Aspirations of September

Horse shoe prints in the morning damp earth amongst the wild grass of the common land or foot prints in the sand disappearing into the approaching surf. Both had the same effect of brief moments away from the trapping of working-from-home and the inability to travel far at the moment. The evening had that opposite resting affect with pale blue twilight sky to pale sunset yellow over the houses topped by a low crescent moon. September still felt like a summer evening; especially with a candle flickering on the table in the garden.

I realised this week that aside from my diary, my fridge is my noticeboard for my aspirations. Pictures under holiday magnets depicting what I want in my life next. A photo of a beautiful music room in a shop where I wanted to purchase an instrument has long since been filled. The instrument sits in my house being played while the photograph has fallen lower on the fridge door over the years to make way for new aspirations. The picture now spattered a little with food things where I’d rushed to cook and the fridge door opened and swung shut. A photo of a stunning swimming pool at a nice hotel that I have since frequented many times and still enjoy that aspiration.

I wondered where my gender aspiration was on the fridge door. There wasn’t much room left amongst the many postcards from family and friends and fridge poetry magnetic words but the only thing I could find was a cardboard label off a rucksack I purchased a while ago that had the female symbolon a purple background. It was just a label on a string that signified made for womenbut I quite liked it and hung it from one of the larger magnets. It was part aspiration and part some sneaky fridge thing in full view that no one was going to notice.

I wonder if I should do something more. The fridge door of aspiration seemed to work for other things that at the time seemed financially, timely or mentally unobtainable. A piano. A five start hotel. A distance trip. Somehow fait stepped in and made these things possibly after a couple of years of hanging on the door, meal after meal. May be I should put something a little more significant on there. Something that will give me much more focus.

I seem to be reminded of the gender thingquite a bit recently. There is the new advert for a coffee chain that have included a trans-woman as part of their name on a cup gives you identitytheme. It’s quite good if a little gender-for-sale and then a Channel 4 documentary, ‘100 Vaginas’. I can’t remember if the advert preceded the documentary or not. Social media showing me adverts for the bra-free bra and another for Vagisan – I feel they may have jumped the gun a little in profiling me on that one. And of course there were those dreams a few weeks ago. It’s certainly on my mind and I’m being well reminded from various places.

What to put on my fridge door for a gender identity aspiration though. I certainly don’t want a photo from an operating room or a picture of Miss Rachid or Mr Suporn and neither do I want a photo of a clothes shop or a selection of make-up. These aren’t really my goal and besides, this is too big an aspiration. It needs to be more granular. Bite-sized chunks. After all gender identity is a whole book and I need just another chapter on the door.

One of my aspirations was the need to loose a little weight. I set out a few weeks ago to exercise regularly, nothing major but regular exercise that would add up to something substantial and hopefully, that skirt that hangs on the wardrobe door much like the aspirational photos on the fridge, will fit again sometime soon. Even if it doesn’t fit properly I would be happy if it was just less tight so that I knew I had achieved something towards feeling better about the shape of my body.

Since then I have run, walked, cycled, I even went away to the city for a couple of days and got to row on the machine in the gym and swim in the pool. Writing down each day what I had done and not being afraid to write down ‘rest day’ when I felt I needed to. Writing it down reminded me of how much I had done and how much I hadn’t. Not to inflict guilt but to show myself what can be done and what needs to be done and what the last several months have been like since lock-down March.

I went to the beach last week. I rushed down after work to catch the tide before the beach completely disappeared and before what little space was taken by floating surfers. I pulled on my short wetsuit at home and let the top half hang from my waist so that when I arrived I could just pull the top on rather than wrestle in the car trying to keep out of sight in the carpark.

I got out of the car and hobbled bare foot across a mixture of sea-side grass and asphalt where I had no choice with a board under arm. When I got to the sand I walked straight into the water. I knew that if I paused for even a moment I’d delay going in as much as possible to avoid that initial cold shock around the legs of British waters that feels more arctic that it actual is – but it was ok.

I looked around at other surfers wading in or laying on their boards waiting for the waves to pick up and felt that initial jealousy of other women who look much better, even if I was wearing a female wetsuit there is only so much clothing does for shape. 

I looked down at myself and I noticed that my wet suit no longer showed a belly, even without breathing in.The difference was subtle, after all it was only a few weeks since I decided to up my exercise when I could, but it was different. A little bit of me had changed. I was on the right track. May be this is the first aspiration I needed for the fridge door, but then I didn’t really need one there, that aspiration was already hanging from the door of my wardrobe.

Until next time.

Hannah x

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