A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Posts tagged ‘job hunt’

Day Eight: Enter the rat race.

As you may or may not know, I live vicariously through my Youtube subscriptions.  One of them recently posted a video about having on the job harassment issues, etc.

As much as that sucks for him, it’s actually helped me to form a game plan for when I start to really go through transition.  This is from my response to the video:

“…I actually have a plan to get a shitty little job of some sort, food service or something, to get me through during transition, and then, as soon as I’m passable, I’m going to look for another job and drop the first one like a hot potato.  I don’t want to get into something I’ll enjoy doing if it means I’ll have to leave it as soon as I transition.”

I mean, it’s a pretty sweet idea, and it pretty much follows what I was planning to do career-wise anyway- take whatever crappy little job I can get, and then build from there.  I’ve heard it said many a time that it’s much easier to GET a job when you HAVE a job, so if anything, all my strategy really does is stretch out the time I spend in my shitjob a little longer, probably.

I already work a volunteer job, so I have a taste of what it’s like to be unpassable and not out in the workplace- it SUCKS.  I haven’t brought it up because simply enough, it would just complicate things unduly in a workplace that it’s really not worth it for.  I’m working at the local food bank, which basically translates to working with uber conservative, upstanding, elderly white ladies who would probably have a heart attack if they knew they were working with a transsexual.

It’s kinda funny, actually.

They all really do love me to death there, because I’ve shown initiative, dedication, good people skills and phone skills, and invaluable computer experience (really, they don’t much know what they’re doing with the computers they have, so any help makes me look like a wizard.)  And I hate to put a cynical slant on things, but one of my top motivations for working there isn’t so much helping the community as racking up work experience, a good list of references and connections to the working world.  I feel like all my time there would be wasted if I alienated them by demanding their acceptance in this area, too.  So, basically, it’s turned into a big game of kiss-ass, which kind of gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.  But hey, you do what you can to get ahead, and as long as you’re not hurting anyone in the process, there’s really nothing wrong with it, right?

Anyway, that’s all a microcosm of what I’m probably going to be going through at McDonalds or whatever patty flipping joint I can manage to work at- except with less money, less hours and less gender problems.  Once I get on T, I expect the shit’s really gonna hit the fan.  I’m going to have to deal with people questioning my binding (which generally becomes more evident the longer you spend time with a certain group), my voice drop and my facial hair growth (which, if my genetics have any say about it, will be prolific, believe you me.)  I plan on deflecting as much as possible, and sad to say, I’m probably not going to do much sticking up for myself if I’m starting a job looking like this and wind up looking like my dad.  They’re going to have every right to be curious, and frankly, I can’t expect them to switch pronouns to accommodate me unless I wind up working with a real bang-up, intellectual, forward-thinking group of fast-food workers.  Not exactly the descriptors that come to mind, right?

These will be the crappiest six months to a year of my life, and it’s going to be worth it.

Getting in shape.

I’ve been feeling like it would be a good idea to start focusing on some area of self-improvement that’s less trans focused.  To be honest, there hasn’t been a day in the last nine months where achieving “maleness” wasn’t on my mind at least once every few hours.  To be sure, my life has improved because of the switches I’ve made, but it seems unhealthy to be so obsessed with one aspect of my life, and frankly, I’m getting tired of it.  Not to say I’m tired of being male- far from it, and there’s no way I’d ever go back.  But sometimes, I just want a break from gender entirely.

BUT, there are few respites from that kind of personal awareness- either falling into some form of substance abuse (and I have to admit, I’ve had my share of alcohol since my birthday, which I’m now generally staying away from), or focusing my energy somewhere else entirely- doing something challenging enough and consuming enough that I have little time to focus on the things that I want a break from.  Since my job hunt is continuing to go nowhere fast, and I’m almost entirely creatively constipated (I’ve been trying to partake in Scriptfrenzy, to little avail), I’ve chosen to start trying to get in shape.

It’s no coincidence that this decision came about the time my family decided to buy a Wii.  About a week and a half ago, when we got Wii Fit with the balance board, etc., I decided to go on a rigorous and serious workout regime accompanied by my personal form of dieting.

Exercise tends to come out to about an hour a day, with half of it aerobics and the other half yoga and strength training.  I wanted to start by getting my body fat back into an acceptable range, and then do a lot more strength training and bodybuilding to build back up, only with muscle.  I’m working on a lot of cardio and endurance, and the yoga is making me almost as flexible as I was when I was 13.  It feels pretty damn good- don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t work up a sweat on the Wii, because you can if you look for the right exercises and work at them long enough.

The dieting portion is turning out to be somewhat less enjoyable.  I call it the “water diet,” which isn’t nearly as horrible as it sounds.  You start by keeping your system constantly flushed with water, which over time can help by removing toxins.  Also, I learned that much of the time, when your body is telling you that you’re hungry (especially if you’re used to eating a lot but not drinking much), it’s really just saying that it’s thirsty.

The second element is calorie content.  I did a little research and found that, generally, if a woman wants to lose weight, the safe range of calorie intake is  1200-1500, and for men, it’s 1500-1800.  I try to hover around 1500 a day, eating a balanced composition of all food groups.  The leeway of the men’s side of things is also a lot easier, at least at first.  I’m still getting used to eating smaller portions and I wind up kind of lightheaded a lot of the time, but my body just needs time to get used it.  I’m not really changing WHAT I eat by too much, other than to add in more fruits and veggies, and cut out most of the soda and junk food, but I am changing how much of it I take.  It’s all about portion control- I’ve learned in the last week that the serving sizes of things tends to be about half of what I pour in my bowl!

The point of this diet, in a nutshell, is to consume exactly the amount of food that I need to remain healthy and working at top performance, no more and no less, and replace the rest of what I would normally eat with water to remain hydrated, so that my body will eventually get used to processing only the calories that I need without storing a bunch of them away.  I know my stomach size must be distended, because I’m used to eating probably twice as much.  So over time, my stomach will hopefully physically adapt to the amount of food I’m putting in it, and shrink a little.

To be honest, though, I think I’m taking it a little too quickly here at the beginning.  Last time I did this diet, I didn’t really count my calories too much, and I actually lost about 20 pounds over the course of several months, without even exercising.  But that was several years ago.  This time, because my body weight has settled into a higher bracket, and I’m seeming to have a harder time taking it off (probably because I’m 21 and not 16), I’ve been cracking the whip at myself pretty hard.  Most of what goes into my mouth comes out of a measuring cup, and meal time becomes math time.  And I’m finding a different result some of the time with drinking the water than last time.

I’m accompanying my meals with a lot of water, and by the end of it, my stomach feels full, greatly so, but sometimes I’m actually finding myself lightheaded, dizzy, and… how to put it… hungry in my head, like I actually do need more fuel as opposed to more “full”.  I think I really should take it a little easier from this point, and start to listen when my body is telling me it’s hungry, especially when I’m drinking craploads of water.

All that said, I’ve been on this about 10 days, and I’ve lost 3 pounds so far, which isn’t an unhealthy rate of weight loss if you’re doing it right.  I’m pretty happy with myself, since on the whole I actually feel stronger and more flexible.

I think the most positive thing about this is that it’s a form of self improvement that is gender neutral.  I know that women are generally more concerned about calorie content and weight, and men are generally more concerned with being toned and having muscle definition, but everyone wants to be healthy, right?  Not only that, but taking some pounds off will really help my awful knees.  Furthermore, it is tied in with transition in a somewhat obscure way- I’ve heard awful stories about gender surgeons declining patients because they were too fat, and while I don’t think that’s a HUGE danger for me, I do weigh a lot more than I look like I weigh due to my muscle content and bone structure, and I’m afraid that I might fall into the category of inoperable if I don’t at least take SOME weight off.

Long story short, I’d rather be all muscle and bone and weigh the same weight I do now than weigh 30 pounds less and be a pencil-neck, but at least some of this is fat and I need rid of it.

Procrastination and venting.

Ugh.

So, for the last five days I’ve been cleaning.

I am SO FUCKING TIRED of cleaning.

Aside from the fact that I came down with a mysterious flu-bug-type-thing that made me puke my guts all over the place and I’ve therefore been wanting to sleep pretty much non-stop lately, I’ve had to clean places in the house that I forgot existed, for people who usually don’t care that much about said places.  But when these people are in surgery, and want a house spotless when they get back, and threaten not only with the fact that there are going to be an inordinate amount of visitors in the following days, including house inspectors from Child Protective Services, but also imply that the quality of many people’s lives will depend on whether you’ve cleaned your room or not…

you have to clean.

I’m serious, things are getting out of hand.  I’ll try to keep this short because there’s really no way of fully explaining it without completely slandering my stepmom’s no-good rotten son, but basically my step-sister-in-law is in a tough spot and needs someone to take care of her two small daughters or they’re going into the foster care system for a long time.  So they’ve turned to my stepmom, and if things turn out the way everyone expects, we’re going to have two squalling foster children running around here.  Living in a bedroom two feet from mine.

I can’t begin to explain the vast number of ways this may wreck my life.  It’ll DEFINITELY change things.  For a rather petty example, I was counting on having the house to myself again in 3 months when my stepmom goes back to work, which is an unimaginably long enough stretch for me, but it’s probably going to go more like this- when she’s at work, I’ll probably be expected to look after them.

I never wanted to be a babysitter.  I never asked for any of this.  I certainly never asked for my dad to marry someone whose son would wind up in prison and dump his children on us.  I know I’m being particularly cold-hearted and awful about this, but this is the worst time in transition for any of this to happen.  I don’t want those babies seeing me like this.  I don’t want to explain to a seven year old why I’m tying my dirtypillows down every morning before I get dressed should they walk in on me.  I definitely don’t want them to walk in on me using my STP.  I don’t want to explain any of it, I don’t want her talking to my parents about what her curious little eyes may observe should she poke around like she’s so apt to do.

Long story short, it’s time to get out before things get weird.  I can’t stand being observed like this 24-7 anymore and I don’t care what it takes.  I’m afraid I’ll have to move a long, long way from here and everyone I love just to get away from things that might wind up tearing me down.  Or at least from things that might drive me insane.

And the first thing that those girls are doing to me is making me clean, way faster and more than I ever wanted to.  My stepmom is intent on pressing the point that, if my room is dirty, they’ll deny us custody of those girls and a lot of people’s lives will be ruined, including mine.  I’m sure she’ll make certain of that.  (Whereas, if I DO clean it, the ONLY life that will be ruined is mine.)

Okay, I’m being very selfish there.  One way or another, a lot of people are hurting through this.  My stepmom has a 14 inch incision on her side where they replaced her hip, and she has to take care of them through her recovery.  No matter where those little girls end up, they’re going to be ripped away from their mother and no children deserve that.  My step-sister-in-law is going crazy without her children, and even seeing them in the hands of people she can trust, she’s being denied almost ALL visitation rights.  My dad is 50 years old and, I would judge, too old to be taking care of a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old; it’s going to be tough on him too.  He was just settling into his later years, seeing his first kids out of the nest, and now it’s all starting over again.  So many more lives are being upturned by this, and I’m reacting to it like a big, selfish baby.

But I can’t help but vent about it.  I’m just thinking about little children hanging off the back of my computer chair (the family computer, I might add, is conveniently placed in the living room where anyone can bother me if they so choose- my parents at least have the tact to not read over my shoulder).  It makes me shudder.  They’ll probably invade every aspect of my life that they can while they’re here, and the thought of it drives me up the wall.

Maybe it’s a good thing.  My job hunt was grinding to a depressed, rejected halt after getting denied so many menial jobs so many times, and this may drive me to such desperation for an income to live out of here on that I’ll find a job I otherwise might have missed in my miserable stagnation.

I think I’m mainly afraid that this is going to slow the process of transition somehow, when it’ll actually probably speed it up some.  This is happening at a time that’s rousting me out of a comfortable place of nothingness I was settling into.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that stagnation is generally a bad thing, but I really needed it right now.  In that period of few events going on in my day-to-day life, I was experiencing an intensely accelerated period of mental growth, rooting out old problems and sorting through the past, really finding the root of everything.  But now that I’ve pretty much gotten to the bottom of things, my life is picking up again, whether I want it to or not.

I feel a little bit like I’ve been standing on the side of an ice-cold pool, contemplating diving techniques, swimming strokes, the temperature of the water, and all kinds of other water-related things without actually swimming…

And then two little girls came up behind me and pushed me back in without warning.

I’ll probably be pretty pissed at them for a little while, but would I have done any swimming at all if they hadn’t pushed me in… before closing time?

Time to jump back in.

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