Train Lines and Trackwork

Picture life’s journey as a train ride. Often bumpy as the old, rusted rails take you through both familiar and foreign suburbs. On the odd occasion, you find yourself sitting stationery, waiting for the green light to proceed, or maybe you’re stuck at the station, raising your eyes to the rolling screen of train times, ruing the seemingly ridiculous “unscheduled trackwork” which has now seen you miss what you sought.

I like the way this metaphor captures the complexity of life with simplisity. Whilst there are many elements to life’s unwritten journey, visualising it with this common human experience, what is something of a daily journey for some of us, allows us to appreciate the experiences we are going through.

However, the challenge with this metaphor relies on the belief that we are completely subservient to the will and the way of the track, and I don’t believe this to be true. That is because we have moments in our life where we face choices other than to look out of the left or the right window. There are times, when we find detest in complacency and comfort in risk, that we choose to arise from our seat, alight from the train and board another, moving in a different direction.

I’ve reached one of those moments. One of those defining points in life when the whole trip changes, picking a train line I haven’t traversed before, excited for the new bumps, delays, and views.

Here’s hoping the train is running on time.

Guise.

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A Ripple from Before

One of the greatest opportunities I have ever been afforded, was the very first step in my career. I was yet to graduate from Uni, with no experience in my field, voluntary or otherwise, and I had applied for a head office job as a customer service attendant.

What I thought I had was zero to none in chances of breaking through, not in the job I had applied for anyway. What I was given was a chance. A chance to be out of my depth and to learn quickly or sink. It was a job that should have been 2 or 3 years too senior for me. I felt like I had skipped the queue.

Recently, I found myself thinking about this. I mean, I regularly look back on my career, but I had never truly took the time to appreciate that it someone stuck their neck out, and rolled the dice. Somebody said I was worth the risk.

Which led me to this week, when I did something I should have done a long time ago. I thanked that person. You see, for a matter of circumstances, I only ever worked for that risk taker for a period of weeks. And then they weren’t there, not for the rest of my time with that company.

During my reflection, it occurred to me that often in life, we don’t get the chance to look back on someone else’s actions which have affected us so much, and get the chance to approach them so much later. So I felt obliged to say my piece and recognise the ripple they have had in my life.

It was somewhat cathartic. Almost laying to rest that part of my life, once and for all. Who knows whether I’ll have that chance ever again. But I hope that my message has just as strong an effect on them, as they did on me.

Guise.

To the Letter of the Law

I’ve approached many challenges and opportunities in life trying to overcome them the “right way” or according to a formula. 

Go to school, behave in class, and try to get a decent HSC grade. Go to university and keep studying to get a job. Get that job and progress to a higher level. And so on and so forth. 

I’ve spent so long thinking that I am following some sort of formula, living life against this metaphorical yardstick. The strangest realisation in this time has been realising that there is no formula, no right way, and that all these expectations were bullshit which I accepted in my life. 

Now I’ve heard the perfect way to appreciate this matter. That is that 

sometimes you have to go the wrong way in a carpark in order to get a spot. 

Celebrate your uniqueness, enjoy making irrational and emotional decisions, find comfort in the constant challenges that we create for ourselves, and trust that we have no control over how any decision we makes pans out in this existence. 

Guise. 

Decisions, Decisions…

I don’t enjoy being indecisive. In fact it sends me into a self-deprecating cycle of doubt and despair (pardon the melodrama).

It stems from an overarching fear of consequences and hindsight. A fear that at some point in the future I’ll be looking at this decision and think about how clear the answer should have been. 

Irrational yes, but we are not rational creatures. We act out in fits of rage, we curse the uncontrollables, and turn to jelly at the sight of rodents, spiders or snakes. So I’m comfortable being irrational in some parts of my life. 

This is a part of me that I am trying to address, but behaviour does not change overnight, it is a sustained effort over a long period of time. 

One of the worst parts of being indecisive, though, is just how exhausting it is. It isn’t easy playing out multiple decision trees in your head in short periods of time, trying to decide which path is of least damage and best value. 

In the meantime, I apologise for the untimely delay in any decisions that I may cause. 

Guise.