Well, on Saturday I returned home to Sweden again, after almost a month in the US. I should have been updating the blog more but I got a few days of stomach unrest so the margins kind of vanished. I will try to backlog a few moments and picture later. It is good to be back again even though I already miss the warm weather we had during the last weekend. The trip home was tough as always, for some strange reason going back to Sweden is always more tiresome than going to the US. We also missed our connecting flight to Stockholm so I got back home a few hours later than planned as well.
On the flight home I also tried surfing onboard the Aircraft using Connexion by Boeing. It took a while before it started but when it did I got a few hundred kilobits of transfer speed while being 11 000 m (30000 ft) above Greenland 🙂 Should have remembered to update my blog there but my battery run out of power after a while.
One of this city´s attractions is the battleship USS Wisconsin which have been turned into a museum after it was decommissioned. On Friday we had the opportunity of visiting it and it is an impressive ship. It feels like your standning on one of this big ferries that cruises between Sweden and Finland.
I think I had my most comfortable trip over the Atlantic ever. Me and my collegue had a row of four chairs for ourselves and it was so nice to be able to “spread out” your things and not feeling crammed in the seat. I was not that tired and managed to read a lot in my Dan Brown book, see the latest episode of my favourite TV show 24 and do some work.
Today was also the day when I was about to see what the multi-national military environment is like for a transsexual woman. I have been a bit worried about this for the past weeks but I actually was not as nervous as I thought today. I guess the early morning and the exictement of being there made me somewhat forget that. Anyway, I wore my nicest black Karen Millen suit and felt really well-dressed and everything worked just nice. People were very nice to me and used my new name and everything. Felt really good!
Now I have watched SG1 on the SciFi – channel and is using the free broadband access at the hotel.
Today it happened. During the last weeks I have been to the uniform shop a few times to figure out how to get the proper pieces together for my new uniform. It turned out that there were more clothes that had female versions than I expected and there was a new skirt model I had not seen before. Before I have always felt that the clothes did not fit me that good but now when I got the new skirt, jacket, shirt and trousers everything looked much better. I have also been worried about the hat/cap thing. Since I use some “extra hair” everyday I did not really think I got my cap to fit properly. Fortunately I have found a wonderful wigshop here in Stockholm with some really nice staff. So I went there with all my different hats and we tried different hairdos. I was surprised by the result we had after some professional advice from her. I looked very smart in a tight knot and my caps on top of that. So today I made a nice tight hairdo with a black ribbon and choose the skirt and the wolly-polly sweather with ranks together with black high heeled boots. By the way, my uniform is dark blue. It may seem a bit superficial to talk so much about this but all this are small but very important steps for me. Also, to me it is important to not feel “dorky” about my looks and being able to be proud for who I am. Getting comfortable with my look at work is therefore important.
Now, I have just got hand of a second battery to my PowerBook. Hopefully I can borrow it from a friend so I can use my computer all the way to the US tomorrow.
Business trip again. This time a training week where we are learning about some new IT-based tools in preparation for our trip next week. It was a long but interesting day and interesting to meet the whole Swedish delegation. In the evening we headed out to our hotel – a castle on the country-side. A really luxurious feeling to walk up the big stairs with yellow lights shining on the snow-covered ground. Minus 6 degrees centigrade so it was a nice winter evening. Now, I am trying out the 3G coverage using my cell phone and it works just fine!
Hmm…it sometimes feels a bit embarrassing to be affected by all those small things around us but I guess most of us do. It is just that different people see different needs to tell others about it. Anyway it is interesting to observe people around me. Even though I guess most people (at work) are aware about my transition process and some even heard it from me directly there is some kind of “first reaction”. It is like people struggle really hard to show that they are not showing anything, or something like that. Today a person suprised me by just out of the blue telling me “you are so beautiful!” and before I think she had just looked skeptic when she met me. It turned put that she had not recognized by at all at first and that is something that I sometimes just forget. I mean I still feel like my old self but of course I look rather different know. Anyway, kind words keep dropping in to my inbox and every word means a lot!
Today I came back from the conference trip and got back to my office to read my mail. You know the one which says alexandra and “@mil.se” as the domain 🙂 The unread mail in my inbox almost filled my 21 inch screen and quite a few of them were responses to the email I sent on Monday night. There were all very nice answers from collegues that I have met in work and even though it sometimes were just one line or two of kind and supportive words – it felt great! Small things really mean a lot. Being at work that day suddenly felt much easier even though I have a little to much to do now.
BTW, I seem to be writing all these posts a few days after the actual day. I seem to need to think things through a few times before writing it down…
Well, my new email at work is up and running so on Monday night I sent a lot of notes about it to collegues at work. Even though getting the address took much longer than getting a new ID-card it is good to be able to “be official” at work. Kind of strange, by the way, how important your email (online) identity has become. So, if you have read my email and just arrived here from the included link I just want to say: Welcome, and thanks for stopping by. I hope you will find some useful information here.
However, now I am away again at a conference (and eating a lot of food!) and will be back on Friday at work. I have met another set of people today that have not met me as a women before and it seem to work just fine. Just being able to do introductions at the beginning of the meeting by saying “My name is Alexandra and I work at…” is really wonderful.
Today it was decided that I will go to the Defense & Security conference in Florida in April. It is a very interesting conference where a lot of research people all around the world gather and give briefings about their latest research. I have been to this conference before and it always very stimulating and very hard job taking notes all day long. It is also just wonderful to get some sunshine at a time of the year when Florida is reasonably hot.
Another big thing today was getting approval for my new email-address at work. It turned out to be a rather complicated thing and it took almost three months to get it done. It is strange on how many places your name is registrered and I wonder when I will have corrected all of them. Each week it seem to arrive new letters or email from people that I have not yet notified. But is just great to have an official email with my name. Now I can order business cards at last too!
Well, it was a while but today I had the chance to once again go cross-country skiing. My department at work usually go for a planning conference a few times a year and this time we went two hours north where there is much more snow. Since regular excercise is part of our job as officers we had booked two hours of skiing lessons with two instructors. I think it was over 10 years ago but still everything came back to me rather quickly. But guess if I became tired quickly 🙂 My arms were really sore after just 10 minutes! Tomorrow we are supposed to practise our “fine-tuned” technique for a longer trip…
As I have explained on other pages here I still seem to need some makeup in order to be seen as a woman in most situations. However, when doing sports it does not really work to wear makeup and my “extra hair” so I decided to skip that this morning. Even though I do not try not feel less female I think my confidence somehow takes a hit anyway. So when one of my collegues did a mistake and used my “old name” and mumbled something about that it is easier to remember to call me Alexandra when “in my ordinary look”. No harm meant but it is something that still makes me think. I hope that the effect of my hormones and laser hair removal will make these situations less frequent in a year or so.