I woke up to find that one album had ended, and had probably been over for about twenty minutes. So I had to choose between waking up enough to play more music, and falling back asleep. I opted for the music. Tired as I am, I prefer to travel with my tunes.
I couldn’t fall back asleep.
The train pulled into Rochester soon after. Rochester was larger than I had expected; Buffalo was smaller than I had expected.
The sky wasn’t spitting anymore, so I looked out on Rochester, its red brick buildings, and the tired-looking people on the platform.
I’m no better looking. A Baja and cutoffs serve travel purposes just fine.
When the train pulled out, I tried to get back to sleep. It didn’t happen.
So I took to writing. I’ve got a deadline for this piece and a couple hours on the train.
The piece and I are in transit together.
I kind of like being in transit. When in transit, I have a directive, a purpose. I’m on my way to something.
For me, transit is a happy medium between “settled” and “not.” I have a path in mind, but I’m not 100% locked in. There’s still room for variance.
How long will I be in transit? Will I change course? What might I do or not do to expedite or hinder my progress? Might I choose to end my journey early?
In the specific instances of this train ride and this article, I will ideally reach my destination sooner than later. I want to reach Schenectady and I want to finish the article. This does not mean that I am not enjoying the process of writing the article and riding the train. I was actively disappointed when the conductor called that we were an hour out.
Folks are always saying that life is about the journey, not the destination.
I think it’s possible to enjoy both journey and destination.
Sticking to the train example, I love going along the less-traveled paths that web through the country. I love looking out the window. I love seeing short bits of real people and real places that continue to function when I’ve long since passed them by.
I'm also going to love seeing my aunt, uncle, and cousins on the other side.
The enjoyment of one doesn't negate the enjoyment of the other.
As beings who are constantly in transit on individual and collective levels, we must be able to find enjoyment in journey and destination, or we shall never be satisfied.
Right now, I am very obviously in transit; elementary school led to junior high, which led to high school, which led to a diploma, which led to college--and the road goes on from here. A BA is not the last transition.
Dwelling to dwelling, job to job, program to program, I will continue to journey as many folks have before me.
I aim to, in some way, on some level, appreciate each journey and each destination. I hope, even, to enjoy my terminal destination. Family, train rides, fall leaves, and coffee are all well and good, but they cannot compare to “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
For now, though, a Baja and cutoffs serve travel purposes just fine.