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....

Sunday, November 16, 2014

In Restless Minds Awake

The closest analog I can find to my life is like that of a person who finds themselves orbiting precariously around a black hole.....just beyond the event horizon. The event horizon is that imaginary line where, once crossed, there is no escape. The odd thing about the event horizon is that from the perspective of one who crosses it, they never realize they did even though everyone outside will see they have crossed an invisible point of no return. I've realized that I have crossed that event horizon only by those around me who have witnessed my passage through it. Now, as I am drawn inexorably toward the point of singularity at the center of the black hole, so do I find myself drawn by tidal forces beyond my control towards a singularity of self. There is no escape from destiny.
Too much of Pandora's box has been opened and I have come to see the woman inside that box as simply a reflection of what was my hidden self.

Too much has transpired now that has changed not only my play in the game, but also that of everyone around me who have made their own moves on that large chessboard of life.  Each piece has found its match in the others move and, as pieces come off the board from both sides, so too does it become clear how much has changed; and how exposed I am now.

Unable to hide behind the pawns of my own life, I find the excuses, the useless and futile moves to be in short number now.  The queen is exposed and she is finding herself more and more alone on the board with nothing to obfuscate her from view.

It is no wonder that I have difficulty sleeping a lot of the time.  There are now so many decisions and choices to be made, because to not make them at this point will only find me languishing midway between worlds and without an authentic life of any kind. 

"In restless minds awake
Thoughts I cannot shake

From a soporific state
Of answers there are few
Fears that won't abate
When life is thrust anew"


But perhaps a poem by Allen Steble (probably not known by many) says it best: Choices

           by, Allen Steble

We all have a choice
to live a lie
or be ourselves
to laugh and cry
or to follow someone else
to look up and smile
or bow down and frown
to walk the whole mile
or take off our crown
We have a choice
to shout out loud
or chant a whisper
to fly through the clouds
or to be blown like paper
to conquer our fear
or hide in the shadow
to the wise words hear
or be thrown out the window
We all have a choice
to climb our highest mountain
or fall into our deepest hole
to drink from life's fountain
or live life like a troubled soul

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Road Less Travelled By

Life is funny sometimes.  You know the saying I'm sure.... "Life happens while we make other plans"?  Well, it seems like even the best laid sorts of plans have a way of developing a life and direction of their own. Have you ever tried to put a plan together only to find that somewhere along the way your plan grew legs and  decided it might be more fun to take YOU on ride?  The great poet Robert Frost will probably come back to life just to torture me for rearranging his famous words, once penned, when I say....

"I took the road less travelled by..... NOW WHERE THE HELL AM I?"

Well, I do know where I am.  I just wasn't so sure I was going to get here so fast.

I'm referring to life now and the fact that whether or not this is to my schedule I am now full time as a woman.  I never declared it or held up a banner.  As Dr. Seuss'es Grinch would say,

"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then Christen thought of something she hadn't before."

I never kept the woman I am from becoming.  She was already here. It turns out there are a LOT of pieces that were very feminine about me and I don't mean visually.  It's movement, vocal intonations, inflections and speech patterns, gesticulations and mannerisms.... all of these things used to be packaged into what at best appeared to be a not so macho looking, slight of frame, endoskeleton with a male moniker.

It wasn't convincing to anyone back then but it sure as heck works with the new outer packaging now.

So I'm here.  Everyone else seems to think so.  It's always Ms, or Ma'am when I go out, even if I don't put on any makeup and just wear non-gender-specific clothes.  It's not amazing or fantastic or glamorous or anything like that in being a woman.

It just is.

I'm comfortable.  I'm comfortable with myself.  Others find more comfort around me because I am comfortable with myself.  I'm having social experiences with the world as a woman and being  interpreted by others very affirmatively as a woman.  There's some positive to it, some negative but nothing overwhelmingly striking which puts living in one gender better than the otherTo be quite honest, it's more of a pain in the neck being a woman.

There's time involved with makeup and hair.  The lower stratification in society that by default women hold and which I am experiencing.  Ask me how many times I get weird looks when I start talking shop in a Home Depot, decide to talk about electrical wiring or drywall installation or how I do my own mechanical repairs around the house.

But the wonderful things are yet there too!  They are in the interactions and the friendships that women share with each other in connected ways.  They are the emotions I now feel that I never did before... the laughing and the crying and the ability to feel like I never did my whole life.  Estrogen is a pretty amazing thing in subtle yet not so subtle ways for that.  Sure, I've got some breast growth going.  It's a pain... literally.  I can't sleep on my stomach any more and don't even think of giving me a bear hug.  They are very sensitive.  Having to wear a bra now when I work out is yet another piece of clothing to deal with and bras generally suck I find.  It goes with the territory and it does give some great curves to my dresses so... I'll keep em.

I'm finding that the adventures are really just beginning.  I'm experiencing what it's like to have guy's asking me out.  I've got some really, really wonderful cis-women (genetically born as women) friends that are some of the closest friends I have ever had.  It's wonderful now being one of the gals and it's like at age 49, I'm just beginning to wake up from a coma I've been in my whole life and starting, finally, to feel alive and to LIVE.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fitting Into My Genes: Who is Christen?

I know I post a lot on here regarding being transgender and transitioning and all of that, but I haven't told you much of anything about "me", the person.  I know this won't interest everyone, and I will attest firmly that I am NOT writing this to impress anyone or to show some sort of prowess.  Far from it.  I simply want to add some dimension to this "two dimensional characterization" that it is easy to be swallowed up within in a blog whose motivation has been in discussion of all things transgender for me.

My life is much more.  Being being a woman who had to play the act of a guy for 45 years is simply one small facet of my life.  My life is much more.  It is a culmination thus far of an array of adventures and accomplishments that mesh together in some unique and personal way to paint an entire collage, an entire painting of who I am.  We each have our own unique collages of our lives and I love to learn about the amazing facets that make up the lives of others who graciously share with me.

This is my collage.  These are some of the things I love and have done in life.... in no specific order....

Astronomy and Astrophotography: Telescopic observations of all things heavenly

Meteorology:  I keep a weather station and have been known to enjoy following weather and climate realms.

Model Railroading:  I once had a huge empire with custom built and airbrush painted locomotives.

Life Guard:  Somewhere along the line I picked up life saving skills and lifeguard certification

Electronics: When I'm bored, I build gadgets from electronic components.  My favorite project was a device that could be used to listen to the sounds of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

Scuba Diving:  Certified diver and have been on two shark dives and a "wall dive" (think the movie "Abyss")

Sailing:  Captain of our high school sailing team, won the cup for the school, taught sailing to many including several blind individuals, accredited for heavy weather sailing and sailed boats up to 28 feet in length.

Hiking:  Many mountains in places from New Hampshire to Alaska to Iceland and all over.

Photography: Outdoors, wildlife and scenic compositions, some unique.  Have done developing of B&W film.

Kayaking:  I love being outdoors on the water....period.  I find it so relaxing.

Camping and Backpacking:  Ask me about the stories.... there may be need for a glass of wine.

Water-skiing:  I can't do any stunts but I was fine enjoying the ride when I did.

Downhill skiing and cross country skiing.  I prefer the latter now because of cost but used to love skiing the double-black diamond trails and the moguls.

Snowshoeing and ice skating:  I love both of these as well!

Travel:  I like obscure places.  Disneyworld?  Las Vegas?  Boring to me.  I have so many weird stories from odd places like Labrador, Iceland, Alaska, the Carribean.... just ask.

Writing and Poetry:  I love both but my creativity seems to spark when I feel depressed or down.

Cooking and Baking:  I love both and I love trying to create many different dishes from around the world.
Music:  I'm teaching myself to play the Synthesizer and having a blast.

Advocacy:  I'm working with several groups to help further human and civil rights and to act as an ear to many others in the community who need to vent and just talk with a friend.

Home Remodeling:  I taught myself how to build a room, do the drywall, insulation, ceilings, floors, electrical outlet wiring and overhead lighting wiring.  My second project was a walk-in cedar closet built from nothing.  Then it was rebuilding the outdoor deck.

Wildlife rehabilitation:  I was lucky enough to come across a days old baby Robin which I nursed and then physically taught hunting skills to after release (she kept coming back to me for lessons).  I also volunteered many moons ago at Boston's Museum of Science to take care of all of their animals including a wonderful old owl name Spooky and a VERY big Boa constrictor.

Automotive:  I used to do my automotive work and tune-ups back in the day when one used such items as a "strobe gun" to do timings.  (I'm getting old)

Woodworking and Metalworking:  I have pieces of my history locked into the creations once made

Makeup Artistry:  It's no lie. I love being able to create a look, an attitude, an emotion through the pallette of colors, light and shadow that is makeup.  I find it relaxing and creative (when I have the time)

Dancing and Karaoke:  I love them both... and my singing voice and confidence on stage has improved.

Being a Pain in the Ass:  I get BORED VERY EASILY and apparently have an IQ of 135-140... which doesn't mean a thing in my book because the measure of a person is in their heart and their heart alone.  Still, if I am bored, I cause mischief and trouble.

I still have a lot I would like to do....and hope yet to add to this adventure of life.  Me transitioning to a woman?  That's small stuff compared to the big picture of what the world has to offer.  I'm glad to be a part of it and to have so many friends and loved ones to share this adventure with.  You all rock!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Marking Another Milestone

The progression of my life as a woman has taken a path of its own now.  Trying to play the act of a male has become a fast-fading memory.  It is with ease that the aura of who I am effuses like a flower blossoming in the new day's sun.  Apparent, it has become, that my life as a male was a stress filled torrent of play-acting an uncomfortable and discomforting role as someone I was not but for the benefit of others and to maintain the perception of the male effigy. To be sure, he is still here, but he was never a "he" but for the manifestation created for others.  She, is me, and she is all that others see.  It is not just in the visual but in what emanates and resonates from my soul.....and it is clearly heard by others and decried by their own volition that I am woman.

I've made another huge step and decided to divest myself of my hairpiece and to have my natural hair, which I have been growing out for some time, softened, shaped and styled.  I'm uncertain as to how I will wear it going forward and shall be experimenting over the next few months with flat irons and curling irons to see what I can create.  This is a whole new chapter for me and being able to use my natural hair is like a freedom I could not have felt until I tried.  Many times, it felt as if I was hiding beneath a synthetic hat which symbolically separated and delineated my male persona from my female persona.  In reality, the male persona had died an ignominious death long ago.  It took, however, until this moment when I mentally shed that mental separation of the male and female vision I held, that I would here-to-fore only be one self... as a woman going forward.

This is me.... This is real....This is my life going forward

There is much,  much more going on than I can write of here.... not yet.   There exists at once both happiness and hope and there exists simultaneously a realm of sadness and loss.  The dichotomy has, at times, been seemingly too much to bear.  It is with the love and strength of the close friends I have in this world, that I have been able to share, lean on and derive so much love and support that I hope, will be enough to see my through this whirlwind of life to the other side.  You are all very much appreciated.