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Look vs. Feel

A past thought reconsidered.....

I do not “feel” any differently when I am dressed than when not.  My emotions are heightened, I am happy, excited, looking forward to what lies ahead of me.  But in my head, nothing changes.  My view of the world, my thought process, the same.  Now how I view the world, how I think did change on that October afternoon back in 2014.  It did change considerably when I told my wife on December 2, 2014.  But since, my attire at any specific time doesn’t change me internally, I don’t feel any more or less feminine at any point in time.  I wish I could do a better job of articulating my mindset, much of my feelings are buried in this conglomeration of me.

My happiness as Kandi is derived from how I look and in turn, am perceived by the world.  Looking pretty, looking nice, looking feminine makes me happy for some inexplicable reason.  My presentation is so important to me.  The manner I present myself has evolved to the situation, event or circumstance.  I love wearing leggings, a headband and a cute top at spin class.  I feel like a queen in my finest dress, on Playhouse Square or at the art museum, being smiled at, hugged, accepted by others.  A skirt and blazer at Sunday services, I couldn’t be happier.  Skinny jeans, a cute sweater at the doctor’s office seem very natural. I cannot remember the last time I went out in public and did not receive a compliment.

There is nothing sensual for me about a specific item of clothing, they are all part of the package.  Bare shoulders, a silky camisole, the right bra, none bring me any specific feeling other than they are just the right part of my presentation for that day.  For example, I wear a slip because the dress or skirt calls for it, not because I like the feeling (although I do love the feeling). The total package is the key for me.  While I try to incorporate articles of female clothing into my daily life, that’s just part of who I have become.

The feelings I have when dressed are of happiness, joy, surprise, acceptance, love, being special, different, unique, well you get the point.  Dressing for me is now the means and not the end.  It’s not about getting dressed anymore, it’s about what I do and what happens when I am dressed. Time hasn’t allowed this of late, but in the past, I had had plenty of time to get dressed at home and have generally passed on doing so, with the exception of preparing outfits for future outings. Even then, it’s kind of strictly business. Come up with an idea, see how it looks, hang it all up together and go on with whatever else I need to do.

I continue to be amazed at all of this, now nine full years into it all.  How did this happen?  How could it completely flip from a hateful urge to a joyful experience?  My life has and remains full of the same challenges we all face, but this, Kandi, for some reason as been wrapped in a big pink bow for me.

But always remember and never forget, be smart, appropriate, confident and visible!


14 Responses

  1. Nice post, Kandi, but I’d really like to pick up on the coloured box at the bottom which I think painted just the right picture.

    In many respects, I am one of the newbies because I’m still experiencing things for the first time. It was less than a month ago that I first queued up to pay for items via a sales assistant and not a self-checkout. And on that same day, it was the first time that I’d walked into a coffee shop and ordered a hot drink and pastry.

    You said ‘I tend to want to drive certain points home, probably more often that you would like.’ – the only thing I would contest is the second half of the sentence because I can never get enough of it. If we’re going to progress this side of ourselves, we all have to understand that most if not all of the fears we have are groundless. And you and the others here demonstrated that to me day after day until I got to the point where it finally sank in. But moreover, thanks to being able to see how much acceptance there is, I have come to love this side of myself when previously I would have done anything to rid myself of it.

    Nowadays, the only reasons I have for not going out into the world on a particular day are pragmatic ones about the consequence on other pressing issues rather than fear. And I have everyone here, who drives that point home day after day, to thank for that.

    1. It’s always nice to take the temperature of the room, so to speak, to make sure the blog is meeting it’s intended purpose. Thanks as always Mandy!!

  2. Kandi,
    Thank you for a very comforting post. What you say resonates strongly with me.

    Like you, articulating how I feel while presenting my female side to the world is difficult. The first few times I was anxious and very self aware. But now I feel just normal. I go about my activities as if nothing special is occurring. My thinking has little to do with how I look, but concentrating on the task at hand: banking, shopping, eating, drinking, strolling, talking with a friend, etc.

    Being dressed as the woman I am does make me feel happy. I want to look presentable and not stand out. I am just me doing my thing.



  3. Kandi,
    No matter where we are on the spectrum even those who have had corrective surgery do not lose that ( tiny ?) male core and no matter how much we try it can surface and catch us out . OK I do question how differently do I look at life now .

    We’ve both accepted out lifestyles are different , I have to be more guarded about exposing any male thoughts , actions or parts of my previous life . I talk about school life in round terms , I can talk about my childhood and my children , I have to take care not to go deeply into my photography business but I can no longer mention having a wife . ( I leant that very quickly from the double takes I recieved ).

    While I appreciate your post isn’t singly about this point I used it to question how different I am now, after so many, many years it’s good to say , ” I like ME !”

    On the subject of the actual feel of dessing feminine , manufacturers know women like the sensation of certain fabrics and the way they’re cut to show the female form , I’m no different I do enjoy the choices women have , dressing for the right occasion is wonderful to experience . I don’t go looking for compliments but it is nice when they come your way but I always return the compliment .

  4. Kandi you never cease to amaze me. You have lived an amazing life so far and continue to do so. Keep doing what your doing.T

    1. Sometimes I feel like Sisyphus, pushing that boulder up hill (both ways). Thank you for the affirmation, I needed it today (which you will read about sometime soon).

  5. I too wish I could explain how I feel when dressed, the closets I can come is I feel like me.
    I am much more expressive when out en fem than in male mode but I admit I’ve noticed even now I’m getting more so even in male mode so maybe Rachael is spilling over who knows
    I mean in my mind I always refer to myself as girl this or girl that not something I did years ago before Rachael blossomed
    So yes I do feel a bit different but that’s more because I finally expressed myself not because of anything I wore in particular
    I know I really care nothing for male clothing now but that’s another story

  6. I understand how you feel because, to borrow your terminology, being Fiona has for some reason been wrapped in a big pink bow for me also. I’m still not exactly sure how it happened but am thankful that it did. Life is much more pleasurable, interesting and fulfilling.

    So keep on keeping on sis!


  7. Kandi,
    This seemed like an appropriate time to post to say Thank you for all that you do! I consider myself sort of a newbie. I have been going out in public regularly for the last two years. I have gained so much confidence from reading the experiences here. I have regular facials , I get my hair done , I have sat in the middle pedicure chair, I go to church fairly regularly. I have attended the theater, the ballet, a couple art shows. I spent 4 days at the Omni hotel in downtown Louisville. I recently volunteered to help mail tickets from the ballet box office. In a couple of weeks I have volunteered to serve the dancers between shows.I usually go alone, but sometimes my wife ,goes with me. I always try to dress to impress. But always for the situation. I am amazed at the compliments that I receive. My eastitician says that it’s their way of acknowledging me as who I am.
    Much love
    Vanessa Vanreed

    1. Vanessa,

      First of all, I am pleased I figured out the problem you were having posting comments (blind squirrel, acorn….).

      More importantly, it thrills me that we had a small contribution to your ability to get out and be you. It’s the power of our Contributors, it’s the community of Kandi’s Land and it’s my personal honor to have figured out this www thing and put that to good use.

      Keep being a shining light!


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