A while back, I wrote an essay about “My Triggers“. It’s one of the best things I have ever written on the topic of….me, and one that resonated with many.
My three triggers were opportunity, idle time (idle mental time to be specific) and stress. That was in the pre-Kandi days, before there was ever the thought of dressing completely and creating a female persona and becoming the woman I have become.
Now approaching ten years being, living, breathing as Kandi, I still wrestle with things. I no longer loathe myself for these feelings, I treasure them. But I miss the man I have become as the woman I am. I know, I’ll explain.
I have quite a bit of downtime during the holidays. The company I drive for has their holiday shutdown. On the sales side, no one is doing anything until after the first of the year. With adult children, they visit, but it’s not quite a long as it used to be. My wife’s job never really changes in the context of the ebbs and flows in how I make a living. So while during any other month except December, I never sit still for hours on a Saturday afternoon. It’s rainy, no one is home, nothing is on TV, I write. Kandi is not really possible from a practical perspective for the holiday week, so there is nothing but idle time.
Because of my self-acceptance, I have changed in more ways than one. Accepting who I am, becoming Kandi has improved not only my life, but my masculinity, strange as that seems. I still am not as open about my feelings in the real world as I am here. I open my heart and mind and it all pours out. Around family, I remain somewhat guarded.
So how has my masculinity improved? I would say, in my male roles in life, I am better at them. I think I am a better parent (it helps having grown and successful children, so I have no every day parenting obligations). I am a better spouse to my wife. I am a better salesperson. When I get in front of people, they don’t realize it but Kandi is selling her ass off even if she is not actually “there”. I daily have those, I’ll be all-man today, thoughts (never completely possible because I made a certain wardrobe commitment many years ago). Not sure why, but a well assembled woman’s outfit trumps a well assembled male outfit all day, every day. I still get a bit of a male high when I am able to waddle for a great five mile run (I am 15 pounds heavier that that person who qualified for Boston) and I cherish them. Without feverishly following sports anymore, I can have a lengthy dialog with anyone about our sports teams and have them leave knowing I know more about what is going on than they do. Many years of life experience has made me wise and that and five bucks won’t get me a grande latte at Starbucks.
Still, ten years in. Walking the runway, being in movies, doing photoshoots, attending wonderful events in Erie and at Keystone, becoming an essential part of many local institutions, being a member of the Sherry Christmas gang…….all of these things, the ability to scratch the Kandi itch at a high level. But even now, when the mind grows quiet, here she comes again! She is still always the space filler. She still bridges the gap between one thought or task to the next. Kandi still is my default mindset, she remains my operating system. Ten years in…..she still fills the void.
I do not expect that to ever change.