Suddenly, I am on a trip and, to put this simply, I am only a passenger.
But wait, let me explain.
There are choices to make like which train to go on? Do I take the train on the left or right?
Either way, both trains head to the same destination.
Both trains depart at the same time and move at the exact same speed and in spite of all of their cosmic similarities; the two trains are separate, Both trains come with their own unique experience.
Again, the question is which train do you choose? Do you go right or left?
Try to picture this if you can.
Assuming there’s a difference in color or the train on the left side is red and the one on the right side is blue; does this influence your decision?
Do the other passengers boarding the train influence you? What about how they look or how they dress? Would this influence you?
Say, for example, you noticed more people are using the red train and the blue train appears mostly empty, would this influence your choice?
What if the people on the blue train appeared to be from a humble origin and those on the red train appeared higher-styled or profiled in a more desirable light? Would this help you make up your mind?
Either train is clean and typical. The seats are in good working condition. The restrooms are all clean and neither train has a mechanical advantage.
I suppose we could envision a conductor walking though the cars. Perhaps there’s a brakeman with a hat on or an engineer in uniform standing near the front of the trains. Let’s assume there are representatives from either train on both sides of the track waiting near the front for the time of departure.
Both of the workers from either side are noticing the time because, again, the trains depart at the exact same time and move at the exact same speed. Both trains make each turn at the same pace and each train moves down their tracks; meanwhile, life is going on inside each of the cars. Each seat has a passenger.
Some were fortunate to choose the window seat and some took an aisle seat.
Some were prepared and brought a snack. Some of the passengers are accompanied by a partner, friend, loved one or family. Some are soloists or riding alone and reading from a book or perhaps listening to headphones with music or an audiobook piped to their ears.
Which train do you choose?
What influences your decision?
Which car do you sit in and where do you sit?
Would you choose closer to the front or to the back of the car?
How about the middle?
Again, all things are equal.
Everything departs and arrives at the same time. However, the only things that will differ are the fellow passengers, the experience, the culture of the trip and, more or less, although the life of this trip is identical, the main difference is the ride itself.
See the train station. Imagine this is at an indoor station. The platform is down the escalators from the passenger lobby with the ticket booths and news stands. You head down into a wide station where the trains await their passengers. You can see the domed, high ceilings. You can see the whiteness of the wall and the brightness of the lights which shine down and illuminate the halls above the granite floor tiles. All is clean and beautiful.
You can see the tunnels where the trains leave through and the tunnel is dark and unpredictable.
Either way, there is no future – except for the future you choose. (Of course)
Which is it then? The red train or the blue train?
Either way, the destination is the same but the choice will change the direction of your entire life.
Everything about you will be different.
By the way, regardless of which train you choose, blue or red, each car in either train will come with different people and different faces. Each car will have its own culture and though two different people can sit in the same car, both people will have an entirely different experience and interpretation of their trip.
So which car do you choose?
Or better yet, how many times will you second guess yourself
Either choice will mean both everything and nothing at all.
All you know is you have a choice.
Red or blue. Left or right.
I used to have dreams like this.
I remember standing in the center of the platform and somehow the people around me were walking past as if I was invisible. I’m not sure if this decision was as weighty for them as it was for me.
The pressure though – I can tell you that this was mounting.
Maybe I was overthinking.
Maybe I was too afraid to make the wrong choice. Or maybe I was afraid because since I was by myself, this would mean that I would be alone. Always.
This meant that I would have to stand alone.
Maybe this is what frightened me.
It could be . . .
Or, maybe I was more afraid of being alone in my opinion. Maybe I was afraid of being defective or subnormal and ostracized. Better yet, maybe I was afraid that there was something defective about me.
With all of my heart, my only goal was to find a place where I could fit and belong.
Perhaps this was more important to me than the trip or the scenery and the destination. Perhaps this is why I overthought too much – or wait, no. Maybe this is why I missed out on enjoying so much of my journey.
I was burdened by the over-amperage and the resistance of my thinking.
Burnt-out, spent and done.
Maybe it’s not the red or the blue or the left or the right.
Maybe it’s the fact that the scenery is out there and that if we are careless with our time, or if we are stuck because of the congestion of our thinking errors – maybe the trains leave without us. Maybe we miss the train. Or worse, maybe we’ll miss out on the best journey of our lives (together).
Either way, fate is fate. However, fate can be influenced and altered by the trajectory of our steps.
This means our fate can improve as well,
if we choose to step that way.
I admit this thought and this dream came to me when I was deeper into my drug culture. Also, the dreams were certainly more haunting when I was trapped in the cogs of my depression.
But wait, see that person in the middle of the station?
If you look down at the center of the platform – there’s a young man who appears lost.
That was me.
Which train do I choose? Red or blue, left or right?
I wanted to make the right choice; even when I knew the choices I made were wrong and even when I knew that I wanted to go left instead of right and I went along with the trip anyway – I wanted to find the place where I fit best. I wanted to be shame, blame, guilt, fault and regret free.
I wanted to find the place where I could be happiest and comfortable. Instead, I went the wring way knowing full and well that I wanted a different direction – I lost my decisions to the aspect of an unexplainable fear.
I wanted to be successful. I wanted to be notable and wanted.
And maybe I am. Maybe I’ve always been all of these things. Perfect, I mean.
Maybe you are too. Maybe we’ve always been perfect and it was only us who never knew about our incredible features.
Maybe . . .
I remember the game shows on television from back when I was a kid. You had door number one, door number two and door number three. All doors had something behind them except one door had the anti-prize or it was a gag. If you picked that one, the music went off, “Wah-wah-wuh,” and the audience either laughed or resounded with the bellying noise of “Awwww.”
I remember sitting in a shrink’s office once. I was telling her about this.
She asked about my depression. She asked why I was so stressed out.
I don’t know doc. Isn’t that why I came to see you?
“Here, take these pills.”
Neither of them were red or blue.
“Try these and let’s see if they help you?”
I did what I was told.
I didn’t feel better. I didn’t feel much of anything other than this buffered-sense of an either- or existence. There were no high-highs or anything like that. There were no low-lows either – just nothing.
I went back about a month later.
I gained about 20 lbs. which was not the best look for me and aside from this, I lost my “ability,” if you know what I mean . . .
So, how’s the stress level?
I still have the same problems, Doc.
I still think I chose the wrong train.
I’m still depressed. . .
Well, the medication will help you with that.
I asked, “Or really?”
Then I told her, “Because I look fat now, I gained 20 lbs. I still have the same problems. I feel like I’m stuck in this weird state of either or.”
Then I said, “I have even less energy and excitement than before and, to top it all off, not only am I fat but now my dick doesn’t work.”
“So, tell me again how these meds are supposed to help me?”
She looked at me, plain-faced and without much expression.
She was still, just absolutely still.
I’m not that person anymore.
But such is life with medicated resistant depression and anxiety.
Which train though, red or blue? Left or right?
I still understand this challenge. But . . .
I learned that either way, the only thing that matters is any choice I make, I must be true to myself.
I learned to avoid the blueprints that tell you which way to live.
Above all, I’m learning to be my own architect – and trust me, the design I’m working on is the here and now.
This is the trick I’m looking to pull off.
Until death do us part
So help me, God.