Between the walls of consciousness

Sometimes, I feel like I am walking along a narrow hall surrounded by high walls and black ceiling. I feel like a ghost, passing aimlessly through life…

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Every day is the same. I get up, put clothes on, drive to work, work, get pissed at work, work some more, calm down a little, work, get pissed real bad, work till the end, drive home, circle the block to find a parking spot, go home, put my bag down, hang the coat, switch on the computer, change into “home clothes”, play some game or watch series, take my dog out, have a shower and go to bed. The next day, I follow the same pattern.

The only real time when I feel better is when I take my dog out because it’s usually really late and there’s nobody outside, the streets are empty, the houses dark save for few windows here and there. It’s quiet, nobody’s looking, nobody’s judging… Yes, that’s what this is all about. I try so hard to fit in, to comply with my new role. Whole day, even at home, I just try to watch everything I do and say to avoid being judged. When I walk outside and I see other people, my heart starts beating really fast and I can barely breath. I overcome this at work but then, at work, I play a different role, my own private RPG game. The work is the tedious and boring long mission that you just have to do to move to the next level. I just feel like I am stuck on the mission and I can’t seem to find the right door to exit it.

But when I walk the silent dark streets in the middle of the night, I feel free. I don’t have to pretend or watch myself. I can just simply walk with my dog, watch the sky and let my mind fill with so many things. The downside is, it’s at these moments that I feel especially lonely and I question my existence and my life. Would my life be easier if… The big questions, lurking in the corners of my mind, surfacing when I start feeling like life is good. Dark thoughts that keep popping up now and then and I don’t know how to deal with them.

As I walk back home with the dog, I stop before the house and look at the dark windows of my neighbours. I look at the window where my father’s bedroom is, it’s dark as well. I stand there for a moment. If I get into the car and start driving now, I’ll by in France by the time he wakes up. I could ditch the phone, and take the little saving that I have – enough for the petrol to England, then for about a month of living there before finding a job… Could I do it? Could I simply leave? I want to. I want it so much it hurts as I take the few steps leading to the elevator and I open my appartment’s door, take off my dog’s lead and muzzle and put them in their place, I take off my shoes and hand my coat. It hurts as I look at the closed door to my father’s bedroom behind which he’s snoring, oblivious to my inner struggle.

I want to be free, but I can’t abandon him. I don’t have to courage. Or maybe, I just have a heart and consience. And meanwhile, the walls are getting higher and the hall narrower.

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Expectations

Ever felt like you missed every single shot?

 

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I am once again in the dark place where all I feel is anger or numbness. All my life, I tried to live up to some expectations. My parents’, my bosses’, people’s around me, my own. And for every one that got fulfilled, there are dozens that were just not. Lately, I am trying to simply not care, but the truth is, I lived for so many years trying to fit in one box and when I finally realized I won’t fit in and I need to change to get myself rid of that box, I find myself being pushed in another box(es).

To put it simply, as a woman, I pushed the boundaries in my work, in my everyday life as much as I could. I tried to show people around me that the work I am doing, while being minly men’s world, I still can navigate it well. Sometimes, it worked and I did get the recognition I deserved, but there were times when my word didn’t have the same weight as the very same word spoken by my male colleagues. Over the time, I tried to ignore it. When I finally realized I just don’t want to hide myself anymore and to go through the transition, I kind of expected to get over it. I mean, I know I still pass only partially and it’s more about me referring to myself as a man and using male type of speach (because in Czech, it’s very distinctive and you can almost immediately tell if it’s a woman’s speach or male’s) that forces others to acknowledge me as a male. Overall, I had really good experience coming out, especially at work. I must admit that my expectations in that department were really low so they were exceeded by far. As I wrote before, I work in a company that employs 1200 people just in the town where I am. As a part of the headquarters, I am working with people not just in this particular plant but also with 4 other plants. I am in constant contact with some 40 people just from the company itself, plus about the same number of suppliers that are under my care. That is a shit-load of people to come out to and so far, I didn’t have any negative experience.

But even as the coming out was okay and I mostly get treated as a man now, which is amazing, some people automatically started pushing me into the “guy” box. And by that, I mean the macho type that is supposed to behave like nothing can touch him in that whaterver-I-don’t-care way. I am supposed to be pretty much emotionless, not get pissed too much or, to use very recent words, avoid being hysterical. When I heard that, I swear I was battling with my urge to smash the person’s face in to show just how fucking “macho” I can be. The only thing that stopped me was my inner voice telling me that I am far better person inside than he’s ever going to be, the fact that he already had his jaw broken few weeks ago and now has to feed himself with a straw for another two weeks, and the fact that he recently stepped from being my colleague to being my boss. So, I tried to, very camly and guy-like, explain to him, that this kind of words really don’t sit right with me and his choice of words was really poor, because I am in no way hysterical. When I get really upset or emotional, I write it down, I don’t make a scene. But because I am the kind of person that does stand for what I believe in and I am ready to argue over it, it doesn’t mean I am “hysteric”. I mean, come ooon!

My colleague-turned-boss isn’t the only one that pisses me off with many comments like these. He knows one other trans guy and he assums he knows everything about us. I’d bet anything that if that guy heard him, he’s smash his face in as well. My dad is also pretty much annoying with this as well though. He would come to my room and say things like “Man don’t do this, or say that, or use that, or or or.” Fucking annoying! First of all, he’s the least man-like man I know and I know quite a lot of people. And second, why the fuck does he have to tell me something I know? To hell with all of them! I am trans, I am gay and most of all, I am a person and I don’t want to fit into some kind of pre-made package that has a nice neatly written label on it.

 

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Updates, Thoughts, Feelings

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So much has been going on, yet so little has changed… Well, that is not entirely true, but it sure seemed poetic enough.

Anyway, I have moved at the end of May and am now living with my dad and pets in a flat in new town. The flat is nice enough and driving to work takes now about ten minutes instead of fourty. The flat is in a building that sits at the very edge of a pasture and forest is near too. One would think we’re no longer in a town. Dad loves it there and so does my dog. They go for a walk every morning, spending over half an hour outside. It’s really good for both of them.

I have upgraded my PC lately and now have a great gaming machine that fullfills my needs and lets me play whatever I choose. Lately, I’ve been playing Thief. It’s real good and fun, and even managed to scare me shitless during one mission (Moira Asylum). I mean, I don’t scare that easily but there are certain things I really don’t like in games. Do you know the games Dead Space? I am still stuck around half way through the game, because it’s so fucking well done that I am in constant stress while playing it. Therefore, I haven’t returned to it for a long time now.

My dad’s house got sold. I got the word yesterday afternoon that someone bought it on auction and they demanded immediate access to the place. When nobody could produce a key (which only I and my father have and we are both about 350km away), they called a locksmith and had the lock changed without us. Fortunatelly, they agreed to let us in on Monday to gather few things from there. This is all my brother’s fault. He was the one making the debt and my father now paid for it. Well, we all did, because that house was my grandmother’s and she left it to all four of us. So now, it’s gone.

On Sunday morning, mum called that her father died. He had a tumor on his brain so he didn’t recognize anyone apparently, but he died of heart attack in the end. I haven’t seen him for years and he was never a good granfather before that either. Hell, he wasn’t a good father either from what I know. But we’re still going to the funeral tomorrow to pay our respects to him. I don’t feel anything about that really. I don’t wanna sound heartless, but I just can’t mourn him. The thing is, on the night before mum called, I had this weird dream about my grandma and her parents (from my father’s side). I’ll skip the details, but the result was, they died, again. I have written before that my grandmother was really special to me. She practically raised me and I was closest to her from all the family. When she died, I plunged into really bad depressions and considered suicide many times back then. Last week it was seven years since I spoke to her for the last time and even though it’s been so long, I still can’t talk about her without getting all emotional. The dream and then the death of my granfather brought all those feelings of loss back. It’s like I have this huge stone sitting on my chest and throat and with every breath I feel sick. Just writing about it makes me feel sick and broken. Like with her death, a part of me just died along with her and I’ll never be able to replace that part. I like to play the tough guy and all, but yesterday, I cried myself to sleep… I know I can’t ever have her back, but if I could, I’d trade my mother for her in a heartbeat. I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but I would and I wouldn’t look back once.

All in all, I feel liek a shit these past few days and I can’t wait till the funeral is over and I am back home. My best friend is gonna be over for the weekend because it’s her birthday and I want her to have some good memories. So, apart from getting her the book that she picked (because I am terrible at picking presents), I also made a reservation in a local Japanese restaurant (very classy and very good) and I’ll take her there for dinner tomorrow after I get home. She has no idea we’ll go there. :-P We promised to ourselves that we’ll go there one day and well, since I got a nice bonus at work, I think I know how to get something nice from it. At least, the end of the week should be good then and it should take my mind off things. And who knows, maybe there’ll be a nice young japanese guy for me to seduce… :-P

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Moving Day

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Tomorrow is the moving day already. I have managed to sell my flat, find a new place, get it painted, put carpets in, drove around all shops searching for boxes, packed most of the things… And now, I am sitting in my room that contains just empty furniture, my bed and my computer. It’s half past ten right now and in less than 9 hours the movers will arrive. And I sit here and feel nothing…

I mean, yes, I guess I am kinda sad to leave, and I am kinda excited to be in a new place again. But then, I have moved so many times over the last few years that these feelings are so common I no longer “feel” them. When I think of packing, I no longer feel the panic and anxiety. I just grab a box and pack my whole kitchen in under an hour, because my hands move on their own. I don’t even have to pay much attention, the body just knows what to do. When I finished packing the kitchen this evening, I realized that. I realized that somewhere along the road, few moving ago, something changed. I feel broken somewhat. Does it make sense? When I tell people that this is my 16th moving, I get strange looks. I say it’s not a big deal, I am used to it. But is IS a big deal. My seven-years-old dog has moved more times than most people in their entire lives. And that is not okay. And right now I am packing for moving tomorrow while thinking about what I shall leave in the boxes for the next moving… That is not normal, right?

Anyway, apart from packing life into boxes once again, I did have some pretty exciting few weeks. And not always in a good way, though now that I look back, some of it is pretty funny… I’m gonna ahead and share because while it was extremely frustrating at the time, it did end well and all I can do now is laugh about it. So, I have decided it’s time for me to get a packer. Because I am starting to pass for a guy much better now and well, for the better feeling of course. And because I am the kinda person that doesn’t do things half way, I decided to get one of those Peecock STP packer thingies. Fun, right? I ordered one with some straps and even briefs. Since the postage was so high anyway, why not. So I paid via Paypal, got the email with the confirmation and stuff and the package was on the way… I did say before I live in Czech Republic, right? Now, I did read the part about customs, but hey, who’s gonna put through customs a small package with some underwear and “a toy”? Yes, you guessed right. Anyway, I wait for my package to arrive, finally get a call from dad that I have something at the post. I drive like crazy from work to catch the post office opened, and then I receive a thick envelope. Hmph, what the heck? I tear the envelope open and I can’t believe my eyes – it’s a letter from the customs in Czech, asking me to clarify what is in the package, what value does it have (down to the proof of purchase, mind you) and even what material it is from… It took me good ten minutes to read through it until I arrived to the last two pages, which were actually photos of the package – and on one of that photo, a label in Czech stared at me reading “Reason for Import – Underwear? Erotic Stuff?” I was completely speechless. So, I went home, sat down and started gathering all the papers they needed from me for the package to be allowed through customs. I had to also wrote a letter, so I did. I explained how I am transgender person and how the package they are holding onto so much is something that will help my life quite a bit. I also expressed my deep humiliation at having to write something like this and asked them to remove that label from the package before they process it to our local small-town post. Over a week has passed and today, the package finally arrived. To say that I had to pay for the customs almost third of what the package itself cost me is probably waste of time. And what a surprise, they did not remove the label. So, I picked up my “Erotic Stuff” from our little post office and instead of feeling mortified, I just had to laugh. First, because I am moving out of here tomorrow and I am not likely to see them ever again, and then because I just imagined what a worm will this put into their heads, trying to figure out, what the heck could I order from Singapore that I couldn’t order from Czech (because yes, we do have our own Erotic Stuff freely accessible). :-D I did share the story with my dad who also laughed. Because hey, life’s too short to keep worrying constantly. So, if there’s anybody out there who went through the same, cheers! And if you haven’t, I hope it at least made you laugh. :-)

On other note, on Friday I’ll be 11 weeks on T. I am getting facial hair now too, just little under my chin and my upper lip (though I did have quite a mustache before too :-D), and my legs are starting to look very much like monkey’s. I am getting thin line also on my stomach and belly, some stray hair on my chest and even shoulders… O_o Jeez, I wonder where that comes from… I mean, my brother’s pretty hairy too though neither of our parents are. Well, no matter. Last week I went to a carpet store to pick carpets for the new place and order delivery. The guy at the counter automatically called me by male pronouns and even called me “chief”! :-D It really made my day after a long time. Also, I am now a week late on my period. I know I shouldn’t be too excited about it yet, but hell, I am!

And that is about all now. It’s ten past eleven and I still need to pack few things before getting few hours of sleep.

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Changes

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It’s been six weeks since I last posted my thoughts. There have been many changes and challenges and I honestly haven’t had the time to post. Well, no, that’s not entirely true, but you know hot it is… One day, you get home late, then another you are so tired from work, then you just watch movie and forget all about everything else… And other days, you just simply have so much on your mind that lots of thoughts get pushed to the back and eventually, you forget them for the time being.

So, what’s new? I am now 7 weeks on Testosterone (as of this Friday). I am past my fist shot and next week I’m going for another. I am actually starting to notice some changes now. Apart from the psychological changes which includes very short temper and mood swings, I also have to deal now with the oily skin and acne, the increased hair growth is alright, though I wish some of it would start on my face already. Some of my fat from thights have really moved to my stomach, though there is so much of it that it’ll take a while to get really manly figure – if you can get really manly figure with the kind of heritage I have… Anyway, the mood swings and short temper aren’t much fun, because my anger management was already poor before and now I have to be extra carefull at least at work. Dad gets usually the worst of it, but let’s face it, he does deserve me snapping at him sometimes. I am looking forward to the next shot and then another and so on. :-) Because despite all that stuff, I do see and feel some changes already and it hasn’t been that long since I started, so more changes are coming for sure.

Other changes include me selling my appartment. I hate the fact I have to give it up after getting most of the work on it done, but I know deep down that it is a right decision in the long run and I am not going to regret it. I was searching for a flat to rent for few weeks and visited a flat that I liked, but in the end, I settled for a flat of my colleague from work. It’s actually pretty perfect place – on the outskirts of the town where I work, lots of green around, a forest and lake nearby, the flat’s rather big and when I move there, I’ll actually save quite some money (about quatre of my salary). So, I’ll be moving in about 6 weeks from now, for the 16th time in my life…

Work has kept me pretty busy lately. And after work, I started going to gym, so I am trying to really work on myself. Well, I do try, though it’ll take a while to get results. I’ll be going to a trans gay meeting which is exactly 4 weeks from now. I am really looking forward to it. I haven’t been around many trans people, especially lately. I miss talking with my friend Andy as she has a new job now and I haven’t seen her for few weeks. She’s the only other trans person I know personally and she’s also the only person I could really talk about games and movies and such. :-(

And that’s about all the news for now, or at least all the important ones.

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Thoughts on Hope

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It’ll be one month since I wrote last and I feel like I owe it to myself. There has been so much going on that I just didn’t know where to start and how to sum it up. I’ve been thinking about making this post for a long time, adding to it in my head every time something significant happened. Now, a month later, I think there are so many things on my mind that I simply have to put them down on the „paper…

I’ll start with something negative and build my way up to the optimistic sphere, hopefully. On 26th of February was my 29th birthday. I didn’t plan any celebrations, just like every year for the past several years. But mum called and said we could go for dinner and have some chat and such. We also went to bank regarding my flat, but more about that later. After the visit to bank, we were supposed to go to a teashop, have a cake and tea, talk, and then go for dinner to our favourite Indian restaurant. Were supposed to, because of course, mum canceled our „date“ right after the visit to bank, saying she had to go back to work. We didn’t even set up a new date and almost even had a fight over something else on the way to her work (should have let her walk). I mean, it was my birthday, she didn’t get me present, just some money and those were equal to ten toast breads; then she starts talking about something absolutely unrelated to me, complaining about my father, that was also innocent in that case and by the time I reached her work (about 7 minutes later), I was ready to jump out of the car, drag her out of it, strangle her on the sidewalk and then jump back in the car and ran over her… Seriously. In those few minutes, she made me feel so low I was driving home, crying and seriously considering suicide after a long time again. I had to stop the car half way home, get out and breath in the cold air for almost ten minutes to calm down, because I was about to drive off the road. Fortunately, ten minutes was enough to let me calm down and think about it. I still feel pissed about it all, but I don’t feel like giving up anymore.

I should probably say that feeling like giving up wasn’t entirely my mother’s fault, though she had a significant part in it and my birthday was just the last straw. It was around that time that I had it pretty rough at work and I also learned that my flat’s „paperwork“ (let’s call it that, because it encompasses pretty high stack of papers and agreements, bank requirements and other things, and I don’t wanna get into that) weren’t okay and there was going to be a very significant setback for me. Which is why I had to start thinking about possibilities regarding my living situation. The easiest way out is to sell the flat, live in rental for a while, then buy a new one, or buy a house, or build a house. Even though these are the easiest possibilities, they still present me with dealing with selling of the flat that I have spent so much time, energy and money to rebuild, having to move at least twice, and spending enormous amount of time, energy and money on building a new home. I have contacted the realtor and we’re gonna sign a selling contract this weekend, so he’ll actively start looking for a buyer for my flat as soon as possible, because I kinda have to get rid of it before end of June…

On better note, I have started with hormonal therapy last Friday, so now I am officially 4 days on Testosterone now. Any changes? :-D Nope, not yet, it’ll take a while. I have the report from the psychologist who not only confirmed my diagnose but also confirmed my IQ to be 131. I have come out to my boss, his boss, my immediate colleagues, personal manager and as of last Friday also to the rest of my department (there are 40 of us just at the Purchasing!). I have real good feedback from pretty much half of them, the rest didn’t comment. My slightly extended family (aunt, uncle and cousins) know now too and although my cousins (20 and 16) are a little reserved, the overall reaction was good. My aunt was practically extatic, actually – she always is, about everything. I am dressing even manlier now and I do get strange looks on the street sometimes, but I don’t pay attention to that. My birth certificate came back from Prague, so I am now officially named Sam and my surname is in male form. I am going to apply for new ID, driving license and insurance card sometime next week.

So, why is my post titled “Thoughts on Hope”? Well, the answer is easy. While having dark thoughts, problems with my flat, crazy work and all that rest, I still try to believe that there are better tomorrows stored for me. That one day, I’ll wake up in my own house beside a loving partner and will go to do work that I actually want to do. That said, I am not just going to sit on my ass and wait for all that to happen, nor will I wait for the lottery to notice me. I am working on increasing my skills at work by subtly asking for new trainings that will make me more valuable on the market. I am undergoing auditor VDA 6.3 training that will actually get me the job that want to do. And if my current employer won’t let me do the job here after all the money they’ll invest in me to achieve this level of proficiency, then I’ll find a new employer that will hire me to be the auditor that I want to be. I am currently working on selling my flat which is the first step to get rid of the ridiculous mortgage that I have now. Once living in a rental flat closer to work (I currently commute to work 70km per day), I will find a nice plot of land and build a nice moderately sized house. Yes, the mortgage again won’t be anything but difficult, but we’ll see when I get there – it is still about two years away, so I might change work and get better pay for all I know. And I am going to really work on myself, not only my body, but also my personality. I am already better in socializing at work than I was few years ago, but outside work, I am still the same quite, antisocial, anxiety-filled person that I have always been. So, I want to start at least with going to the group therapy for gay transmen. First session this year is May and I am really looking forward to meet my fellow brothers-in-arms and ask them about their experience and such. And so, I am having hope. Yes, there were dark places and sure, I am having mood swings like a teenager, but I am trying to see the light in the darknessm the little flicker of hope that one day, the little spark will burn bright and warm my world.

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Trans Update

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Today, I wanna write an update on the latest development in my transition into a guy.

Since December, I had three visits at the sexologist, the last one yesterday afternoon. I also had already a check up at the endocrinologist, internist and psychologist. From the health point of view, both internist and endocrinologist confirmed that I am fit to start the hormonal therapy, though they both mentioned I should loose some weight. -_- I guess I really should. I’ll get the report from psychologist by the next session at the sexologist, which will be already on 13th of March, but I suppose he will just confirm the diagnosis and there will be nothing more standing in the way.

Truth is, Dr. Fifkova (my sexologist) had already wanted to prescribe me the hormones yesterday, but as much as I want them right away, I want to wait till I put everything in order in my “old” life. So, I got the paper for the home office to allow the change of name to neutral form. You see, in Czech, and pretty much every other Slavic Languages, it is normal to differentiate between male and female surname by adding -a or -ova at the end of male surname. So, for example, if male has the name of Novak, then his wife / daughter / etc. will be called Novakova. It’s stupid, but we live with it. That said, when going through the transition, you have to change your name to neutral form for about a year – which is the period of one year from starting taking hormones up until the actual official change of gender, which is recognized only after removing of reproduction organs from the body, thus completing the transition. In that one year, you are officially still recognized as the gender assigned to you at birth, my national number stays in the female form too (because yes, not only our surnames but also national numbers differ from male to female), but I can choose a neutral name, so that I can pass better. Unfortunately, with all the mess with the names, choosing a neutral surname can be pretty tricky and you can end up being called Novaku or Novakovych – both these forms are not usual and as such draws automatic attention which you are trying to avoid of course. Anyway, sorry for the lesson in Slavic names. What I wanted to write about is that I went to the home office today and applied for the change of my name. The lady at the office was really professional (I live at a pretty little town, so I kinda did not expect that) and really helpful. Not only she said there is no need to wait the 30 days it can take to get it proceeded, but she also accepted my chosen name “Sam” as a neutral form of Samuel and, to my amazement, also the surname in the completely male form – I should say that my surname is not really original in any Slavic language, it’s originally from France I think, so it would be kinda super weird to see the neutral form of that. :-D On Monday, I am going back to the home office to sign that I will not withdraw my application and then they will send my birth certificate to Prague where I was born to get me a new one. With that, I can change all the IDs and start presenting myself under my new name. Yippee!

I also got a paper for my employer that gives them short explanation of what is going on and asking them to accept my wish to start living as a male from now on. I plan to speak to my boss sometime during next week, or maybe even this Friday – I wanna give him time over the weekend to read on it and think about it. Up until now, I have met with nothing but acceptance and support, from my close friends and my family alike. I have came into contact with doctors that work with trans people for years, so I didn’t have to explain everything awkwardly and I even got to learn many useful information. Maybe that is why I am still waiting for the blow and since my workplace is the last on my list to come out to, I am scared that this is where the blow will be coming from. I am sort of prepared for it, but it still doesn’t prevent the knot in my stomach every time I try to imagine telling them all…

I have gotten my first binder last Friday and I am already wearing it now every day. I read and heard other FtM guys talking about how great it is despite some discomfort and how they wouldn’t go out without it now that they tried it. I was looking forward to it, but I was a little reserved. I mean, I lived with my body and what inevitably came along for quite a long time and as much as I hate it, I have never really tried to bind. I bought a sports bra that was pretty binding in October last year and I did refuse to wear anything else since. Until I got the real binder. Not only it is more comfortable than the fucking sport’s bra, which is really stupid considering women are actually supposed to be working out in it (!), but the result is so much better than I imagined! And I feel so free. I know it is all in my head, but to hell with psychology, I haven’t felt this good for years! And yes, it is pain to get on and wear it the whole day long, but I can’t imagine putting on a bra and walking out of the door now.

So, that’s pretty much it for today. It’s gotten longer than I expected, as usually, and I really have to get some sleep today because I have to go to my stupid job tomorrow again… :-(

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