Author Topic: One New Life to Live  (Read 3637 times)

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Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2020, 10:39:34 am »
Today's Wednesday and already it's been a momentous week. A call from Kaiser Monday offering me a FFS surgery date next week has set off a series of dominoes, tasks both medically and personally to ready before the operation: transportation to and from the Bay Area, care of my cat while I'm away, multiple tests, and shopping for post-op supplies.

One positive outcome from this surprise is that I'll now have more data to make my decision about whether to stay in my current city or move an hour north where I can begin to live 24/7 as Laura. My self questions and your wonderful replies, which are guiding me, may be found on my Stay or Go thread.

Deciding to pull up stakes and build a new house an hour north from here is a complex decision with a variety of decision points, not all easily made. Timing is also a factor. The main factor to move depends on how I feel when I look in the mirror after FFS. If I feel I can blend into the crowd, I'll feel more confident about moving and I know I'll need to wait at least two months after FFS to have an idea how my appearance has changed.

Onward.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline davina61

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2020, 11:07:50 am »
Good news dear, hope you get the logistics sorted. May it all go well XXX
a long time coming (out) HRT 12 2017


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Know a bit about everything but not enough to be clever

Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2020, 03:36:31 pm »
Today I feel blessed, not because FFS is three days away, but because I came out to one more tennis friend today and, like the other two of our Friday foursome, was accepting. Below is his reply.

Thanks for reaching out.  I know that couldn't have been easy for you.  My niece was in limbo with being transgender, so we are aware of the acceptance hurdles a person has to go through.  In the end, it starts and finishes with you.  Once you believe in your truth path, true friends and family will cling to that confidence and become the fabric around you.  Sure, there will be conflicts as some are more sensitive to change than others, but confidence will build your foundation.  There might be people that don't know you might talk behind your back or directly at you, but to deflect it and stand proud begins with the confidence you have in yourself.  It might be easier said than done, but rejection or disapproval is what everyone faces to one degree or another, so try not to fear it.  instead let it build your character.  As mentioned earlier, it finishes with you, It sounds like you've been dealing with fear of acceptance for over 50 years. Most are lucky to have lived that long and you have been in the shadows of your true self during that time.  If anything, you've earned the right to say, "Enough's enough" and its time to feel good about yourself.

We didn't become friends because you were a man, so no need to fear the friendship is weakened because you are going to be a woman.  Deflect the negative and accept the positive and life will be better than you think.  Hope the procedure helps.  It's understandable if you decide to move, but move because you want to, not because its a reaction to fear.

Should I start calling you Laura now?  And were did Elliott come from?  Isn't a surname change harder to file?


And so, as the countdown to FFS gets shorter, I have one more thing to be thankful for.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Northern Star Girl

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2020, 08:08:54 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
A wonderful and terrific report!!!!!

Thank you for sharing.   I and the rest of your followers are so very happy for you!!!
It's great to have supportive friends.

Again, thank you for sharing your good report... please continue to keep us all updated.

HUGS,   
Danielle
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2020, 01:08:42 pm »
Another step forward today.

This morning, I gathered the nerve to tell one of my neighbors that' I'm transgender. Using advice from @MichelleA and @AllieSF, I gave the Reader's Digest version of my story, including the part where I'm considering moving depending on reactions to my coming out. I'm blessed that she totally accepted me and urged me not to move. I have tears in my eyes. She also asked about what I preferred to be called and I filled her in.

Both neighbors had been talking in the street when I got home from shopping, and one neighbor's eight-year old son was with them. I didn't want to confess in from of him, preferring to give the parent the power to educate at her convenience. I'll tell her next time she's out alone.

So, in a few weeks when my face is healed from FFS, Laura will begin appearing part-time outside.

It's a good day.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Northern Star Girl

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2020, 09:13:44 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura

Thank you posting your latest update.  I am wishing you well with your "coming out" announcement to your neighbors.  Please continue to keep me and the rest of your followers updated as you feel comfortable doing... and next, a special announcement for your followers.... 
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

I am wishing you a VERY
        HAPPY BIRTHDAY
       :icon_birthday:  :icon_birthday:  :icon_birthday:

Wishing you happiness and enjoy your special day.
??? Hmm, CAKE ???  Candles ???  Gifts ???  Friends ???  Family ???


***NOTE:  On your September 7th birthday be certain to check your profile for a special surprise! :)

Best wishes,
Danielle
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Offline davina61

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2020, 01:27:57 pm »
Happy birthday Laura ,enjoy  XXX
a long time coming (out) HRT 12 2017


Jill of all trades mistress of non
Know a bit about everything but not enough to be clever

Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2020, 05:45:45 pm »
Thank you @Davina61 and @Danielle for the birthday wishes and for your encouragement. One step at a time.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2020, 10:16:35 am »
Fear.

That’s what has largely determined the timeline of my transition. I marvel at those who, once they come out to themselves, march right into HRT and, within 18 months, are living full-time. I wish that was me, but...

Fear.

I tend to compare my transition to a children’s story I used to read to my son, “Leo the Late Bloomer.” In the picture book, Leo, a young tiger, is behind his friends in speaking, writing, and nearly everything else. His father is concerned about his delayed development but his mom is not. She knows that everyone blooms when they are ready. Eventually and after further panic by his father, Leo does bloom, proving that not everyone develops at the same rate.

I’m Leo.

Fear has driven me, or more precisely, held me back. It took three years of taking one step forward followed by one step back before my need to transition was greater than my fear. By that point, I’d told two people about Laura. The first, which I call Person One, was a regular doubles partner who I had confided in previously. Having developed trust, I went the extra mile and revealed Laura. That she was, and continues to be, supportive is one of the reasons I was able to push fear back a bit. Oh, fear is still there, but now that I’ve taken many steps forward, I’m finding that it’s easier to take additional steps. It’s like, “Hey, I’m already three miles down the road. It’s easier to take another step forward than walk all the way back.”

Each time something good happens with my transition makes it easier to move forward. Telling the rest of my doubles group, and receiving their love back, empowered me to tell my neighbors. Acceptance by my neighbors will give me some confidence to step outside as Laura.

Yes, fear still drives me. While I may be gathering the confidence to be Laura around the people I know, whether I get to be Laura part-time or full-time is dependent, at least to me, on how well I can pass, or should I say, blend in, once the results of my FFS become apparent. One month after my FFS, there’s still some swelling and bruising, so I know I must wait at least another month before Laura’s new face will be revealed.

Onward.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Northern Star Girl

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2020, 12:02:04 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Thank you for sharing your latest post regarding "Fear"
Please understand that when fear and doubt are not excessive.... fear is our mechanism for our own personal and mental safety, but if gone unchecked it can be very crippling to our development and to our life plans.

A favorite quote of mine is:

     “FEAR has two meanings:

      Forget Everything And Run.

      Face Everything And Rise.”


I am looking forward to reading your future postings and sharings regarding your life and transition journey... 

HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2020, 12:50:43 pm »
A favorite quote of mine is:

     “FEAR has two meanings:

      Forget Everything And Run.

      Face Everything And Rise.”


@Danielle

Your responses to my posts always bring a smile and some hope. I DO appreciate that, even during your busy days, you find time to peer into our lives and shine a light.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2020, 05:36:55 pm »
One Year

In a few days, I’ll celebrate one year on HRT, which seems amazing to me given that fear had me starting and stopping HRT repeatedly the prior three years. That I’ve been able to stay on this path and make steady progress forward is a testament to the support I’ve felt from my friends and the Susan’s community. I must say that I feel incredibly lucky and, as they say, when luck knocks at your door, let it in.

It’s been a momentous year and while I’m not totally thrilled with my breast development, I have much for which to be thankful. I’ve come out to eight people so far, the first being during the summer of 2019. Her support and encouragement was one reason I restarted this journey last October. (A separate, One-Year on HRT story will be posted next week.) This summer, I came out to three more tennis friends, all whom I play doubles with on Friday mornings, and two neighbors. (I figured that if Laura was going to start making appearances outside, my neighbors, most whom have children, should know.

Everyone I’ve told has been incredibly kind and accepting. Several told me they had trans relatives.

Laura has mostly been an indoor creature though, but being so accepted and loved by my friends helped nudge me outside, once two weeks ago for my FFS follow-up and twice this week. On Wednesday, my good friend, who was the first to learn about Laura, had her 41st birthday and while Laura had plans to fly her to Half Moon Bay for lunch, the weather and smoke from CA’s fires forced a cancellation. Instead, we drove to a nearby town, went shopping, and had lunch together, my first time as Laura in a restaurant. We had a ball, although I did notice that several people “clocked” me. It was easy to spot, but their direct looks were of short duration and weren’t repeated again during lunch. That people can be respectful helps maintain and grow my confidence about being out as Laura. My friend reminded me that the more confident I am of myself as Laura, the less people will be able to clock me or upset me if they do.

Today, Friday, the remainder of my close tennis friends met Laura for the first time, as we played doubles. Their love and support, as they got used to calling me Laura, made me feel SO comfortable and at ease. Two courts away was another couple who normally play singles every Friday. During our doubles match, I kept noticing stares from the woman’s husband; While it was obvious that he had he clocked me, it didn’t keep me from enjoying being Laura, but it still bothered me. When I told my friends about the stares, they reminded me that self-confidence will allow me to stop caring about stares. BTW, in trying on Laura’s tennis clothes yesterday, I noticed that she has more tennis outfits than <deadname>. Not just that, I also realized that I wanted MORE outfits. LOL

From here forward, Laura will play with our regular tennis group on Fridays, while <deadname> will play other days. Our Friday group doesn’t play at our tennis club, making this an easy opportunity to not be outed by other members. Being out and about as Laura is an important part of my transition and while it took a long time to reach this point, I’m feeling the desire to go out more…. I'm not ready for the general tennis community to know about her yet. From other postings on Susan’s, I know this is fairly normal. Would I love to be FT some day? Certainly, but I’ll continue moving at my pace while HRT keeps working its magic and swelling from my FFS continues to go down.

FFS was another milestone during the past year and all my hopes and progress are noted on my FFS thread.

We all stand on the shoulders of giants: those MTF who have come before us, our community at Susan’s, and the people who we surround ourselves with. I wouldn’t be at this point in my transition without them. My thousand mile transition journey began four years ago and until a year ago, I had only taken a few steps. Now, I feel as if I’m miles down the road. Yes, I have many miles to go, but having moved this far forward makes it easier to continue to the journey.

Onward.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Northern Star Girl

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2020, 05:45:30 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
I love your update.
Based on what you have been posting on your journal blog thread ... I think that your plan is a good one...
      “One step at a time”
I am rooting for your success and happiness as you continue going forward toward your goals.

HUGS and my best wishes for you.
DANIELLE

***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2020, 09:00:07 pm »
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
I love your update.
Based on what you have been posting on your journal blog thread ... I think that your plan is a good one...
      “One step at a time”
I am rooting for your success and happiness as you continue going forward toward your goals.

HUGS and my best wishes for you.
DANIELLE
@Danielle
You're a sweetheart, Danielle. Part of my confidence comes from you and your encouragement. Since I love writing, I'll be continuing to post updates in the future. I've a long way to go in my journey, but I also realize how important it is to support those who have just arrived and are looking for kindness.

thank you.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2020, 05:14:17 pm »
BA and GCS

I had a nice talk with Kaiser's Multi-specialty Transitions (MST) representative today. (More of a concierge than a therapist.) This was in response to my conversations with my MST doctor during the one-year HRT check-up. We had a nice talk about what I've been up to the past two years since our last conversation and how I'm progressing with my transition. This consultation was to provide me information and appointments for a future BA and GCS. Eventually, I'll start separate threads for them in the appropriate areas, but here is what I've learned.

First, the timeline from saying I want it and getting it are much shorter than with FFS. With BA, since both cis- and trans women get BA's, there are many more surgeons who perform the surgery, including one in my city. This certainly would make things easier. Because of this, once I'm certain HRT has finished working its magic, in about 12-16 months, I can start the BA process, which has about a six-month wait time.

As for GCS, the timeline is mostly determined by my ability to complete genital cleaning. Gone are the days when you had to be full-time for a year. Instead, once I'm certain genital clearing is complete, there's about a four-month wait. Not bad. In the meantime, I've started the pre-GCS work including scheduling an online class about the surgery and an online appointment with their nurse.

All is good.

Onward.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2020, 05:30:06 pm »
Pre Outing

As Buffalo Springfield said, "There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear."

Last weekend, two separate people (whom <deadname> knows but whom don't know about Laura) approached two different friends about changes they've seen in me. The natives are getting suspicious. Well, it's partially my fault because I continue to wear earrings and the FFS results are probably more noticeable than I thought.

The first, a woman who is the doubles partner of Person One (the first person whom I told about Laura) in our club interleague. She's noticed the changes and wondered if I was trans. My good friend remained silent, preferring to respect my privacy. I had discussed with her (person one) several months ago whether to tell her partner, but because the partner is fairly conservative, she wasn't sure if it was the right time. However, she sensed that now may be the right time to tell her, since she seems to have figured it out. I've texted her, asking her to call me so I can unfold my story with her. I've not heard back, but I'll update when she does.

The second person who asked questions, this time to the male member of our Friday doubles group, is actually the person whose tennis ball hit my nose last Saturday. We've known each other for many years, although because he is very conservative politically, I've not shared Laura's story. My male friend thinks he might be receptive.

Still, this is moving forward much faster than I intended. I've just begun appearing as Laura around my friends and while I know I want to be Laura more often, I'm not ready for the world to know. I may not have a choice though.

I have a timeline and I'm making good progress. I hate to think that other people are going to control/force Laura to come out sooner than she'd like.

(Oh, and I know that I'm not the first to have this problem. Susan's is full of stories about timelines that exploded when people either figured it out or who were betrayed with others outed them.)

Onward.

Laura

One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2020, 11:41:48 am »
Laura, I've thought a lot about gossip and betrayal versus confiding and intimacy. Intimacy is the slow, equitable, consensual exchange of information. Divulgence by divulgence, two people become linked by mutual trust.

Gossip mimics intimacy in one way, for there's an exchange of intimate information, but there's no consent and only one person is possibly imperiled, the target of the gossip, rather than the gossipers who risk nothing as one does when one confides personal information.

My point is that gossip is evil. It is the penetration of intimate social space with no consent and when it starts, it never stops. It sounds like it's started, so you might want to advance your timeline to retain a mote of control.

Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2020, 07:18:43 pm »
Laura, I've thought a lot about gossip and betrayal versus confiding and intimacy. Intimacy is the slow, equitable, consensual exchange of information. Divulgence by divulgence, two people become linked by mutual trust.

Gossip mimics intimacy in one way, for there's an exchange of intimate information, but there's no consent and only one person is possibly imperiled, the target of the gossip, rather than the gossipers who risk nothing as one does when one confides personal information.

My point is that gossip is evil. It is the penetration of intimate social space with no consent and when it starts, it never stops. It sounds like it's started, so you might want to advance your timeline to retain a mote of control.
@OldAndCreaky
A few months ago, when Person One told me that she was fearful of how I would be treated by some members of our tennis club, I started the thread "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and discovered some great advice. Using that, I found a great new housing development north of me while coming out to a few more people here. I was hoping that by slowly coming out, I could build a foundation of friends who supported my transition.

Now that the timeline seems to have blown up, I'm glad I have two options. I may have no choice but to come out to everyone and let the chips fall, but given that I'm fairly thin skinned, I worry about the back stabbing and gossip. I know it will happen and I worry about surviving in that atmosphere; Easy to see why Danielle moved to Alaska to start over.

The person who had asked Person One about me never responded to my texts. She suspects I'm trans but Person One, who is a wonderful friend, stayed silent. Last Wednesday I texted that person, asking her to call me. The next day, after I'd gotten no response, I texted her reminding her of the conversation, confessing that she was correct, and begging her to call me so I could share my story and gain her secrecy. she texted back that she'd call. She never did though.

So, it's out there and uncontrolled. She may stay silent. She may not. The careful path I was carving out seems to be disintegrating. Now, I'm thinking of arriving at the tennis club, with my foursome (who all know about Laura) and playing as Laura. It will be a shock to most there, but at least I'll be controlling what happens (for that day at least).

Does it scare me? Certainly.

Laura
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 11:11:52 pm by Laura1951 »
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2020, 08:01:54 pm »
Person One is a friend, a real mensch.

I fear the person who wouldn't call is talking about you rather than with you. I hope I'm wrong, but it's so tempting to sell your safety and autonomy and choice for attention here and there.

Laura, another reason I read your threads is because you write well. If you ever read "A Movable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway, there's a scene in the book where Ernest thinks of F. Scott Fitzgerald as a flake and then Hemingway reads "The Great Gatsby" and all is forgiven. Good writing can sway me too.

Online Laura1951

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Re: One New Life to Live
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2020, 09:09:06 pm »
@OldAndCreaky

Person One is a wonderful friend whom I trust. Because of that, she was the first person to meet Laura in public just a few weeks ago.

You are too kind about your comments. Thank you. I appreciate knowing that someone else enjoys my writing

The funny thing, though, is that, having ADD, I never understood writing in K-12. The structure completely confused me and my essays were embarrassing. It wasn’t until my junior year in high school, when my English teacher asked us to keep a journal, that I discovered I could enjoy writing. Along they way, my writing voice began to be formed as well.

Still, I didn’t become a writer until I began teaching and participated in UC Berkeley’s Bay Area Writing Project, which teaches teachers how to teach writing. Not only did I become a much better teacher, I found an organizational structure that allowed me to begin loving writing. My voice, in turn, matured as well.

Around the same time (the early 80s), I became heavily involved in technology. The simple act of writing with a word processor changed my writing as well. Gone were the days when my thoughts would disappear halfway through handwriting an essay. Now I could write at the speed of my thinking. The ability to edit my work, as I’m doing right now in Evernote, made a difference too.

So, thank you.

Laura
One New Life to Live (My personal blog)

Laura's HRT Journal     |     Laura's FFS Journey.   |  Stay or Go



Tags: coming out