I now ponder on the draw of being out in the world as Joanna. The short answer is that I don't honestly know but the longer answer is far more complex than that. I know that I feel an internal peace and joy of being able to somehow partake in the world of women. It touches on a deeply rooted wish that I've possessed since earliest memory and, now that I am able to fully discard my self imposed roadblocks, I can fulfill it in my own way.
We are not allowed to feel pretty and feminine and I want to be able to. As Joanna I try to present as a feminine woman; not a caricature but an actual woman who prefers dresses to pants and heels to running shoes. I dress to blend in and have no interest in being overtly sexy or alluring. What I am interested in accessing femininity and in expressing it.
Just don't ask me why.
Last night I was at the dollar store when a couple of ladies stopped me in my tracks. The younger of the two said in French: "Madame could you help us reach this item?". Neither of them could have been taller than 5 feet and they obviously needed help which I was only too happy to provide. They were both very thankful and the older of the two, who I presumed to be the mother of the other, asked me if I was married and if my husband was as tall as I was. She then asked me my name in a lovely Mediterranean tinged French accent that I took to be of Italian origin and told me she would pray for me. I found them both very charming and we had a brief chat before parting ways.
This is the type of exchange that makes my outings just a little more special and I am thankful for them.