Before the pandemic (I mean, we’re still in the pandemic but life is slowly going back to normal-ish), I traveled pretty often for my job. I would go about once a month and would be gone anywhere from a couple of days to a week. I have started to travel again for work and although I enjoy where I go and seeing people I work with, I always, always look forward to coming home. After one or two nights in hotels I really long for my own bed, my home, and especially my wife. I miss the familiar routine of my homelife when I travel. I suppose it’s a fortunate thing to have two homes (if you will) that I enjoy being in.
During the pandemic I would sometimes get restless from being home for too long. I am used to traveling, I am used to being in the office for certain meetings and work-related events. Doing those same things remotely wasn’t the same, and I missed the places, the restaurants, the lingerie shops (obviously!), I would visit when I would travel. Of course once I am settled into my hotel and I have a moment to rest I really long for my own home. Once the busyness of travel and Lyft rides and meetings are over I have a chance to catch my breath and then the homesickness settles in.
It’s a double-edged sword, I suppose. I like traveling but I don’t like being away from home, if that makes sense.
Like my gender identity, it’s like I have two lives. The life I have at home, and the life I have when I am on the road (or in the air, I suppose).
Being bi-gender gives me a life that is divided into two parts. Yes, some aspects of them do overlap but my boy life and my girl life have pretty defined boundaries (like sections of my closet). Like feeling restless about being home during the pandemic, I felt the same way about being in boy mode for loooong periods of time during lockdown. Yes, I could dress at home, but it wasn’t the same. It’s not as much fun to dress to kill in stilettos and a LBD when you are in your own living room. When I traveled for the first time after lockdown there was a certain thrill that I hadn’t felt in a while. Traveling for work felt normal and routine for a bit but the first time on the plane in a year and half brought a certain excitement that I hadn’t felt for some time. Going out en femme for the first time once the pandemic started brought similar emotions.
When I am in boy mode for too long, I miss and long for Hannah’s life, her wardrobe, and her friends. But on the flipside, after the end of of a long (but fabulous) day en femme, I miss the small, intimate life that my boy side has. I have a pretty short social battery and as much as I love Hannah’s life, her life requires me to be more chatty, more outgoing, more… present than my boy life demands. The boy likes being home on a Saturday night. Watching a movie with my wife, ordering takeout. Hannah’s life is the opposite.
And goodness, it’s exhausting.
I mean, it’s wonderful and beautiful and essential, but after a ten to twelve hour day in Hannah’s life, it’s nice coming back to the boy life and feeling things quiet down. I can rest, I can recharge, and I can center myself.
Of course, Hannah’s life does the same thing for me. When my makeup is done and I am dressed head to heels, I feel like I exhale. The tension and anxiety and stress and pressure of my boy life takes a back seat for a bit and… well, it’s like a vacation from all of that.
Working from home and traveling for work are about as opposite as you can get. Some things are easier, some things take more work, there are advantages and drawbacks in both aspects. I suppose both of my genders are not unlike both aspects of my career. I know some of my colleagues love traveling. They enjoy the time away from their spouses and children and dread going back home. I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry that they don’t have a homelife that they enjoy going back to. I can’t relate to them. After a day or so in a hotel I am ready to go back home. Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed to have the dual life my career provides. I get to see parts of the country I wouldn’t have the opportunity to have otherwise. I suppose it’s just nice to have a homelife that I miss.
My gender identities are the same. I love my home, and I love traveling. I am lucky to have both aspects. I’m glad to have two amazing cities to live in. I’m fortunate to have two genders that I love. As time passes I gain a better understanding of who I am and what I want. The reason I don’t want to transition is that I like who I am, I like ALL of who I am. I like going back and forth between gender presentations. I don’t want to pick one. While it’s true that stilettos are waaaay more fun to wear than a necktie, I don’t feel out of place or betraying myself when I am in boymode. Both of my genders are different aspects of one life.
5 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Genders”
Being a bit (quite a bit) older now, I still enjoy getting out, but I don’t have the energy to go as long or as far….in either mode. I’m happy now to make a short day-trip to a mall or coffee shop, maybe visit a park and have lunch somewhere. At home, I flip back and forth, mostly out of convenience…sometimes its just easier, like doing messing chores in drab, but during quiet times (I’m alone) I welcome the peace and comfort of returning to girl mode. Its a luxury to have the option of either one.
I travel for work as well. Usually 30-40 weeks out of they year. Depends on the particular project but when all travel stopped, it was nice for about 4 weeks. Then I too missed the road.
I am in the closet and only really get a change to be Erin when traveling.
I also started back in flight in June but not like it was pre COVID. Not sure if that’s a paradigm change or not.
Enjoyed your post..
I know just what you mean, Hannah. I have got to a point where I am comfortable with both sides of me, as boy mode and as Susie. They both have their positives and their drawbacks (Susie takes far too long to get ready) but I would not want to have to give one up for the other. The only downside is balance, which is more like a 95/5 ratio than the 80/20 or 70/30 I might prefer (I suspect I’ll always spend more time in boy mode).
However there is always a wrench when its time, after a whole day as Susie, I have to change back before my partner comes back in the evening. There is always a tendency to want to put it off for another hour until the last possible minute, and I have sometimes pushed it to the limit where I am still scrubbing off eyeliner when I hear the key in the door. Having two full days where I don’t have to worry about this and can curl up on the sofa as Susie with a glass of wine and watch a movie is bliss.
I’m struggling to juggle both genders at the moment. It’s great that you have defined times for both parts of your life. Mine mixes and I’m beginning to realise why it doesn’t sit easy with my wife. Having read your words and spoken to my counsellor, I’m going to make it my goal to define my genders. Albeit I really would prefer to spend most of my life as Carla. As usual, you are informative and interesting when you write.
I’m generally satisfied with going out dressed up about twice a month, which I think is about on par with most cis-female preferences. I think the vast majority of American women find it easy to wear pants most of the time but either like wearing skirts every now and then or wear them when the occasion warrants it as in baby shower, wedding, date night, etc.
I see my therapist every three weeks and I always get dressed up for my sessions. I feel calm and introspective when I’m wearing a pretty outfit, and I find it helps me open up to my feelings.
I think for me it would be a chore to dress up EVERY day like the TV news ladies, although I do admire their lovely stylish presentations. I would like the freedom to change into a pretty nightgown when I get home from work but alas my wife does not want to see me in any sort of feminine clothing.
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