2016, Just How Bad Was It? (April – June)

Well, 2016… what is there to say about 2016? It’s the year that we will all want to forget, however the legacy of 2016 will continue to have repercussions for the next 4 years at least. Sorry folks, 2016 is leaving us, but it’s leaving it’s problems behind.

I usually do a review of the year – I’ve been vocal about this year as we went through it, so here is what I had to say at the time…
Read Part 1 (Jan – Mar)

Part 2 (April – June)

The second quarter was when the world really started going to bits, starting with the UK.

There is a Game of Thrones spoiler in this, don’t read if you’re not up to date!

April

Nothing like an April fools joke to kick the month off

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Then the realisation of 2016 and the world that we live in started to hit home. The realisation that the world perhaps isn’t making progress in the direction that we would have liked.

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Though I was able to make myself feel better by taking advantage of the heatwave to work outside.

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April also means Game of Thrones, but I had to lay down a marker to anyone who even considered spoilers!

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It wasn’t just politics that were screwed in 2016, the weather was a bit unsure too.

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May

The month where I grow older, nobody wants to get older!

Nothing like a bit of exploring to take my mind off the world

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Someone decided to work out which shade of trans I am. I also considered “In a Transpennine Express kinda way”

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We went away to Brighton, but we wished we could take Frankie

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ITV were being, well, very ITV-like, very surreal and weird.

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June – Oh dear god what the fuck is happening?!

Jon Snow came back to life, we all knew it was going to happen! (See, I told you there was a GoT spoiler in here!)

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Brexit happily coincided with Euro 2016, which I’m sure must have hurt some peoples heads.

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Obviously though, nobody important cares about football…

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The week that hit home just how far people were willing to go in relation to brexit, alongside the horrendous shootings in Florida left me really uncomfortable and with nothing to say about the world.

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Frankie wanted to remain, of course.

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On the day of the brexit vote, we elected to go somewhere far, far away.

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And then woke up the morning after…

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And finally a sentiment that I still maintain today. So far there is no sign of it “all working out in the end”

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2016, just how bad was it? (January – March)

Well, 2016… what is there to say about 2016? It’s the year that we will all want to forget, however the legacy of 2016 will continue to have repercussions for the next 4 years at least. Sorry folks, 2016 is leaving us, but it’s leaving it’s problems behind.

I usually do a review of the year – I’ve been vocal about this year as we went through it, so here is what I had to say at the time…

Part 1 (January – March)

I have to admit, the first few months of the year weren’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. We were glad to see the end of 2015, me and Ellie were newly engaged and I got on a plane and didn’t crash!

January

We all woke up on New Years day slightly optimistic about 2016, how wrong we were.

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Things started going very well, the outlook was positive…

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But then 2016 went and threw it’s first blow:

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The passport office decided to get on the wrong side of me, but I was already losing the will to fight:

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February

February bought an exciting moment however, for a brief period there were no roadworks on the M6, which was far more exciting than it should have been!

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It was also the month that #CaptionFrankie became a thing…

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Not to mention our first of many visits to Wales…

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It was also the first time that I’d left the country since I was 16, I made it onto a plane and it didn’t crash. I have learnt however that I never want to fly Ryanair again. Any airline that plays a “we’ve successfully landed” jingle makes me feel nervous, it’s almost as if they are surprised by this fact.

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March

We started off March still in Rome, and had managed to assemble a fair chunk of the north of England there…

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Though I have to admit, after a while things got a bit same-y for me! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful city though.

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We were already starting to get a little bit worried about America, how little did we know about what was to come…

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We made it back from Rome to business as usual with Frankie…

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Facebook wanted me to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, well who was I to refuse?

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We had a proper night out – something which I hadn’t done in a hell of a long time!

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Cards Against Humanity gave us the perfect solution to our inevitable Domino’s issues.

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And March ended with a deep statement. We don’t talk about Buxton.

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365 days later…

So, a year ago, this happened…

http://jeniemma.com/blog/video-jeni-moves-to-manchester/

I threw my lifetime collection of “stuff” into the back of a Corsa and Lexi safely(ish) delivered me to the north!

I walked into the pub and when I told people that I’d moved here, the general reaction was “what? you weren’t already living here?!”… figures!

So what’s happened in those 365 days? Here are some estimated statistics:
* 0 times watched X factor
* 1 successfully cooked turkey resulting in 0 persons with food poisioning
* 3 days in Macclesfield
* 6 days in London
* 6 days travelling to and from Birmingham
* 8 days in Hardy’s Well
* 15 umbrella’s left on trains
* 21 – the number of time’s I’ve sang “I think we’re in Didsbury” while passing Didsbury
* 50 bottles of wine
* 50 days in Birmingham
* 106 days sleeping
* 111 – the number of times that I’ve missed a 111
* 135 – the number of times that Kirsty has tried to talk me into going to KFC
* 208 status updates moaning about travelling to and from Birmingham
* 289 phonecalls from Lexi
* 300 repeats of the Big Bang Theory
* 362 days avoiding Macclesfield
* 365 days of no regrets
* 700 litres of coke
* 1000 tweets
* 1000 cups of tea made
* 11000 miles travelled (only 1000 of those with a car)

 

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I’m privileged

I posted something similar elsewhere, but here is a version for my blog :-)

Around various communities that I’m in, the word privilege thrown about as a bad thing, making out that some groups are more privileged than others. I don’t doubt that this is true, to be fair, we are all privileged in some way. I don’t want to rant about how this is just casually used in arguments with no real backing, I want to say what privilege is to me.

I am privileged to be able to walk down the street and not get any hassle, to not have to worry about *where* I go, or when I go there. There are so many people like me that haven’t been afforded that luxury.

I am privileged that I don’t have to hide the life that I lead, yet I still don’t push it in peoples faces, hence me rewording this post. Some people have to live the lifestyle they enjoy in private.

I am privileged to make the choices that I want to make, do the things that I want to do. People moan about the UK and what it’s becoming, but it’s a hell of a lot better than so many countries out there to live in for freedom.

I am privileged to pass as a girl. I don’t believe in my heart that I do, I don’t see a girl when I look in the mirror. But people around me tell me that I do, so I must trust them.

I am privileged for the advice I am given, even if I’m sometimes useless at taking it. It matters to me that people care about me enough to give it, it would be all to easy for people to give up on me!

I am privileged for friends from all walks of life. You don’t have to be a specific kind of person to be awesome, and I love you regardless of what slot in my life you fit into.

I am privileged to have the freedom to make my own mistakes, to look like an idiot, and to come out of anything a stronger person.

Not so long ago that I was struggling to find my place, I am privileged to now be finding it.

It’s a privilege to me to have people close to me. I really do appreciate that, lots. Without knowing it, the people around me save my life, very often.

This is what privilege really is.

 

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Updated Video: From A to B – My Transition

I have added some earlier pictures to the beginning of this :-)

 

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Updates

So I’m sat in a pub in New Street station, because silly Jeni got all the times mixed up and got here an hour and a half early… Doh!

May as well use this time to write a blog post, since I don’t get time anywhere else!

So what’s new in my life? I had an amazing birthday week… too much drinking, some epic hangovers and a load of very nice surprises all combined to make it pretty damn good! Oh, and some sort of chocolate based dessert daily? Yes please!

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Awesome chocolate cake!

One of the high points was definitely catching up with someone who I hadn’t seen in far too long, who I love to bits. That was one of the best presents I received, ment so much to me!

But the whole week took it out of me, and I finished my week off work far more tired than when I started! Was nice to start getting back into a normal routine… having some chill time and even gave up alcohol!

I was supposed to have come down to brum sooner… but to be fair… if you were offered tickets to see Guns N Roses… you’d totally delay your trip! The gig was awesome in every sense of the word! Though, with it ending up finishing at 2am… and me having to get up at 5… it was never gonna end well the next day :)

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Guns N Roses at the MEN Arena

Even though I don’t miss the place, I’m missing all my friends in the Midlands lots… I really need to make more of an effort to come down more often!

Have been totally enjoying the really nice weather recently, though today in brum has been pretty miserable.

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Enjoying the sun in Platt Fields Park... may have got a little burnt!

Oh, and one final thing… my boobs are massive!! Hehe… anyway, I’ve wasted enough time now, gotta go get a train!

 

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Self Harm

I originally posted this on my old blog about 4 years ago, I had lost everything I posted… but recently found a notebook with half my posts in, it is still very current.

When you are in the deepest, darkest pits of depression and your coping resources have run dry, its difficult to know what to do to try to continue to cope. Your judgement will be completely clouded, and things which you previously thought to be an unthinkable option, suddenly seem like such a good idea.

In this situation, some people, myself included, turn to harming themselves as a way to release the pain. It can take many forms including cutting, scratching, pulling hair out or overdosing. Very few people on the “outside” understand what is happening if they find out. Many will brand it as attention seeking, most people will insist that you stop, this only leads to guilt and worsening the pain.

A lot of the time, self harm is far from attention seeking, it is something they are very ashamed of and will go out of their way to try to hide. Sometimes it may well be attention seeking, but not necessarily in a bad way, it can be a cry for help. When you are stuck in the pit, it is a very lonely place, talking to someone is a very hard thing to do, it is a way of showing that you are badly hurting on the inside.

Most people who self harm will completely deny that there is any element of attention seeking, this may be the case most of the time, but there will always be people that do. They should never be frowned at, they need a bit of love and attention. Maybe they don’t want to talk, but just be acknowledged. Even something as simple as a hug can go a long way.

The worst thing you can do to someone who self harms is to insist that they stop. The guilt can be far too high and can lead to them starting to bottle up their emotions, inevitably this will get to a point where they will just have a breakdown, possibly with far worse consequences. Just offer a listening ear, company if they want it. Make sure they are being safe, the majority of self harmers will have no intention of killing themselves, they are just releasing their inner pain.

I am not a doctor, I have made no in depth research into the subject. I talk from experience from being on both sides. I used to self harm regularly, I look back at what I did with so much regret, yet I fully understand what happened, and in the situation that I was in, it was the lesser of two evils. I had the guilt of people telling me to stop, that almost pushed me to suicide on several occasions. It was the friends that stuck by me throughout out that pulled me through one of my darkest times. I now have the scars as a constant reminder of the valley that I went through.

I’m not quite sure why I’m talking in the past tense, the problem hasn’t gone away. I rarely self harm these days, I’ve come a long way yet occasionally I will still slip up. I’m terrified that I will start to slip back down on a slippery slope and end up back to where I started. I am a much stronger person now to what I was then, but nobody can be 100% strong all of the time. If the fragile outer shell that I have get broken, then I’m screwed.

I hope this helps if you know or ever meet anybody who self harms. If you are reading this and you harm yourself, just remember that the other side of the valley is never that far away!

 

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Emotional Day

Sorry for hardly posting, but I don’t want to be one of those people that post’s for the sake of it, I’ll only post when I have something to post about.

Yesterday was an emotional day for me, it was the day I was supposed to have my operation, if things would have happened according to the original plan. I really didn’t think that it would affect me that emotionally, but it did. I had so many “what if’s” going through my head… what if I would have had the operation, etc?

It was bound to happen to be fair, it was supposed to be one of the biggest days of my life, it was a day that I was planning so long for, a day that in theory would have completed the process. So why didn’t it happen?

There wasn’t a chance that I could go through with it if there was doubts in my head about if it was what I wanted. I’ve said before that I would *never* go back to being a man, and I stand by that. But, why should I have an operation to validate who I am? Doing thing’s like that has never been the way that I’ve lived my life, so why should it be any different?

Social norms tell us that if you are transsexual, you must transition, then have a big major operation to change the outer parts of your body. No, this is completely wrong! For some people, that may be the way that they wish to go, and so they should. But for others, we don’t feel the need to take such a drastic course of action… I want to lead my life the way that I want it, and I want to have my body the way that I want it, I will not be pressurised by “social norms” to do things that I don’t actually want to do, and nobody should ever have to feel that way.

I am so glad that I saw that there was an alternative, and that the alternative was possible, before I ended up making the biggest mistake of my life, on what would have been the biggest day of my life. Again, I’ve said before that right now, I’m happy as I am, very happy, and I don’t need to change that!

But I still can’t help but wonder, what if…?

 

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Back to Blogging

Ay up! It’s been a while hasn’t it? The move threw me completely out of sync… but now I’m getting back in sync with my first blog from sunny Manchester!

The move went really well… almost too well! Just about settled in and I’ve resumed my usual antics of being out all the time! I haven’t completely abandoned Birmingham… still down there for a few days a few times a month… you lot don’t get rid of me that easily!

It’s a different life up here… bearing in mind that I’m from a little village near a little town… its a shock to the system! I can stay out late and still get home, this is completely awesome!

I was worried that I’d struggle to be motivated enough to work from home… but it’s working out really well :) as far as customers are concerned… I’m in the “Manchester office”

I have without a doubt made the right decision to come up here… I needed to properly get away from the midlands, to break that grip that it gets around you!

The most different thing however, its cold and people talk funny!

Anyway, just an update really so you all know that I’m not dead! Knocking together a video blog of the move that I’ll put up at some point! Much love to you all!

 

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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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