Places I’ve lived #2 – Catshill 2

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

This week I’m going to post the 7 places that I’ve lived, since I move house on Saturday!

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Places I’ve lived #1 – Catshill 2

Don’t worry… this isn’t just going to turn into a list of different places that I’ve lived in Catshill! Anyway, the second place was just around the corner at my Dad’s. Basically my brother had moved in with my Mom, and we really didn’t get on… so I made a quick exit!

This is where I really started becoming independent… my Dad worked long hours and would spend weeks on end in Spain. It’s also where I could start dabbling with the idea of being Jen (or Sarah as she was known at the time!), essentially its where it all started :)

 

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Places I’ve lived #1 – Catshill

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

This week I’m going to post the 7 places that I’ve lived, since I move house on Saturday!

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Places I’ve lived #1 – Catshill

OK, so I’m skipping the first place that I lived, Yeovil. Yes I was born there, but I was only there for a very short time… technically if I’d stayed there, I would now be a farmer! I spent the first 16 years of my life in a single house in Catshill, which is in that town that nobody ever manages to leave.. Bromsgrove! I grew up with my family around me, until my parents got divorced when I was about 12, I stayed with my Mom while my Dad and brother got a new flat just around the corner. To be fair, it never really hit me at the time how much I missed having a proper “together” family… but it has hit me in recent years.

Since I grew up around here, the places “Lickey End” and “Bell End” don’t amuse me… I’m used to it since they are just around the corner! I’ve left so many times, yet I always end up coming back. But alas, my time in Catshill is drawing to a close and this chapter of my life is closing… my next step will be post #7. I won’t be staying away from the place though, probably going to be back here for 1 or 2 nights a week to do with work… see… its the place you can never really leave!

I moan about it, I slag it off, I try to get out of it… but lets face it, The Grove is actually fairly cool… where else can you experience the delights of the Golden, Love 2 Love and Charlies Kebabs, all within a quarter of a mile! And if that isn’t enough, you always have Redditch… don’t get me started on that place 😉

 

 

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Thing’s I’ve learnt #7 – You have to be a little bit selfish

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

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Things I’ve learnt #7
You have to be a little bit selfish

You could spend your entire life trying to please everyone else, but usually that’ll get you absolutely nowhere, apart from being used and taken advantage of. If you want to live a happy life, sometimes you have to have a moment where you just look after yourself.

It sounds like the most evil thing in the world, until you realise that everyone else is doing exactly the same thing.

 

 

 

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Video: Coach C, Seat 52

Welcome to my world of Coach C, Seat 52!

 

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Thing’s I’ve learnt #6 – Someone will always disagree with you

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

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Things I’ve learnt #6
Someone will always disagree with you

No two people have exactly the same opinions on everything, so you will find people that disagree with you. Congratulations, you’ve found someone that can think for themselves… keep hold of them! Sometimes you’ll find people that disagree with you to the point that they can’t bear to be around you. Congratulations, you’ve found someone that you’re better off without… steer clear!

If everyone in the world agreed on absolutely everything, how dull and boring would this place be? A lot of the people around me share the same opinions, yet there is always *something* where these opinions don’t quite line up

 

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Depression

If you read the blog I used to write, this may sound familiar… so I’ll forgive you if you get bored half way through and stop reading it! This is definitely going to be a “me me me” post, it’s my experience with depression.

That D word that people seem to avoid talking about, that D word that grips so many people, most of which probably won’t try and get any help at all. Who can blame them? When you do try and get help, a lot of it isn’t actually that constructive. What good are anti-depressants? I don’t think they have that much value, all they seem to do is remind you that you are depressed, and that you have to be depressed because you’re taking tablets for it!

I talk from experience, I went through a very dark time in my life and it wasn’t actually that long ago. Every time I look at my arms, I have a visible reminder of how things were, every time I look at my arms, I have a trigger… it’s not a good thing.

Was I depressed because I was a girl trapped in a mans body? No, I was depressed because at that time in my life, I just couldn’t cope with anything around me. I mentioned in a previous post that I really don’t think I could have transitioned during that period, and I’m really glad I didn’t. I had to sort out my life before I sorted out my gender. At the time, gender was only a tiny thing, amongst a whole array of… well… “shit”

I coped the best way I could, and that was badly! I descended on a slippery slope, each day that little bit worse than the previous, sometimes for absolutely no reason at all. I cried, I hid myself away, I self harmed, I attempted suicide. Getting to that point where you are willing to take your own life, right now, I can’t even put that into words but I do know it was the worst feeling that I’ve ever felt… I knew exactly what I was attempting, I knew exactly what was going through my head, I *was* thinking straight, even though I wish that the opposite of all those statements were true.

If I ever hear anyone point out how selfish suicide is, I do legitimately feel like punching them in the face. Nobody that has ever been there and felt the emotions that you do has ever called it selfish. Saying something like that is a great way to make someone feel so small and stupid… why could anyone actually remotely think that that is a sensible thing to say to someone already on edge? Yeah… go on, kick them when they are down, make them feel that tiny little bit worse about themselves.

But, I’m in the next chapter of my life these days, that was over 3 years ago. Am I depressed? Yes, even though I wish it would go away, it hasn’t. I can hide it, and I think I hide it well… the more I hide it, the more I convince myself it isn’t there… but it is. I wish I could count the number of days since I last self harmed in years, instead it is still only months… but being able to count it in months is still progress in the grand scheme of things.

I tried to push nearly everyone around me away, I found that my true friends gave me space, but were always close enough to pick me up when I fall. Unfortunately, some of them just couldn’t handle it, and gradually… vanished, and in the grand scheme of things, I think I’m better off without them anyway. It’s a brave person that wants to get deeper into my head and see what’s actually on the inside, the feelings deep inside are still pretty much the same as they’ve always been, I’ve just learned to cope a lot better.

I believe the way to get on top of depression is to find ways to cope, not to find ways to take away the feelings, and I really don’t think a solution lies in a packet of tablets.

 

 

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Thing’s I’ve learnt #5 – People will let you down

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

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Things I’ve learnt #5
People will let you down

This is a fact, deal with it. It happens every day to every single one of us. But lets face it, you let people down too. We are human, and sometimes plans fail. Sometimes friends you thought you could rely on, prove you wrong.

If you get let down, you have two options:

  • Loose all faith in the world, try to become self sufficient and never see anyone ever.
  • Get over it and decide what you’re going to do next

I know which one I’d prefer!

 

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Thing’s I’ve learnt #4 – Planning is overrated!

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

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Things I’ve learnt #4
Planning is overrated!

Some people spend their whole life planning, spending so much time on the plan that they never actually get a chance to put it into action! Just have a vague idea of where you want to go or what you want to achieve… and go for it! That way, if your outlook changes… you don’t have to re-plan your whole life!

I seem to have got a reputation for being disorganised, yet I seem to achieve what I want out of life. That’s because I can see the end goal of what I want out of life, I can kind of see how I’ve got there, but I’ve only got the immediate steps planned out. Being spontaneous is more fun anyway!

 

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Thing’s I’ve learnt #3 – You don’t need to become a health freak to lose weight

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

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Things I’ve learnt #3
You don’t need to become a health freak to lose weight

I’m a bit sick of hearing about these “amazing diets” that “always work without fail” – no! Diet’s are pointless, and if we are honest… hell! Why should I not eat chocolate fudge cake just because I want to lose weight?

Here’s my diet – Eat whatever you want, but not too much of it! I eat chocolate, chips, Big Mac’s, everything you’d consider unhealthy… but I try not to go too mad. Yes I’m still a bit heaver than I’d like to be, but the weight is going down rather than up. Now if I over-indulge, then I pay the price and the weight goes up!

It is so simple… if everyone lived by this logic, we’d be so much healthier!

 

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VIDEO: I’m ill / How to get up later (part 2)

Getting up later using the method in my first video, seemed to not work as well since people were also an hour late for work… here’s something a little more constructive :-)

 

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Thing’s I’ve learnt #2 – Restart your computer – It does actually fix most problems!

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

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Things I’ve learnt #2
Restart your computer – It does actually fix most problems!

In my job, I’ve ended up doing a lot of technical support, which is odd considering I’m a bit of a techophobe! But you’ll seriously be surprised at what problems can be fixed with a restart! It’s not just computers either… restart your router if the internet isn’t working, turn your phone off and on if it’s borked etc…

If something breaks, now my first reaction is always to restart, and usually the problem goes away. Just stop stressing and live by this simple rule! Only if a restart doesn’t work, then phone somebody up and moan, but only after checking its plugged in (yes… that happens a lot!)

Don’t get me started on it not being plugged in!

 

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My Changing Outlook

No, I’m not upgrading my version of Microsoft Outlook, this is about my changing outlook on the world out there, how it functions and how I feel about it. It’s hard to think that it wasn’t that long ago I was young, sweet, innocent, probably even classed as quite narrow minded.

But these days, how I see the world is so much different, what I want to get out of life has changed. A few people reading this will probably know me from back at school (stop looking for Jen in your head… she wasn’t there then!), and lets face it, I don’t think I was known for radical viewpoints or anything like that! Just plodding along with whatever was considered to be fairly normal at the time.

In total contrast, now, I totally go against the grain of what most people consider to be “normal”. I don’t plan to do this… I didn’t wake up one morning and think to my self “you know what, I fancy doing things a bit different today!” It’s just happened over time, I’ve had my eyes opened to so many alternative viewpoints… to be fair some of them are crazy and totally not for me, but some I do find myself thinking “you know what, that actually makes a lot of sense”, and I’ve never thought about it before, purely because I didn’t really know about it before.

Take for example, me and relationships, I won’t go into detail about it now, because to be fair – that’s a whole post of its own! But I consider myself to be polyamorous (most people know that about me these days… I don’t hide it). Why? This is the way I look at it, in life do you only ever love one person? Rarely! What if the love for those people actually occurred at the same time? I’m on a path where I can be open and honest with everyone, I don’t need to get jealous about tiny little things and I don’t particularly need to worry or be paranoid.

Woah! That’s not Jen is it? Yes, that’s me and it is perfect for me and people that are in my life. I’m not in this life to impress anyone or force them to do things my way, it’s not for everyone (and to be fair, most people I know aren’t poly), in the same way that homosexuality isn’t for everyone… but that’s the beauty of life, everyone is different, everyone does things a little differently, and some people might find things weird, but I guarantee that there is some aspect of *your* life that most people will find weird… good! It shows you are being yourself (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of being yourself!)

I will try to do a proper post on poly pretty soon, I’ve only included it in here as an example of one of the ways that my outlook has matured, and I’ve realised that there are more ways to live your life!

 

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Thing’s I’ve learnt #1 – The human species is a lot nicer than people make out

I’m doing a series of posts, alongside anything I may normally post… Each week I’ll pick a new topic, and post 7 mini-blogs (1 each day) in relation to that topic. For this first week, its 7 things I’ve learnt about life.

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Things I’ve learnt #1
The human species is a lot nicer than people make out

Let’s face it, it’s fairly easy to presume that human’s are totally evil, based on what you hear in the news. But, we aren’t all that bad! The majority of people you meet in day to day life are usually sane, normal and friendly… hell, you can even speak to some of those!

Though I do dislike the way things seem to be in this country, we don’t communicate with people we meet randomly in person… you know, that guy you sit next to on the train, the lady who serves you in the shop? Get over it! Strike up a conversation… you’ll be amazed!

 

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Gender Identity

One of my best friends posted this on their blog, and I wanted to share it :-) I can’t link to it as its not really a public blog, but she’s let me copy and paste this particular post (excuse the spelling)…


I have a fantastic transexual friend. I would consider her to be my rock in a lot of my life.I was talking to her last night about my ‘experience’ at the GUM clinic yesterday when i went in to get my contraception checked.

I arrived at the clinic and was handed a form so I could get an STI check at the same time. I was answering all the usual questions Name, Age, DOB ect. when the question of sex arrose. Now here there were only two options. I had two issus with this… hence this blog..

Firstly on the most simple level someone who is transexual (not transvestite or a cross-dresser) is considered and treated as a female. It says female on their passport and even on their birth certificate. however depending on where they are in their transition they may still have male genitalia meaing that they would have to see a Dr who is able to perform the tests on a male. This imediatly puts them in an awquard possition. they have to tick the box that says male hence outing themselves as a transexual to the clinic staff, who are bound to ask questions as to why they are ticking the male box when they clearly look and act like a women.

My second issue derives from the first. Why in the 21st century do I have to identify as male or female, straight, Bi or Gay. I mean why is it not socially acceptable and commom for people to identify as neither male and female. I should guess that a siginificant portion of the population is Trans of some variety. I mean there are the common ones that are acceptable such as Transexual, Transvestite, and Drag queens and Kings. But these are all labels meaning that you have to pick one. In todays socienty you have to fit into a box, people have gone to war over less. I am proud to not feel the need to label myself, I am me that is all I shouldnt have to be male or female or gay and straight. I want to be gener neutral, but this is not sociably acceptable. If I want to cut my hair short and spiky and wear baggy jeans and a football top society would label me a butch lesbian. If I grow my hair long and wear pretty dresses society labels me as a barbie- type a typical hetrosexual woman. Well news flash I am still me.

Labels are not one size fits all…. the classic exaple of this in society are one size fits all clothes. I know you have all done it at some point brought a top that says one size fits all. How did that work out for you? I would put money on it either being far to baggy or tight.. to short or to long… This is proof that labels designed to fit everyone dont work even in the simplest terms. I when forced to would pick the following labels to descibe me-:

I am a gender fluid (meaning that I identify as both a male or female at any given point I mainly identify as a female in public) sexualy I guess I would have to identify as pansexual (meaning I am capable of finding anybody of any sex sexually attactive)

I dont like the labels at all thou they are like that one size fits all tee-shirt they dont fit properly and dont realy decribe me.

I am creating a new label-:
ME!!


I just thought it was totally awesome and wanted to share it. Nothing at all to do with the fact I can’t be bothered to write something myself! 😉

 

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Did I time it right?

My first proper time out!

I transitioned nearly 4 years ago back in 2008, my “big outing” was on my 23rd birthday and yes, I looked terrible… but lets face it, we’ve all been there once! I had it all prepared, I’d let everyone close to me know what was happening, even sending a mass-message to everyone on Facebook pointing out that they might notice something a little bit different about me! All this came after years and years of saying that I was going to do it, but did I get the timing right? Do I think that I should have actually transitioned earlier?

Not a chance! I think I got the timing more or less perfect. It was at a point where I was becoming more stable. I don’t think I could have coped with transitioning at the same time as going through that dark time in my life that I’d had in the years before that. At first, the transition wasn’t easy, while I had very little trouble from other people, there is still that level of self conciousness to deal with, which remained until I gained enough confidence to have another “sod it” moment (my life seems to be defined by a series of “sod it” moments!). The capacity in my mind at the time just wasn’t there to deal with *another* thing going on on top of all that!

Progress?

There are a lot of people that say they wish they’d done it sooner, and there are a lot of people that do it sooner, but everyone is different. If I’d have left it much longer, then I’d probably be saying now that I should have transitioned earlier.

And then there is the question, would I have preferred it if I’d just been born a girl? I kind of think both ways with this one… Yes, perhaps it may have made my life a little bit easier, but equally, I look back and despite all the rubbish I’ve been through to get to where I am now… a large part of my journey to get here has been fun and enjoyable, and to be fair has made me a much better and person!

So basically, I think I’ve got it right, and I don’t think that I’d go back and really change that much about how I got here, even if I had a chance to. I’ve made it here now, and I guess that in the grand scheme of things, that’s all that really matters.

Afterthought: Taking the journey this way, has made me learn a lot about other people in the world, which has given me some valuable lessons in recent times!

 

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