One-year bearder challenge
So yeah, the changes just keep happening! All my name changey stuff has gone through, and now I'm left with... MORE name-changey stuff! Bank info, driver's license, health stuff, store stuff, all the random places that have required documentation and had received my old name. Thankfully, I've kept my life very minimal in regards to cards or store loyalty programs, so although there's still an annoyingly large number of things to update, it's pretty minimal compared to what it COULD be.
Seriously, it's 2016 here. Can we as a society stop pretending that there needs to be a thousand layers of paperwork and labour in order to accomplish the simplest of tasks? By all technological capability, changing my name documentation with everything that requires such should take 5 minutes and one person at a computer. Worried about safety? Then make it goddamn open source, stop bloating the everloving hell out of the software and deliberately installing backdoors, and slash that damn code down to the absolute barest of essentials in order to function.
Bah. But, I'm of the type that thinks there should be a global database of people's info. Your shit's already 'out there' for anyone whosoever to grab, if you know where to look for it and all that. Let's stop pretending that isn't already possible to the point of child's play, and actually grasp the technological era rather than shielding ourselves from it.
Blah. Sorry, that's one of the things that annoys me... society's seemingly insane desire to cling to the obsolete. But enough of that, there's far more pleasant and entertaining things one can spend their mind pondering.
Oohh, let's get this out there first, since the update strip kinda makes a big point of it. The Bearder's Challenge!
I've worn my beard for the vast majority of my facial-hair-growing life. It has been shaved exactly once ever, in somewhere around 2008. My mom kept bugging me about it, so I decided to surprise people and shave it one Christmas. Lol, she didn't even notice until I pointed it out :P
It was all fun and awesome, and the beard grew back. Until now (see side-by-side comparison here).
As a self-described and self-accepting bearded lady, this idea both scares me and excites me at the same time. This has very little to do with becoming more feminine with my MTF transition. I can't say it's entirely unrelated, because I figure that after I shave, other people will look at me with a more feminine archetype off the hop, which will be beneficial to me. I'd long ago accepted that the beard would cause problems in that regard, but in this case after I shave it, an added benefit is an added benefit :)
For exactly 1 year, November 30th to November 30th, I will shave my face (or everything nose-down at that point). If after November 30th 2017 the beard returns, then it was meant to be. The bearded lady shall return! If not, then that's also meant to be, but let's not dwell on that option. I've always pictured myself one day as an older lady with a long, whispy beard. Really what I'm hoping for is that during that year, the hormone therapy will do its thing and my hair will grow slower and less coarse. Once I start growing it back, I'm hoping (crosses fingers) that it will be finer, smoother, and softer :)
On another note, I've been on a journey of personal discovery for the past several years. I believe I have come to the end of this journey.
For several years now, I have been pushing and living the minimalistic lifestyle. I've said that my entire life can comfortably fit inside a single small room, and that still stands today. The journey I have been undertaking was to discover what the bare minimum requirements are to keep myself alive. As in, with zero extras, if I have shelter and utilities, what is the minimum amount of food that I require in order to remain healthy. I believe I have discovered this, by slowly cutting my diet down further and further over the years. Not quantity, but variety. What are the minimum number of food ingredients that this body requires to keep working, and keep working efficiently. I don't want to be an emaciated slug in a corner, I want to be doing hard biking and daily livestreaming. Here are the ingredients that keep me alive, which for myself come to around $25 Canadian per 7 day week. Quantities of each vary depending on what I feel my body is lacking:
Daily (the 'mandatories'):
Occasionally (on-sale or when craving):
Any plant product
Any meat product
Anything edible with a minimal price, really. I look at the number before I look at the food.
Added flavour (my available toppings):
Cheats/Treats/Other (could techincally do without):
Vodka (rare occasion)
Absinthe (even rarer occasion)
Chips/Soda/Junk food (I barely remember that these exist)
Cooking method (if cooking required): Boil
That is the food needed to keep me alive. Just that. Boiled cabbage. Every. Single. Day.
That said, I grew with Ukrainian food, and love cabbage :D. Boiled cabbage, fish, and noodles with soy sauce and sour cream? Oh HELL yes, sign me up! That's some delicious glop you've got right there! And when you get to the gruelly bits at the bottom, where it's just a sludgy slurry? Aw yeah, that's the best part :D
I've since upgraded slightly from that, but spent a fair amount of time ensuring that my bare minimum was indeed capable of keeping me alive and healthy. You'll note a distinct lack of salt, sugar, or most anything like that. Honey is my only sweetener, and soy sauce is my only salt, for the most part. I've since incorporated perogies and hotdog chunks into my daily routine for variety and texture, but could cut them out if I needed to save more money. I've done without flavour at all, and I gotta say... straight boiled cabbage and fish is bland as all hell :P. But cheap, healthy, and edible, that's the important part.
Also, my kitchen ensemble consists of about 10 items in total, and that includes my bowl and chopsticks. It makes for needing very little space in order to store what is needed. Minimalism... fitting my life into a smaller and smaller space in the healthiest manner possible :)
All that said, I'm about as prepped as I can be for... well.. *anything* (paperwork updates notwithstanding). Since this diet is UNBELIEVABLY unexpensive (as I said, about $20-25 a week, with TODAY'S prices). $100 per month, and food is taken care of. With a $400/month rent for a single room in a house, I can stay alive and healthy for $500 per month. $6,000 a year. And I *literally* have no debt. As it stands, with what investments I've made and could resort to if needed, I could survive for YEARS like this. Economy good or bad, I am prepared.
In December though, now that the name change has gone through, I'll be telling the temp agency to start looking for stuff for me again. Once I start making an income (or Thingies and Stuff takes off), imagine how much income I'll be able to save up! Keeping up a budget like this, it won't take too incredibly long to save up a relatively healthy savings that I could use to upgrade my life from the ground-up :D.
One of the most central mottos that I live by is From a firm foundation is built a solid structure. By having found my core... my minimum, I have built for myself the most solid and healthy foundation possible. Now in my life, when massive hurdles have been passed and the future appears full of adventure, can I build any structure I could possibly desire on that foundation.
Patience and steady progress. It's been treating me well so far. Now let's see where it takes me :).
Oh my flying spaghetti, there's been udpates in my life! It's almost as though I'm making *progress* or something. Also, other surprising and unexpected changes.
The brunt of the updates come in the form of... paperwork! My name is now legally Tannis, and my birth certificate now shows 'female'. And of course, I'm now on hormone therapy.
Then there's ANOTHER change! This has little to do with transition or feminization, more to do with being a near-lifelong bearder. My beard has been shaved exactly once ever in about 2008 or so. I am challenging my beard.
For one year, for my birthday on November 30th, I will shave my beard. If after the year is over it grows back, while I'm on HRT, then it was a beard meant to be. The 1-year bearder challenge! Will the beard return after a year!
-Bearded- -No Beard-
Basically everything was designed by Nintendo, who I'm hoping still let me keep doing my thing. It's a parody. And free. Did I mention they're awesome too?
Comics, ideas, etc, etc owned by me, blah, blah, legal stuff. Look, just don't be a jerk, and it's all good. I'm pretty easygoing, and really don't care all that much... just don't go impersonating me and we're cool.