Thursday, February 19, 2009

Re-Inventing Me: Call me Katie

Boy, how things have changed!

Several years ago, when I first started going out as a girl, I called myself TJ. My friends from Wildside still call me that. It's was actually a rarely used nickname that I acquired in high-school, when I was a very awkward tenth-grader. TJ is actually the initials of my real name. When I started posting online profiles to meet other t-girls, I filled in the letters with Tara Jennifer. I'm not sure why I needed a middle name, but it seemed to be very common with other t-girls, so I went along. Added to it is a surname Young, which is the anglisized spelling of the Chinese surname Yeung. It is not real of course, but I found it rather appropriate since I am Chinese (okay, only 98% Chinese) and I was a young-ish t-girl in my twenties.

My life was--and still is--full of striking dualities. Often I'm a girl, but sometimes I'm a boy; I'm shy but also chatty; I'm a science geek--background in physics, math & PhD in engineering, but dammit, don't call me a nerd-- and a reasonably accomplished freelance violinist; I'm a serious intellectual and a crazy flirt; and I'm very intelligent, but sometimes I do the dumbest things.

Two life-changing events in the past year or so had put me in a little bit of a sabbatical. And as I get back into things, I feel that I need a fresh start. So, to re-introduce myself to the community:

Hello! My name is Kate, but you can call me Katie too. (If you must, you can continue to call me Tara or TJ, I won't mind. Afterall, "Kate" is no more real than "Tara".) The nice thing about these "girl names" is that I can change it whenever I want to. Not that I want to all the time, but I feel that in this case it is completely appropriate. Kate, hopefully, is a more mature version of my former self: less crazy chick, more woman; less flambouyant, more polished, more gounded; and hopefully less of a flirt, more composure. Fellow geeks: think of Kate as an upgraded, debugged, cleaned up version of Tara.

As for those life-changing events, if you had read the blog carefully (I dare you!), you would have read something about a PhD in engineering. Yup. I just got one. The "Permenant Head Damage", "Piled Higher and Deeper"...and whatever you call it. This has been a rather long and lonely intellectual journey. It had many ups and downs--more downs than up really--and had taken many different turns--some of them in the wrong directions. But at the end, it was very exciting to see all the pieces come together. It did mean that for the pat year, I hardly hung out on Saturday nights. Think: "Oh, it's Saturday. I really should lie down in my bed and sleep."

But as lonely a journey it has been, I never felt I lack companionship. Which brings me to my second life-changing event. I have found my life partner. My soul-mate. My best friend. And now we live happily together. We started out as close friends in my undergrad years..12 years ago, and after I moved to Toronto, we began a long-distance relationship, first through e-mail, then over the phone, and now we have a new life together.

Which brings me to the close of this blog. You probably won't find me on Toronto's Church St. as often anymore, but Tara....umm, Kate, is back!