I tend to frequent certain stores and while my buying habits have been greatly reduced over time I have become friendly with some of the staff.
In one such establishment I met two young women (one under 30 and one over) and it got to the point that every time they saw me they seemed very happy to talk to me. I think they see me as a kind of role model because I would speak to them seriously about life issues and having confidence in yourself.
This led to meeting them both for coffee a few months back which was very pleasant.
Not too long ago I was in the store when one of them suggested an evening out and suddenly I had some trepidation. I had never gone this far with Joanna before and I began to doubt that I could pull it off.
For the record I know the difference between people knowing I am trans and when they don't. I know by how I am treated, the facial expressions and the questions I am asked. I know with certainty that for these young women I am a genetic female.
So once again I surprised myself in that we had an early dinner together and a couple of drinks and all went very well. I am just an older woman to them whose life experience and personality they like. All of us had a nice time and it may be repeated at some point as they are nice people whose company I enjoy.
My experiences meeting trans people here have been less rewarding but I attribute this to our tiny numbers which turns the exercise into finding a needle in a haystack.
Which brings me back to the issue of living part time. Yes it is not a perfect solution but it works and I don't plan to change it. Being accepted by other women is that much more validating and helps me confirm that I don't need to go further. This is very reassuring to me because all I’ve ever wanted is to find that elusive resting point and it appears I am already there.
Dysphoria doesn't always allow for perfect answers and even those who successfully transition by all accepted standards can sometimes still be left dissatisfied. In the end all we can do is try to find the best in a series of imperfect solutions.