That Winter Chalk

When it was cold, and I mean icy cold, damp clinging to the floor and frost staying all day in the grass in the shadows, it felt christmasy. I actually felt in the mood for Christmas. But then this week the temperature rose and the damp remained in the air along with the thin fog and everywhere seemed to be in the clouds. That Christmasy feeling was replaced by the trudge around shops for Christmas presents with Christmas songs from the 70s and 80s being tinned out and over exposed on the shop floor and everything just seemed a bit stressful. Thankfully I seem to have beeen given a break with the sun beaming through the glass doors in the dining room with an orange glow on the horizon behind the trees lining the local fields with just a spattering of winter chalky clouds.

As I move through December seeing other women wearing those christmasy type clothes, whether it’s warming huggable coats or fun pattern leggings under a skirt, it reminds me that I shouldn’t dismiss the expression through clothing as part of the whole gender thing. We express who we are in how we communicate, how we speak to each other, how we express our body language, our moods – our clothes. It’s all part of the ingredients of what makes us who we are. I think sometimes, since realising a couple of decades ago that the clothes weren’t actually a cross-dressing thing, that I can dismiss it as just a side part of the problem. The reality is that I don’t see these clothes as female clothes, I just see them as mine. Just something that’s enjoyable to wear. Just like anyone I can go through days of preferring a pair of jeans over wearing turn up denim shorts or a skirt day or whatever. Moods and clothes go together, especially with such diversity in female clothing. It also reminds me that I shouldn’t doubt who I am.

We are more than our physical bodies. We are ingredients of a recipe and may be that’s how we should decide our gender. I think Christmas time only magnifies how we feel about gender because some of us are around loved ones and friends. Going about shopping in town and city centres when crowds are even heavier this time of year and if you’re someone who isn’t currently free to wear everything you would like too, then this can constantly be a reminder of things. For some it’s a pressure cooker very slowly coming up to heat. One day it will boil.

When you can’t wear anything when you want there can be times when we just buy stuff for the sake of it trying to make ourselves just feel a bit better in the interim while we sort out who we think we are. A bit like buying cheap jewellery. We know we probably can’t wear it day to day and so it doesn’t seem to make sense to spend proper money on a decent necklace or ring or something. Besides it’s hard for some to fund two wardrobes and so it supposedly allows us to experience these shiny feel-good things for cheap.

The problem is, it makes us feel cheap and unworthy. The cheap tat makes us feel like cheap tat and brings us down, just a little and so the side of our gender that makes us feel better can also conflict and make us feel worse. Sometimes it’s a little better to just do without or save for something special whether you get to wear it much or not. Either that or bring your gender expression to the public and free yourself of these types of shackles.

I’m beyond the cheap tat now. It didn’t take too many mistakes like that to always think about my purchases. I tend to mostly buy things that I can wear when I feel I want or things I know I’ll cherish that make me feel good. The things that make me feel good help me overcome those rainy misty days and see the good that the rain brings rather than how wet my feel have become.

I’ve been so wrapped up in job hunting and colds that I’ve not been running properly for a long while. I miss days where I can run the three miles or so to the lake where only ducks and swans break a slow ripple in the water and the air feels rejuvenating spreading to the branches of my lungs. It’s a spiral that takes some getting out of.

I stop running from time to time because of a cold or some kind of virus that’s going around. My fitness declines a little, I start running again and get another cold. But when I have those weeks or even months where it’s undisturbed by any interruptions I’m in another place. When I’m not running I see other runners in their running clothes running along a river or the coast and feel a part of my ability to express myself, as well as doing some exercise, is actually missing.

I sometimes feel that the amount of meaningful expression does come from the everyday supposed mundane things like running, both the clothes and the freedom. A walk along a long serene beach in the winter seems to sort all of life’s problems within the first twenty minutes or less. I think sometimes we should be able to get a walk on the beach on prescription.

Until next time.


2 thoughts on “That Winter Chalk

  1. You mention cross-dressing — did you try cross-dressing before living in the female gender? I did. I tried being a TV — dressing a man most days and as a woman for occasions. I didn’t love glam womenswear any more than women’s daywear but was on the TV scene for years before realising that that was not enough — I’d much rather wear womenswear full-time. And doing that was instructive — I grew to love parts of women’s life that hadn’t been important. As you say, it isn’t a cross-dressing thing, it’s a gender thing.

    Clothes might not be the whole of gender expression but they — and accessories, too — are the most important part of it because they are what everyone sees.

    • I think cross dressing, probably a bit of an old term and difficult to use these days, is someone for who it’s nearly 100% about the clothes. For me it’s not about the clothes and to some extent I thought it started with the clothes, but looking back at my early memories about gender then the clothes were very little to do with it.
      It’s a recipe really that makes you who you are and how you best identify but all the same it’s great to examine what each of those ingredients mean to us.
      Great observations and comment Rosemary.

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