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......


  1. ya' know Christen i have noticed lately that as a whole the blog comments are not like the ol' days on yahoo 360 where there were tons of comments for most blog entries. ever since the site downsized and we were forced to move our blogs to the 4 corners of the internet the comments situation has never been the same. some days i wonder if anyone even reads my entries or even cares that i have written a new entree.
    the worst part is that it seems like we no sooner rebuild a new community and get sort of comfortable within that site that something happens and we get disrupted once again.
    i don't know if it is a sign of the times or that so many of us have come out so that we are spending more time out in the actual world and less in the virtual world or what. but i have noticed and felt just what you are speaking about.
    at first i wondered if anyone would even care if i fell off the face of the earth but now i take it less personal.
    it's ironic that in a world of soooo much better communication many trades people rarely communicate with potential customers. they have e mail , texting , voice mail, snail mail, land lines and fax machines and yet, maybe due to too many choices, rarely do they bother to get in touch with the customer. this lack of personal communication with others in the world has eroded our connection with others and has led to many unintentionally insulted people.
    i was just thinking the other day how in the past, quite awhile ago, how excited i used to get when i received a letter (snail mail) from a friend, how i treasured and savored the opportunity to read it. now those letters are rare and enjoyed even more as they become less frequent.
    i keep reminding myself that the reason i write the blog is that it is sort of a personal log that i have allowed my friends to share in (as well as an entry for the world to comment on).
    all i can say is try not to get to discouraged.

  2. Christen,

    Life sometimes runs in waves and cycles and so do lifetimes. At different points in our lives we value some things more highly than others. And maybe you are entering a new day.

    And sometimes we let our friends go to explore a new corner or just get so wrapped up in our own minutia that we forget to look up and a day, a week, a month, a season, a year have passed by. And those who care about us still do and still care and still love.

    Life sometimes can be a four letter word. And in the next moment it transforms in a most wonderful and innocuous way from the most seemingly insignificant event.



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