Standing on the Wrong Mountain

This post started off with me making a connection between something we covered in uni and my own experience and ended up being a little biology-heavy at the beginning, so sorry about that. I just wanted a good way to explain it and for it to work its best to know what I’m talking about, you know?

So, here goes.

Evolutionary theory suggests that species evolve to be the best adapted to their environment as possible (i.e. maximise their fitness). Everyone knows that, right? There’s also the concept of Fitness Peaks- the idea that there may be multiple ‘best’ ways to evolve that each lead to increased fitness (points A, B and C compared to start point x on the diagram below).


The problem with this is that a species may evolve to be at the top of the fitness peak, so the best they can be- but it not be the tallest peak. Using the above diagram again, say for instance that a species starts at point x and evolves to get to the top of peak A. To get to peak B, and so be even better, they’re going to have to go through a period of poor fitness (which doesn’t benefit anyone- evolution acts on the present, it doesn’t look ahead). So the species is stuck at the top of peak A.

Okay, biology lesson over.

This is just something that I’ve been thinking about recently and the connection might not make any sense to anyone else- I feel like I’m on peak A: I’m fairly happy with myself (most of the time) but if I think about being somewhere on peak B I feel like I would be even happier. The problem I’m seeing at the moment is that to get to that point I’m going to have to go through a time where things aren’t so good. I’m not saying that transitioning (even just socially) would make me unhappy, but I’m pretty sure that coming out and process of transitioning almost definitely would. Having to correct people who know me and explain that things have changed, rather than just instantaneously becoming ‘the new me’, with no link to who I was previously.

Does that make sense?

3 thoughts on “Standing on the Wrong Mountain

  1. Ooh, I really like this way of looking at things; this framework could definitely apply to certain aspects of my life right now. Like, it might be possible to make things better, but the process of getting there would be hard/unpleasant, and that makes it scary to try, or seem like it’s not actually worth it…


    1. Definitely! I’m glad it makes sense to somebody else 🙂 I think comparing the pros of the final product with the cons of getting there might help (but I really like pros and con lists haha)


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