I used to take the train into work and I can still recall the burst of initial excitement at the prospect of the commute. I thought, “all right! I can read books!” Because you know, books are a luxury and I cannot recall the last time I completed one at leisure. But then, I remembered how I get car sick…yea, so, maybe not.
And then I thought, “okay great! I’ve always wanted to get into podcasts! I can do this, it’ll be so much fun and it’ll keep me from getting sick.” And then I was anxious about missing my stop and not hearing the announcement—you know the one that’s hardly intelligible anyway?—so then I thought I’ll just wear one earbud. That’s manageable.
And it was. For a while. I even maintained a protected time, (checking off all my boxes) and never listened to that podcast in other spaces. It was my train podcast, and it was this special time that I had.
Then, little by little it started to become a routine. Drive to the train station, park the car, get on the platform, put headphones in—and I was living on the edge now, I had both earbuds in!
And somehow along the way I skipped the comfortable medium where I stopped being anxious to miss my stop while enjoying the podcasts, and went straight to dazed and mindless.
One day I nearly missed my stop.
When did I stop simply existing in that space? When did it no longer become mine?
I wonder about those excited days, and I consider the naivety of a time when a train commute felt like reprieve and I needed to fill it with some “me-time,” agenda that society convinced me I felt deprived of.
I didn’t. I don’t.
I think I felt compelled as if everyone filled their space and everyone is scheduling “self-care,” time. Except.
What are or is everyone scheduling a break from? Are our lives so terrible? Are we packed up against the fabric of our existence? I didn’t. I don’t.
And so, I choose to simply exist in that space, and in this, in now. It is and will be…