Every time I log on I have the urge to go there. I know it is a shell, an empty husk but it still beckons with that mysterious fascination.I finish reading my mail and I catch up with my bills and my fingers suddenly slip and click on it's bookmark. I glance at the page I had carefully arranged, I check on the old messages and comments. Curiously, some people still update their blasts and what surprises me is that there are still people that are inviting me to be friends. Yahoo 360 is like a ghost ship, a ship abandoned by it's crew, to the dismay of many of the passengers on board... It also reminds me of my only successful attempt to establish a network of friends that shared a desire to express a feminine side, something that the mainstream couldn't grasp that readily.
An individual has very little say in the decisions of the huge corporations. It didn't matter if you signed a petition to keep 360 afloat. It probably was a huge waste of time to wait out and see what Yahoo came out with. I looked around but I didn't feel comfortable with any of the other places. What really was decisive in my intention to lose interest in the whole networking idea was me. The appeal vanished little by little.
There is a hidden cycle in all things transgender. Like in any group you want to belong to, you want to mingle with other like-minded individuals. I felt the need to establish contact. I needed information, advice and desperately needed to share experiences. You can't do that by being introverted. You start with a couple of pictures and some messenger gossip, until someone tells you to check a site that was competing with URNA. I found 360 easy to use and I was hooked. Until then I had given up on writing, but blogging gave me the hope that my muse would return. She bailed out after I quit college, have caught some fleeting glimpses of her lately but maybe I was just imagining things.
Yahoo 360 for me was not the physical network, it was more a state of mind a bunch of people were in at the beginning of 2005. By 2007 it had ran it's course, but I had managed to make some good friends and I had the honor of meeting some of them personally. A core of about 50 girls blogged constantly. We argued, there was drama but in all a sense of a network community was born. I can't deny that it was a web based community, with few anchors in the real world. But the support and camaraderie was real. 360 had the advantage that it could bring together many other Yahoo applications. Flickr for pictures, Yahoo groups for like -minded individuals and YIM for the gossip. Now, everything feels so disjointed and it feeds the apathetic fire.
So life goes on and even though most of it goes unrecorded on any blog of mine, lots of things happened since I moved in with Glenn. The idea that I am now introduced as "Laura, my girlfriend" still tingles my estrogen laden heart. I was looking forward to meeting some of the neighbors, but as Glenn told me, they're nice neighbors, they tend to be quiet and stay inside their homes. It is hard to get adjusted to living with another person again. There are so many things that need to be put away. A lot of things need to be thrown out. It is cool when you find stuff that you couldn't find before. I always thought that I would prefer to live by myself. But I am learning to enjoy Glenn's and Ms Kitty's attention. Past experiences had made up my mind that I was a loner, a maniac who wanted to find stuff in the same place as she had left them in the morning, before going to work. I must say I should have met someone as accommodating as G, years ago...
Socially, I think I have reverted to my earlier years. I don't go out and I am not online a lot. There are so many things to do! I have still to put away a bunch of boxed stuff. I come late from work every time. Lots of Over Time, which helps with the moving expenses. I do not know why I have shied away from the limelight. People who talk to me describe me as down to earth. A guy friend of mine, who I was chatting with the other day told me he was amazed I was not rude or mean when I answered his invite to chat. He was just curious about transgenders and wanted to ask questions. Yea, I know most of those invites are lewd, but once in a while you get the chance to educate, and it makes you feel good. I gave up on trying to attend the local TG group. I still feel like I am the stranger looking in to the political and legal involvement. I do support the LGBT and I do attend Pride but I have left it at that. Not only am I saving money but I think the SCC as a hub for social interaction has lost meaning to me. I think if I want to visit any of the friends I made in the 360 heyday, I can buy an airplane ticket and visit them personally. I have visited Riz on repeated occasions, and now that my kids are in Arizona, I may get the chance to visit some of my West Coast acquaintances. It is commendable of the SCC to unite such a daunting number of TG people in one place, but I always had a problem with crowds, eventually I would miss someone I really wanted to see. So yeah, no SCC this year. It is incredible the amount of SCC related blogs, blasts and comments that are out there. There is even a FlickrSCC theme, incredible!
Nicky's visit this summer brought me also to the realization that sharing life with my sons is definitely the priority. There is a bond that is very hard to ignore. I usually feel very upset if I don't hear from them daily. Sometimes they get in trouble with mom and there grounding includes phone call restrictions. I have made it a priority to have one phone for each child, plus unlimited texting. Sharing pictures and mini videos has become one of our favorite ways of communicating. I have been trying to improve my skills on video games, there are some records they still can't beat.
In conclusion, I miss the camaraderie of 360 but life has kept on going. My regret is that I lost contact with friends I still wanted to keep in touch with. This by the way is the last 360 posting. For those of you reading it on 360, please take note on my blast link. That is where I am going to blog from now on. The pic? That's my new haircut sans make up, cuz who really puts on make up at 900am to go to the hair salon? :-P
The Return of The December Project
1 week ago