Something I've learned from being now 4 different people in my lifetime is that somethings take longer to get used to than others. I think the central theme of this blog was originally how difficult it is to get used to living life as the other sex, and I'll admit, that was probably the biggest and most obvious thing to get used to. Things just feel different and it takes awhile for it to be 2nd nature. It definitly is for me now. I've been female for a long time now and I think if I woke up tomorrow in my old body I'd find it weird as hell.
Body shape is a big difference too. I've been all shapes and sizes. From Priya (Tiny), to Deb (Flabby) To Alex (Fit) and each time you have to react to your body parts being different sizes even though their functionally the same as the ones you had before. Butt size is a big thing. Sitting down is something we all take for granted and we all have this expectation of when our behind is going to hit the chair. If its higher or lower we're slightly surprised. When you all of a sudden lose or gain a few inches/padding to that area, the whole thing changes.
The physical stuff is easy compared to the mental stuff. Youre brain eventually gets used to the neural patterns and you start to adapt to the new shape. But the mind itself doesnt change, or at least not critically. Sure it's flooded with a new batch and level of hormones to deal with but it's still you inside.
What got me thinking and musing was something that happened today. I failed to turn and answer when "my" name was called by someone who knows me. A name is a pretty personal thing. Its drilled into your head you whole life. For 20+ years people called me Greg and I still turn and look when people call it out in public. You cant imagine how hard it is to subconsciously answer to another name out of the blue. This was especially hard when I was a teacher and one of the kids would keep saying "Ms. Patel" 2 or 3 times before I remembered "Oh wait, that's me".
I was reminded of this phenomenon when I was out shopping today, buying groceries even though I have a full time job (*coughs* lazy wife *coughs). When someone practically screams in my ear "ALEX"
I turn and see a woman about my age and height wearing a low cut tank top, blue jeans, designer glasses and a very short haircut reaching over to give me a hug. Clearly this was some friend but I had not idea who. I know its mean to stereotype but she looked like a lesbian, was she an ex? Was she a friend, I know that a lot of times gay people form a tight community. I went into my now familiar "youre-supposed-to-know-this-person-so-fake-like-you-do" mode.
"I havent seen you or Sharon since you went on Vacation, I thought maybe you two liked the coast so much that you moved there"
I chuckled awkwardly "Yeah, but I couldnt leave the excitement of Vermont behind"
We chatted for about 15 minutes while I finished my shopping (she followed me). I managed to BS my way through it. Basically told her that me and Sharon were both really busy with work and regrettably weren't socializing lately. She gave me a few facts about things and people I had no idea about before we parted with her saying that we should totally play tennis sometime.
I called the real Alex later that night after she had put her new kids to bed and she had me go through her facebook friends and link her to the profile of the woman I met, which is brilliant.
Apparently the woman is named Annabelle Maclean and she's a college friend of Sharon and Alexis. Gay, yes but totally platonic with the both of them. Turns out she and Alex are occasional tennis partners. Alex recommended that I hang out with her because she's fun as well as the fact that being social hermits for a year would be pretty damaging to their lives.
I think I'm gonna take her up on that advice because I'm starting to get cabin fever. Malinda may still be getting used to the whole new body new life I'm scared to impersonate someone but this isnt my first rodeo. I'm ready to meet new people. When I decided to become a "Traveler" and take on a new life and body every year I did it so I could have new experiences and meet new people, something I'm not doing a lot of living with a wet blanket like Malinda.
So this weekend I'm going to play tennis, poorly. But I'm going to enjoy myself. Ive actually been dying to test the athletic potential of this body so this will be good for me.
Also on a blog note, I held off on posting the last couple of weeks because Alia told me that there were new writers sending her emails. I wanted to give the readers time to get used to their stories as well as for the writers to be able to post their stuff without it being buried once they got their acccounts.
To our four new "victims" I say welcome and hopefully this is only a one year adventure for you all.