She missed the train. Rain poured down. Her umbrella was broken but managed to keep her head dry; her stockings were soaked. She couldn’t tell what was rain and what were tears. This typical Wednesday would leave her bedridden with a head cold over the weekend. Her stresses from the day were replaced with her desperation to get home.
The next train was due in half an hour. Instead of dripping in pity, she walked back down to the tunnels and dropped herself onto the cold metallic bench. Struggling to maintain her composure in the public yet empty space, she buried her face in her hands and breathed deeply.
Anxiety and upset come in many shapes and forms. Sometimes, the cause of such feelings has little to do with what is happening but how it is happening. She wasn’t on the edge of distress because her feet were soaked in cold; she was at her tipping point because the rain poured.
She heard clattering footsteps from down the hall; a set of pointed black high heels were descending the stairs. She made no acknowledgement of the noise until the presence sat beside her and a woman’s voice asked, “Are you alright darling?”
I didn’t take this photograph with any purpose other than killing time before the train arrived. I didn’t miss my train that day, but I was early and always carrying my camera means there is always the opportunity to capture my next work of art.
No matter how many times I ride the train, I always enjoy it. Rackety rails carry people from all walks of life towards their destinations. We hop on trains with an idea of where we want to go but it is only when we get off the train that we see where we are.
We’re constantly moving and never in one place long enough to see what happens when we’re not there. We have places to be, deadlines to meet, and people to answer to whether that be yourself or someone else; these factors become friction in our motion.
While we continuously learn to balance our responsibilities, we can be thrown off by anything as small as forgetting to set an alarm to as big as a city-wide power outage. We may end up being in the dark about what time we get to work or from everything else going on in the world outside our home.
Life doesn’t have to do a complete 180 for us to feel like the world has turned upside down. Sometimes small inconsistencies or obstacles pile up so much so that you’re now standing on your head while everyone else walks around on two feet.
In this case, you won’t be the only one with your head near the ground and your feet in the air; you will meet others that are also trying to find their footing (no pun intended). You may even meet people with their feet on the ground and head in the air that you will bond with. When its time to meet your train, you can try to go up the stairs on your own but also have others there to help you balance.
When you arrive at the top, you may not feel so upside down anymore because you’ve accomplished something that everyone does, but you’ll realize that the stairs don’t end there. There are stairs in every direction for anyone and everyone to use. When you reach that point, you’ll see for yourself; some will take you here and some will take you there. You may be downside up or upside down, but the purpose is to keep moving.
There will be times where we have to get out of the rain and take the path that is best for us at a certain moment. There will also be occasions where we are able to deviate from our own path to help others. Both instances will change our direction but either way, there is no place to go but up.