Life

The view from my seat on the subway in Spring – Stephanie Haney – Medium

People on the tube at Bank Station, London. Viktor Forgacs / Unsplash

It was the first real day of Spring and I don’t mean on the calendar. It was the first day it was beautiful outside to the point that it physically hurt my heart to ring the security bell at the office and ride the elevator up the nine floors to where I’d spend the next few hours in a warehouse-sized room full of people, but still somehow manage to spend the entire day alone.

And it was the first sunny, precious day that I, myself, alone, on the subway on the way home from what I was convinced was another day that I had purely and utterly missed living, started looking around at all of the other people who were with me in this different space, and again still somehow found us all to be infinitely alone.

Even the people who were paired up, or part of a group, seemed to me like they were alone.

As I looked around, I started thinking about all the ways that someone can be eliminated from the possibility of making their way toward being less alone, without even realizing it.

Too young, too old, too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, too bold, too meek, too needy, too distant, too racist, too open minded, too structured, too free, too rude, too flirtatious… and each of these things could be flipped on its head and conceptualized as not enough of its exact opposite.

Then I thought about how we don’t even have control over the perception of most of these things, but that it was also kind of amazing how much of it we did have control over.

In that moment it occurred to me that I could be both sides of the same coin to different people in the same moment at the same time, if I was even anything to anyone at all. And then I thought to myself, how many times had I made something about someone out to be more than it was, or even less than it was? And how many times had someone else done the same thing to me while looking through their own lens of what position they’d pigeonholed me to play in their life?

And then I resolved that actually, even if we think we have control over anything, we really don’t, so I should probably continue going about the business of being nothing to anyone, or everything to no one, at least as far as the view from my seat on the subway was concerned.


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