Subway Train Ride

Standing on the inside of a subway train, inevitably, we will see some stranger in a conversation shaking his or her head, being a good listener to his or her friend’s stories. The facial expressions of the stranger usually is either happy or sad; business like or casual; amazed or frustrating; surprised with elation or shocked with horror, I often wonder whether or not the reason why most people employ the head shaking technique, while conversing with others, is for the purpose of elevating, emphasizing, and demonstrating the degree of sympathy and understanding they are able to establish with and harbor for their friends.

Subway is an environment, in which all types of people congregate. Some, for the benefits of others, keep everything they do in a public space as such to the minimum, while some others, who are unapologetic crusaders of their uniqueness and individuality, continue to act and talk like no one is around them in such a cramped space; like the way, in which they do so at home. Their overly asserted confidence and loudness do nothing but make them become the target of public side-eye and sneer, as a result.

As the subway train goes from one station to another, life changes, enriches, and matures with the motion of each and every open and closed door. People come and go in minutes, our scenery changes in seconds, the uttered words of others are lost in memory with a blink of the eye, and our world views and place in the world deepen and become solidified with every breath that we take. Riding a subway train is more than a regular daily commute, it is also like a traverse through different phases of life.

A Separation of Aspiration and Reality

Internet is a no man’s land. It can also be a landscape, in which accidental connection can be established and miraculous bond can be built. people seek connection, and understanding more than ever in today’s world, where the entanglement of technological wires can leave us distracted, lead us astray, and where a split of seconds seems all there is that some of our so called “friends” are willing to spend on us. Unbeknownst to them, their frugality in the reciprocity department of an amicable relationship is gradually chipping away the foundation of what was once an intricate prelude to a beautifully shared life chapter.

Once in awhile, life brings us surprises. We may unexpectedly strike up a connection with someone on a different computer screen, whose longings match our own. In sharing our deepest secrets, darkest desires, and wildest dreams with that cyber stranger, we let go of our inhibition; a decision, made in the spur of a moment, which can lead us to embark on a daring adventure, or be back to haunt us by causing us to lament our lack of maturity and foresight.

Having maturity is a subject matter, amongst many others, that is responsible for making us feel happy or otherwise. I understand the importance of being happy; that being said, I wonder whether or not we have gotten to a point, where we, collectively, tend to over-emphasize, out of balance, on the subject of happiness. This over-emphasis causes a separation between the aspiration and reality, the fallout of which leads even more of us to feel unhappy being who we are, doing what we do, and living where we live.

We are all aspired to be happy. Yes, I use the word, aspire, because being happy, in this day and age, can sometimes feel like a chore for many of us.

I was listening to BBC London radio last night. A late night talk show host chose a subject to arouse his listeners interest: Is early forties the unhappiest time in a person’s life?

In my opinion, once we hit the double digits, age wise, it is really difficult to be one hundred percent happy just like the carefree child that we all once were. To some extent, I believe that we are collectively brainwashed by the society at large into thinking that every decade is ushered in with more uncertainties and responsibilities, of which is usually translated to more sadness than joy.

In our teenage years, the beginning of our hormonal changes, and formation of our individual self-identity makes us confused and feel like a rebel. In our twenties, the residues of our teenage angst, compounded with newly found adult responsibilities keep flaming our deepest fire. In our thirties, the ever-growing self-imposed pressures, along with the formal assumption of conventional, traditional professional and family roles burden, incessantly, our cerebral health and well-being. In our forties, the reality of approaching a mid-life crisis depresses us before the time even arrives.

Can we ever be happy, in its truest sense without a tad of sadness, burden, or worry in our adulthood? I am unsure that I have an answer to this question.

A Forced Future

What is a forced future?

A forced future is a future that is imposed upon us either by destiny; elements that are just simply out of our control or by people that we encounter in our lives, who have the foresight, resources, or power that we do not possess to influence, and subsequently determine the trajectory of our lives.

Resistance is the byproduct of a future as such. Internal struggles are the consequence of this inevitably helpless fight. It is one thing to be inspired by story of someone, who has successfully climbed out of the deep well of life, while it is another, a completely different experience to live through it personally.

I often wonder if I truly have the free will and abilities to create and rejoice in a future that is authentically my own. In the eyes of others, I have all the resources and opportunities in the world to build a personal paradise. In the sentimental and observant heart of my mind, I always feel like I am being pulled and manipulated by the will of others at every major turning point of my life. The lack of choices and the restriction of the current circumstances deprive me off the enthusiasm to look forward to a prospect that is potentially big and bright.

I Don’t Have What He Has

Some say the past was better. Time was just simpler back then. One did not need a university degree to get a stable job. Career opportunities were abundantly rich, and the environment was a lot less coated by layers and layers of pollutants.

Some say the present is better. When tragedies strike, there are resources readily available to help one get through moments of darkness and forge ahead in life. The world is much more connected now; the result of which, a never seen before closeness not only has brought about a tangible allure of universality, but it also has engendered and fumed, incessantly, a ferocious competitiveness in every aspect of one’s daily existence.

Grass is always greener on the other side. Although most of us try to be grateful for this given life; however, it seems that someone else always has an easier and better one than we do.

Life In Video

Some people videotape their lives as memories, while others do so simply to make a living. Some people videotape their lives out of youthful innocence and curiosity, while others do so without having any piece of premonition of what the future would bring, under the influence of their youthful endeavor.

Looking back on our lives in a video is a bitter and sweet leisure. While feeling grateful for all the scenes that we have amassed, most of us can not help but unleash our human desire of those coulda, woulda, shoulda kinds of wishing thinking.

The sun on the Californian beach brought back our laughter and sense of freedom, and the leafy autumn park, bathed in the golden sun in the Great White North stirred up deeply our sense of coziness and wonder. Reliving life in videotape is an experience to savor tenderly for moments to come.