I have almost arrived at a critical junction where I have to either hop on a different train, or stay on the fetid one I’ve been on for the last two years. Funny thing about fetidness — you kind of stop noticing how foul it is after a while once you get used to it. I know it’s there, it’s always tickling my senses with a slight irk. But I’ve learned to temper the discomfort by telling myself this is ok when I knew from the day I got on that this is indeed not ok.
Transitions like this scare me.
I know I’m privileged enough to leave and take a leap of faith, but I’m also terrified of leaving behind stability and familiarity. I guess it’s something like Stockholm syndrome adjacent, this strangely dutiful loyalty that’s stuck to me like crumbs that have started to go rancid.
I’m afraid to leave because of uncertainty.
I need to leave because life is finite. If not now, then when?
This makes me think a lot about transitions. Everyone is in transit somewhere, somehow. It could be as inane as starting to take dietary fiber daily. It could be as insane as packing like a minimalist and moving to the other side of the globe to become a Buddhist monk.
Where are you headed? Where am I headed? We are all headed somewhere.
In these last two years, I seemed to have hopped on a wild ride. Passengers got on and got off rapidly, the scenery changed in the blink of an eye. My train is now slowing and pulling into a station where many other tracks cross and sprawl. It’s untidy, tangled, and I don’t have a map.
The stinking scent of my train used to bother me, now I feel like I will miss it. How do I know the next one I get on won’t make a beeline to somewhere I never want to be? What’s to say that where I am now was where I never wanted to be?
Last year I was a traveler. I went to New York, and amidst the towering beauty, the sleeplessness, the thick balmy air, the trash heaps piled high on street corners, I wished that in my life trajectory will lead me there eventually.
I don’t know what train will take me there, but definitely not the one I’ve been sitting on, clutching on for dear life to. I keep waiting for someone to pry my fingers loose so I can jump off, I keep waiting for permission from my self. I keep wanting to be ready, but I’ll never be ready.
New York awaits somewhere down the line in that tangled mess of tracks. I may get there, I may not. But I’ll definitely never get there sitting in this fetid car. Even if I can’t smell it anymore, I shouldn’t want to stay in it.
I’m terrified, and in a few weeks I’ll write about which new train I’ve gotten on instead.