Life is a Journey - Make sure you get the right roadmap to the universe

I'm quite sure I picked up the wrong one on my way out the door....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Suddenly, I'm Not Half The Man I Used To Be..... There's A Woman Looking Back At Me...

Someone commented on a recent post asking whimsically if I was "full time" (as my true self, as a female), likely as a result of all my recent posts in the past year of seeming to just blend in within the greater world as female.  Well, that was an interesting comment because something interesting happened today.  J and I were taking a hike in the woods around Squam Lake (actually better known as the setting for the movie "On Golden Pond").  Anyway, towards the end of our multi-mile hike, we passed an older gentleman who stopped us as we passed and said, "I recognize you!"  He looked straight at Joanne when he said it.  After a brief reintroduction, we both realized that this was the gentleman who ran the coffee shop up at the Waterville Valley Town Village Shops.  We had come to know him well over the years and had chatted extensively, but our last encounter with him was about 3 years prior.  He looked right at Joanne and spoke to her but didn't as much even make the connection with me.  I was in my "guy mode" wearing a light blue T-shirt and blue jeans and he didn't as much as even make the connection that I was the same person, J's husband, that he knew so well three years ago.  It was the weirdest moment..... as if I was invisible.  It was a telling moment as well for both J and I as we parted ways with him and walked the remaining distance home through the early autumn woods.  We looked at each other and said exactly the same words to each other.... that he did not recognize me one bit.  I said to myself, that if three years ago, I would have thought that this day would come, that it could even come without going on E or blocking my T, I would have said it was crazy.  I have entered, through this and other less obviously poignant yet still very affirming experiences, into the world of "female".....and here I thought I had this all under control,   I'm getting mammed enough now in my so-called "guy mode" that this "guy mode" has become quite the facade which, apparently, only I am believing.

Well... all that came to my mind at that point was a revised version of the ending to the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas".  Something like this....

"I hadn't stopped transition from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And Christen with her eyes aglow
Stood puzzling and puzzling. "How could it be so?

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without hormones, surgeries and without any lags!"

She puzzled and puzzed till her puzzler was sore.
Then Christen thought of something she hadn't before.

Maybe transition, she thought, doesn't come in a way I thought before
Maybe transition, perhaps, comes from something much more..."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Thinking Outside the Box

I'm sure there are days in everyone's life when they begin to wonder what difference they are making in the greater world.  It's the type of thoughts that give rise to the wonder of whether or not they make a meaningful difference in the world whether they are in it or not.  I guess we all have our moments where we have made that positive association and link but then there are also those long stretches where it doesn't seem to matter whether you exist or not.  I suppose it's true that folk do get caught up in their own lives and it's easy for them to sort of overlook a person, but then again, how much does one really mean if that is truly the case?

I will say that I have had some amazing experiences and the chance to touch at least a few people in a positive way in my life and....even more so..... more recently within the transgender world.  A lot of folks say that my writings have meant something to them.  I do get comments from time to time attesting so.  But really, in the big picture, I don't think I'm making a huge difference..... just lots of micro-cosmic ones on a person to person level.  I suppose that's not too bad of an accomplishment.  It makes me feel good to hear that I did mean something at some point in someone's life.

I guess I'm just a bit tired is what it comes down to it.  I like to do what I can to try to help others but lately I've grown a bit forlorn and feeling detached.  It's nothing really to do with my transness so anyone thinking that can put that theory to rest straight off.   No... It's just that sort of feeling I've had most of my life which is that if I stop reaching out, that others really aren't going to notice either way.  I don't feel like I can give anymore and I really don't want to ask of anyone when I need.  I would hope that those who know me would check in once and a while, and granted a few do..... but most don't.

I've always had my moments throughout my life, from adolescence straight through to present day, of pulling out of it all.  There's a huge world to explore and here I am working in a well-enough paying job that has no soul to it and no inspiration.  It's that sort of cog-in-the-wheel position where meeting metrics and deadlines are more important than the quality of one's life.   It's a vaporous effigy of a life constantly meeting the next goal and solving the next technical computer issue with the only thanks being that one gets even more in the process for doing a job well.  Yes, in this day and age having a job that pays well enough to live is a thing to thankful for with so many out of work.   But indeed it is soulless as well and yet another aspect of life where I just feel like a cog in the machine.

I think it's not a matter of "if" but of "when".  At some point I do see myself seriously drawing back and dropping out.  I've always loved the outdoors and the wilderness, and even with this brief interlude of being a "teenage transgender woman" who enjoyed briefly the social scene, I still want ultimately what I've always envisioned. and the premise still holds today.  The observations of the lives of those around me and who consider me provide more than enough argumentative aspects to hold it true.  I've got the thoughts in place and I've considered it.  Getting the resources in place is part of the assembly plan decades in the works now.

I'm not talking A Walk in the Woods either, although that was an amazing book and well worth the read.  On the other end of the spectrum, I'm not talking about something akin to Into the Wild either.  I am, however more in line with something in-between..... more on the level of something akin but likely less challenging than Dick Proenneke's wilderness experiences.  If you haven't read his book or seen his video, here is a Video Excerpt and well worth watching as he was an amazing individual.

I've got big chunks of the Appalachian Trail I have always wished to do and still have not done.  There are huge pieces of the Sierra Crest Trail I dream of doing as well.  Although approaching the half century mark in the age department, I still have the speed, dexterity, flexibility and stamina of me as an 18 year old and can easily keep up with one as well!  But I know this won't forever be the case and that one day this will not be true no matter how well I keep myself fit.  I'm quite accomplished with the outdoors and am comfortable with all of what goes along with such endeavors from years of experience and experiences.

I am sure for some that this post may seem somewhat offbeat from what they may think they know of me.  I know that the pictures on my blog attest perhaps to a more flirtatious, teen-age like party girl at times, but in reality, it's more "fun" than an actual persona.  It's a picture which is an image and not my soul.  These thoughts have not cropped up because of any life event, nor of even me being trans.  No.... They have ALWAYS been with me and I've tried very hard to fit into the idealized "American Dream" of family and career and the minutiae of those simple things in life.  You know... the simple things that seem to be enough for most people.... getting together with friends to hang out, to go out to dinner or to see a movie.... to go out drinking and dancing.  Sure, I enjoy all these things and I find my times with friends fulfilling....but only to a degree do they satiate a thirst.

There is MORE.  There is a lot MORE that I want to experience.  There are people and cultures which exist which I have not been privileged to meet.  There are some beautifully exotic places that I want to see that most do not.  No... I do not mean Aruba or Hawaii..... not that sort of exotic like most think of for vacation.... No, I mean places that most do not go to....the places off the map like Iceland (which I would love to get back to again....I have some amazingly weird stories from that place!), New Zealand, Some of the smaller towns of the Inuit off of James Bay, Patagonia, Nepal, Antarctica, Alaska....and the least goes on and on......  I've explored quite a few on that list and many others but a few weeks is not enough to do more than to whet my appetite.  I've seen some amazing things and recorded some unbelievable adventure stories and images of those trips....some of which were hair-raising and all of which were just incredible beyond the usual Las Vegas or Disney World "adventures" in the corporate and humanized worlds of soft adventures.

Again.... it's not a matter of "IF" but of "WHEN".  I'm just a bit tired....actually a whole lot tired.  I probably won't be missed and if I am, well, when I trek out of the wilderness long enough to send a post card, you can bet I will.  I've never aspired to a conventional life.  I've never liked boxes.....I've played the game though and lived within the boxes and excelled by playing it right.  It doesn't make me happy... but it provides me with the means to an end one day if the weather of life and health holds fair.  I've done the corporate ladder "box".  I've lived in the "male" box and I've had quite some time and many experiences in the "female" box.  Both of those are boxes as well with societal expectations and socialized norms for each.  I'm way beyond socially contrived boxes.  There's a LOT more to this world.  Whatever I've set my mind to do, I have done.  I have tried many things....  Sailing, Scuba, Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry, Makeup Artistry, Fashion, modeling, photography, astronomy, meteorology, basics of geology, creative writing and poetry..... and there's a lot more I wish to do....and more if I had the time and resources.  There is so much potential we each have in life..... It's only that it seems to me that most of us don't have the inertia or the opportunity or the finances or health in some cases to be able to seize it.....and at some point..... those opportunities will exceed my grasp as well......

For now, it's back to the grind and the daily minutiae.... and I'll keep doing my weekend warrior adventures working within the gridwork of this boxed life.......but planning one day for the day where some may come to wonder......where did Christen go?  Don't worry.... when that day comes, I'll be sure to send virtual postcards and warm wishes......