Welcome to my LiveJournal - a place for me, Emily, to document the events of my life.
...except that's not exactly the truth. You see, I'm really a guy. I live most of my life as Alex - a pretty ordinary 22-year-old male with hobbies including climbing, poker and drinking beer. I'm in a happy, stable relationship and work a full time job as a software developer having obtained a degree in mathematics. So what gives?
Well, I guess the technical term for me would be 'transgendered'. There's a female side to my personality and, once in a while, she has to express herself. I've crossdressed for years, at first keeping it a secret before steadily learning to accept it and, in time, share it with those close to me. I've made tremendous progress in the past few years, including my first adventure out into the real world as Emily. Hopefully there will be many more to come!
This journal will be a place for Emily to express herself on a more regular basis than my real life can accommodate. I intend to cover all sorts of things - from new additions to my wardrobe, to the various challenges of being a crossdresser... and a whole load of random stuff in between!
That's all from me right now - stay tuned for more! :)
I mentioned in my previous update that I'd been working on a game in my spare time, so I figured I might as well do a post on it. The game is called Entropy and is a digital version of a card game that was invented by some school friends back in sixth form.
I worked on it for over a year and I'm quite proud of the result. There are lots of configurable options when playing the game such as the number of players, the configuration of the deck (extra suits, jokers etc) and the strategy that the AI opponents use (easy, medium or hard - I wrote a simulator to play these off against each other so I could make them as challenging as possible). There are 50 achievements which allow you to unlock more functionality along the way and you're able to save and watch replays of past games.
The real work was getting the game to work online. I had to write a server from scratch and design all of the client/server messages, as well as the UI of the lobby and so on. Eventually I got to a point where I was ready to launch, which I did at the start of February...
...and, disappointingly, not many people gave it a go. We only managed to get to 7 concurrent players out of a group of about 60 people that I'd invited to take part, and since the initial launch the server has sat there doing nothing which is a real shame. It's not that I was expecting it to take off and be a huge hit or anything but it would've been nice to see a few more people online so I could see the game really being put through its paces.
Anyhow, below is a screenshot of some of the current stats for the Live game. I'm going to try to get people to play again this evening to see if I can get more people online but we'll see what happens.
Somehow I have allowed it to be over a year since my last update, and as a result now face the difficult task of trying to summarise all the significant changes in my life since that time.
First and foremost, the most significant change to my life in 2014 was the ending of my relationship with Marta. This will come across as quite abrupt but I think we'd both sensed for a while that we weren't really making the effort anymore. The gradual realisation that we weren't actually that good a fit was something that had been weighing heavily on my conscience for quite some time, so it actually came as a relief to find that this feeling was mutual. It's a shame to see a relationship of almost 4 years come to an end but I'm certain it was the right decision for us both and it has exciting implications for the future. And the best bit about it being amicable is that we get to remain friends which is a huge plus.
Another big part of my life is my work - I've been working as a software developer at the same company for nearly a year and a half now and on the whole it's going really well. Programming suits me down to the ground - so much so that for the past year I've been writing a game that I intend to launch very soon. I'll write more about that in a separate update.
One thing I will say, though, is that I'm not sure that the company I'm with is going to pan out in the long run. It's a shame because I loved the job for a long time after I started, but there have been several things that have changed that are making me consider my options. A lot of the people that I grew close to have moved on due to these reasons which only adds to the problem - some are still in the Leeds area but others aren't which sucks even more. One positive is the knowledge that not one of them had trouble finding another job after leaving, so hopefully the same would be true for me. And they're all much happier at their new workplaces than they were here. Still, I don't want to be rash and I still believe in what my current company is doing enough that I'll be staying for the forseeable future.
As far as Emily goes, she did manage one outing in Leeds (just about) after I finally started telling people from my work. Jenny and Clare, two close friends I've made since moving up North, agreed to join me on a night out in Headingley. It was really daunting to start with but once I got a few drinks in me I was able to relax and have fun.
Funnily enough, most of the people who know about Emily are people who've left the company (Jenny and Clare for example!), but it's still nice to have people that I see regularly and are in the know again. My wardrobe has definitely expanded too - I have one particularly stunning dress on the way which I'm sure I'll be posting pictures of assuming that it fits! I've had some real encouragement from Jenny and Clare especially so I'm going to try to be more brave in 2015. A bunch of friends from work have organised an Otley Run for the end of January, and Clare has suggested that Emily make an appearance... I might be crazy for even considering it but the devil in me is really curious to see what people's reactions would be. There'd be a lot of people there who don't know and it's definitely one way to get that side of me 'out there' so to speak!
Anyway, that should just about do it for this first update. Expect more soon!
I like to think that I've got the balance between my two 'lives' pretty much bang on, but there are some occasions where being a mostly-closeted male crossdresser just sucks.
Tomorrow, for example, I'm going to London with work for a posh ball. Whilst I am excited about the adventure of it all, this is one of those times where I get seriously envious of the other gender. Long, beautiful gowns, some nice heels... and all the fun of shopping for them and deciding what to go for. I know that isn't every woman's cup of tea, but the two girls who are going are really into it and have been exchanging notes relentlessly in the week leading up to the day. I walk to work with one of them so I've got to hear firsthand how excited she is and how, whilst she already owns too many dresses, she definitely needs a new one for an event like this. Oh the humanity!
To top it off we are having a christmas party the following week with a similar dress code. I even considered showing up en femme to this in the midst of my madness, as I definitely don't intend to stay closeted at work forever. But it's still early days and I don't want to go making waves just yet. Besides, I've still got 0 experience with make-up so it wouldn't be a pretty sight!
I cannot believe it's been two whole months (almost to the day) since I last posted here. Where did that time go?
Ugh, I don't even know where to begin. I'm enjoying my job, and having been there for 3 months now I feel like I've settled into it quite nicely. There have been loads of new people starting since I did so I definitely don't feel new anymore! Marta's finished her first term at York which seems to be going really well for her. She's flown back to Poland for christmas and unfortunately I now won't see her until early January. Her blog is still going strong too (she obviously has a bit more willpower than I do with this place!).
Sadly Emily is still yet to get out and about in Leeds, although there have been a few new additions to her wardrobe including this new dress and boots:
I also now have more make-up than I could shake a stick at after I plucked up the courage to ask Marta for some bits and pieces for Christmas. Suffice to say I now have everything (I mean, EVERYTHING) a girl could need and Marta's even said that she's excited to start teaching me at some point in the new year. I've set myself the goal that I want to be out and about for Halloween next year so I've got a lot of work ahead of me if I want to make that happen!
Oh yeah and... HOW is it nearly Christmas already? I'm so unprepared - Marta and I exchanged gifts before she left so that's sorted but I still have to get presents for pretty much everyone else. I also really need to get some decorations for my flat to make the place feel more festive. It's so weird being here during the festive season - up until now there's always been a break of some kind for me to go home and have a nice relax. This year I won't be driving home until Christmas Eve (!!) and I'm sure it'll go by way too fast even then!
Well it's been a tough first week of work so I decided to reward myself with a new dress from H&M! I took the bus into Leeds yesterday and it was a productive trip overall - I got lots of little necessities like a new webcam for my laptop and some light bulbs for the flat. I'd popped in on a friend earlier in the day and seen some really cute shoes lying around that belonged to one of the girls he was living with, and from that moment I got the bug to buy myself a little something. I couldn't find a pair of shoes I really wanted, though, so this was the result instead:
It was a real steal at £7.50 and it fits really well too. I was a bit surprised about the front zipper - from my glance in-store I had thought it was a zip at the back but no matter - I like it this way too!
Ugh, the weekend has gone so quickly. I've done plenty of productive adult stuff like grocery shopping and filling up the car but I did manage to squeeze in some relaxing too. I baked a batch of brownies this afternoon which have turned out brilliantly, and also left the flat smelling wonderful! I'm going to enjoy eating those during my lunch breaks next week :D
There's a lot of nice open space in my flat so I decided I'd take some long-overdue pictures of some of the shoes that I own. At some point I'm going to try and photograph some of my dresses too - there are plenty of nails in the walls to hang things on so hopefully I'll be able to find a good place to take some snaps!
Anyway, first up are these purple heels which were on sale on the New Look website some time during my third year of university. The heel is a sensible height and chunky enough to make walking in them easy, and I really like the matte finish (not to mention the colour!):
The only other shoes I have in the flat currently are these pink wedges, also from New Look. They're on the high side so I wouldn't wear them out as they'd make me too tall - I've since bought a lower pair for the rare occasion that I do head into the outside world. They were one of the first pairs of shoes that I ever bought, and I can still remember the conservative pair I was thinking of buying until Nafisah talked me into going for something a bit more ballsy!
I'm taking the bus into Leeds city centre tomorrow and I'm sure I'll do a spot of shopping whilst there, so if I return with anything exciting I'll post pictures of that too!