The absolute worst feeling in the world is DREAD. Leaving work on a Friday knowing you have a BAD meeting scheduled for Monday ruins your whole weekend. At least mine will be ruined, not everyone is inflicted with the level of anxiety I get to deal with.
On the flip (and more positive) side, the BEST feeling is peace.
I’ve always been restless, I’ve always been ambitious. These two emotions feed off of each other. I accomplish something and would immediately look for a new challenge. This is not necessarily a bad thing, I think ambition is an admirable trait in someone. It’s one of the few things I like about myself. Please don’t read too much into that, I am fine, I have a healthy self-esteem (maybe a little TOO healthy based on the number of photos I post, lol), I am happy with who I am (in all aspects) and amazed at how wonderful my life is turning out. I like working towards SOMETHING, I like looking forward to things. I find joy in work, whether it is a home project, something for my job, or seasoning a corset.
Of course, the more things one attempts the likelihood of failure increases. And that seems overly and perhaps unnecessarily pessimistic, but it’s the truth. The only way to avoid failure and criticism is do nothing, to say nothing. This is true in any aspect of life, especially presenting en femme. When I post a photo or strut out of the house the reactions and interactions are mostly either positive or… non-existent. At the mall I may have someone compliment my dress or makeup, but for every kind comment there are countless unspoken opinions. And that’s fine, I don’t need compliments or reassure, I dress for my damn self, thank you very much.
The risk of posting a photo or going out en femme are unkind people. People who go out of their way to write something nasty about a posted picture or say something in public. It’s just cruel, there’s no other way to interpret an action like that.
And it hurts. Sometimes it bothers me for a couple of minutes, sometimes I think about it every moment of every day for the rest of my life.
I know I COULD completely avoid this from happening. All it would take is for me to never leave the house en femme and completely vanish from social media. Easy-peasy. BUT! I am not going to do that. My ego wouldn’t let me resist posting a picture of myself that I really like for very long and staying home after getting a new and amazing dress is not an option. However on a more enlightened (and less shallow) perspective, you shouldn’t let the haters win, don’t let some jerk ruin your day or dull your sparkle. I know it’s easier said than done, especially when I can perfectly recall an unkind comment that someone said to me like five years ago when I was out shopping, but God knows I try.
True peace starts with years and years of, well, living. It also comes from forgiveness of others and forgiving yourself. It comes from accepting that you will fail, and giving yourself permission to fail. It’s not been an easy couple of weeks in my male life. Everything is “fine”, but I am faced with a couple of things (one family and one work-related) that I am not used to dealing with. Not being used to a challenge usually means it’s not something one has a lot of experience with, and therefore problem-solving and being able to process something on an emotional or mental level aren’t things one has had a chance to develop and ultimately apply to a problem.
In other words, I’m working on stuff I don’t know how to fix because they are not issues I’ve faced before.
Again, everything is fine, or will be fine. No one is dying and I am not looking down the barrel of unemployment so please don’t think I am all doom and gloom. Were I facing either of these (well let’s charitably call them challenges) individually life (on every level) would be more manageable, obviously. But both of these at the same time?? Completely overwhelming. I am exhausted and feel I could break under the pressure. I’ve never felt completely defeated but goodness I am getting there.
I know things will get better. The work thing will pass and work itself out. Without getting tooooooooooo specific my team at work are all working on a project and we all have specific responsibilities and obligations and based on our progress as a team AND as individuals we are all going to fail miserably. As a team we have projects all the time at different times throughout the year and I almost always accomplish my tasks and often over-achieve to the point I can make up for a colleague’s shortcoming. I am not used to being where I am in terms of this work project. It’s been a while since I have crashed and burned in such a spectacular way on a work project so the feeling of impending failure (or dread) is not something I am used to. I don’t know how to cope with walking into a dumpster fire, if that makes sense. My inner dialogue hasn’t been very kind to me lately. The comfort (if you can call it that) I am clinging to (like a shipwrecked passenger holding onto driftwood) is that this project has to be completed by the end of the year.
And it won’t be. It’s… disheartening to start the new year in such a way, but there’s little that can be done at this point. It would take a miracle for this project to meet the deadline.
And then? Life goes on. My manager will yell at us and he’ll get yelled at and then he’ll yell again… and onto the next project. In other words we will stubbornly move on from the failure as we pour our energy, time, and attention to the NEXT project. Dwelling on the past (in all of its aspects) isn’t healthy or productive. Of course, I know this. This too will pass, and all that. But between now and then, this lingering and inevitable failure, this Sword of Damocles, will hang over my head and will occupy a lot of my attention over the holidays. Which, to be honest, sucks. I WANT to shut off the part of my brain that is reserved for work, but I can’t do that. My anxiety doesn’t let me do that. Instead I will be occupied with thoughts of missed opportunities that lead to this impending work project failure while I visit with my family and eating amazing food on Christmas.
As for the more important, family concern, well, it’s one day at a time. Helping a beloved family member get through something is never easy. The past two weeks have had its share of breakthroughs and frustrations, to say the least. Yesterday was a good day, so I am feeling more positive. Most of last week, not so much. This roller coaster is killing me. But that’s enough about this very personal situation.
Empowerment is important and sometimes I would argue it’s the only thing that will get you through something. I told myself after a particularly frustrating day at work that I need to give myself permission to fail. Not every project will be successful, not every stride in five inch stilettos will be without a stumble. Being able to shake off a stumble, a failed work project, a negative comment is not easy but God, you have to do it. Sometimes time heals a wound, sometimes it takes a personal revelation, sometimes it takes years of therapy. If I knew how to shake off everything that dulled one’s sparkle I could write a self-help book and sell a zillion copies and never have any (financial) problems ever again. But I don’t have all the answers and I never will.
Knowing you don’t have all of the solutions, knowing that not every strut will be graceful, knowing that every day at work will not be an amazing experience… this is how peace slowly creeps in. If you let it. I know (and I know from personal experience) that this can consume and frustrate someone in incredibly negatively powerful ways. But God I need to let things go. Giving myself permission to fail, acknowledging that I am feeling unprepared when it comes to helping someone in need (and asking for help myself), this is how I can begin to productively handle a situation. You need to stop panicking before you can be of any help to someone. Drink some coffee, put on some lipstick, and handle it.
Or at the very least, put on your favorite panties.
I know this is very simplistic. I know this is alllll easier said than done. But every strut in stilettos begins with a small, tentative step in kitten heels. Every life changing revelation has its beginnings in a small, quiet realization. Whether it is giving yourself permission to fail or a in sudden bolt of inspiration.
This website does it’s best to provide relevant and relatable content to our cute little community. I also know that this website is a LITTLE self-serving and self-indulgent (again, I post a lot of photos and recognition I may get) and will from time to time post about something personal (such as this). Just like I dress for myself, I sometimes write for myself. Writings like this help me with some perspective and I find it therapeutic to sort out some of the thoughts swirling around my head and consuming my heart. Thank you for bearing with me as I go on and on (and on and on) about my brain and life. I do try to equate my thoughts with relatable experiences to ya’ll, like dealing with nasty comments or walking in heels so I hope if you read this it wasn’t a TOTAL waste of time, lol.