S/S Episode 3 – Greg
I’ve started to see my life as train tracks…
Words from Greg:
“My life is pretty simple, I guess, which is why I should be happier. But I am just never satisfied.
When I turned 15, I hated that I just wasn’t old enough to get a driver’s license.
Then at 16, I got my driver’s license, but I wanted to get a job to make more money than the shitty allowance from my parents. I’d buy that Playstation 2 that my best friends Mike and Peter always bragged about in school.
At 18, I finally graduated from high school, but I hated that I couldn’t buy my own alcohol and had to ask the older kids for help. I had a fake ID, but I was so scared that I’d get caught with one, so having one was almost useless.
At 21, I bought my first bottle of Vodka, Rubinoff to be exact, the cheap kind that worked with a college student’s budget. But I was sick of studying for college and ready to get a real adult job.
At 25, I was working at an office with the same $43,000 starting salary, busting my ass for my boss. I just wanted to quit and move to another company where they would pay me what I am actually worth. I’d buy a house in Santa Monica next to the beach, and the latest 2011 Ford Mustang.
Now I’m 30, still at the same job that I was working for at 25. I got two big promotions, though, and am making just under $74,000. But all my friends are now married, and I’m still going bar hopping every Thursday and Friday night hoping to find the love of my life.
I just don’t get it. One moment you are reaching out for something, the next moment you get it, but that “happiness” you think should come with it, just doesn’t exist. I look at the salary that I’m making right now, but it doesn’t mean anything to me. And the driver’s license that I was dying for at 15? Now it is just a card in my wallet.
It’s like nothing ever makes me happy.
I should be happy.
Maybe I was at one time… But I don’t remember.
I’ve started to see my life as train tracks.
You get on the train at the beginning of the railroad. You find an open chair, put your luggage in the storage compartment above the seat, and settle in. You feel relieved that you are a step closer to your final destination.
You fall asleep.
Then you wake up when the intercom mentions that you are at the next stop. You look around and see people gathering their stuff.
You take a peek out of the window, excited that you reached a new destination. One that you were looking forward to. And for a second you are happy, but that fades away quickly in anticipation of what is next. Irritation takes over your emotions.
The door of the train finally shuts, you feel the train slowly moving, and the pilot apologizes over the speaker, “we will just see a 5-minute delay to each stop. I apologize for any inconvenience.”
The next stop comes, and again, you are thrilled for a second, then annoyed the other.
It’s an ongoing cycle.
At every stop, you just wonder what’s next and when that final destination will come; that moment when you’ll finally get to pack up and step off the train just like the thousands of people before you, and reach nirvana.
Well…I’m still on that train. Watching as people come and leave. Momentarily happy at each stop, but never satisfied with where I am.
I think I am chasing happiness, but in reality, I’m finding the perfect excuse to be unhappy.
I realize that it is not about getting to the final destination. It’s about looking at how far you have come from the moment you got on the train.
It’s about enjoying each stop as a marker of personal achievement and taking the time to enjoy the little things. To live in the moment.
The thing about life is that you never know when you’ll reach the end of the tracks.
But when you are inches from it, you’ll notice that you never lived. You worried about what you didn’t have, rather than being grateful for what you did have.
So, appreciate the moment and the journey you’ve taken.
Look at the work you’ve put in to get where you are today. All the hurt you’ve pushed through. All the failures you’ve learned from. All the progress you’ve made.
After all, each stop is where you wanted to be at some point.”
Photography by Noel Fisico
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