenue: Because Nothing Should Stop You.  OK, I don’t think they meant me, but I’ll take it.

I drove north, stopping at the new junk store — $1 pita chips and frites — and Dollar Tree.  My long-stored CG Colourfast is drying out, which is a problem.  I need the plastic lipcolor so I don’t have to fuss with it — not easy for me to feel safe primping in public.    But there it was, a whole selection of colors for $1 a package, the phial of color and tube of gloss, a gift.

Lezlie, well, she didn’t think the tall gal with orange scarf was there for her.  She was expecting a tranny, and frankly didn’t know what to expect, but this gal looked like she was here for the offices next door.

She’s an actress & coach, working with debate teams, students and others to sharpen performance.  Today, we did the tranny transfer, with me telling the stories, a new story every other minute it seemed. 

The breakthough for Lezlie was simple:  my stories are both uniquely mine, with my own meaning, and shared, touching common experiences of living in the world as a human.  Lezlie would spark at the connections, stories from her life, her friends, her children that touched the same themes.

My challenge, of course, is confidence and comfort, trusting that others see an integrated and appropriate woman.

Here is what I offered her today:

I may not know what makes a good performance, but I do know what makes a bad one:  the failure to commit to the moment.

My gift – and, of course, also my curse – is that I am an extraordinary observer, observing details and keeping them in my memory.  I see patterns, make connections, watch well.

This means that often, I don’t engage as participant.  I sit on the edge, watch, feel the pull to run and pull away, to not be in the center but in the fringes.

A friend notes that as transkids who had to survive in a world where we were told that denial was the only appropriate choice, we learned detachment early.  What we didn’t learn was attachment, trusting the moment and the connection.

This is often hard to explain to people who are now, at this point in their life trying to learn detachment, how to not fall into every feeling and every desire.

My challenge is to trust myself and my expression in the moment, without the visible pulling back to observer that often signals to others that something unknown is going on underneath, something to fear.

I offer an example of my own self-talk:  Look At Me, written in 1998.

It is faith that she is in my heart that I need, both my own she and “my mother in the sky,” my creator and God.

Learning to stand still and let people look, to feel confident in my voice when speaking, to cashiers or on the phone, well, not easy stuff.  Fleeing, though, well it doesn’t help me get what I need, and doesn’t help my world share what I have to offer.  Lezlie is sure I need some kind of practice, need to be able to help others.

Having a smart, observant, fast-thinking actress sit across from me and communicate, well, that was good.

But what do I say when I meet someone at a Chamber Of Commerce mixer?   How do I just let them look at me, trusting my own grace?

Maybe Lezlie can help.

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