I am finally on the Amtrak train. I am traveling via train from New York City to San Francisco, California. It’s been on my bucket list for a while. Glad I am finally doing it. This is much more exciting than it sounds. It will take four days and three nights to reach SF, and I plan to compile my random list of thoughts during my ride. So, bear with me. This whole post is just a compilation of random thoughts.
I do feel like a lost child here in the Bay Area. It’s pathetic.
As a kid, I used to travel by train all the time. Almost everywhere we went, we went by train. Taking a flight was not an option because my city needed an airport. The nearest airport was a 3-hour car ride. But the bigger problem was the cost. Flights were costly. They still aren’t. I only saw flights in TV serials and movies. I remember vividly the first time I saw a real-life flight during my school picnic to a metropolitan city. At that time, I couldn’t tell if it was domestic or international. All I could see was that it was huge. It was huge, and it was real. Ofc it was real, but it felt like someone had plastered a massive poster on a big wall. I told about the flight to everyone when I went back home. I kept talking about it for days. Some kids on my bus shared that they had sat on one of those big flights and told me about their experiences. I listened to them with my curious little ears. When you show a young kid their favorite chocolate and talk about its flavor without offering it, they make a specific face — I made that face. I wanted that chocolate face.
In hindsight, I wouldn’t say I like flights now. I have taken enough international and domestic flights to critique one when I can. But, back then, as a kid, I tried to persuade my parents to book flight tickets every time we planned a trip. But, then, money was always sparse. Growing up, we couldn’t afford a train seat for anything higher than a non-A/C sleeper coach, which is still not affordable for the majority of the population in India. I was grateful for what I had. We were comfortable. I saw poor people and hoped things got better for them. I wanted enough money for my parents to not worry about their credit card bills. I think we have somehow managed to reach that place.
The Great American dream. I am living it, and it is worth it, except when it’s not. Have you tried an Avocado? An Avocado ironically and perfectly symbolizes this country. (controversial statement alert) It does not taste so good, but it is rich in nutrients and challenging to produce, making it expensive and valuable. But, despite everything, it’s not for everyone.
You could only share what you have. America is primarily empty and flat or rocky and mountainous. Diversity is ingrained in America. Every few miles, the terrain keeps changing, and so do plants, animals, and living conditions for habitants. It’s a beautiful country but also very empty. It’s so empty that it’s depressing. The only thing consistent across the country is the space between two houses. Everyone with a house wants and needs a backyard. It doesn’t matter if the plants die. They need to do that shit as a homeowner here in this beautiful country. I don’t hate the idea. Someday, I would love to have a backyard full of trees.
I am losing my voice. It’s funny the Bay Area drove me crazy and made me lose my mind, and New York City is causing me to lose my voice. Not my literal voice but my internal monologue. Why, you ask? It’s not easy to put this feeling into words. This city, my god, this city is full of people. It’s diverse and active. From the moment you wake up to when you go back to sleep, you are constantly surrounded by people. You walk, walk, and walk but never get exhausted. You eat, and eat, and eat but still feel hungry. Then, you meet this person, that person, and the other person. You leave your apartment, and your $100 vanishes just like that. Living in this city is an experience. It’s still one of my best decisions in the past few years.
I recently had a deep philosophical conversation with a friend when he brought up this point – Everyone talks about doing the right thing, being moral, and making decisions without discrimination. But, when the time to do it comes, they look the other way. Do you agree with that? No one will admit it, but I think it’s true. It takes work to take the moral route.
Right now, the problem is that I take tasks and do not take them seriously. I take up hobbies and give up on them. I leave things in the middle because I stop caring about them. I need to be more motivated.
One thought on “california zephyr”
For me, motivation is often about discipline. I set my mind to do things and it takes me a lot of discipline in order to follow through with my hobbies consistently. Doing them even when I really don’t feel like doing them is what takes willpower, whether it’s working out, scheduling with friends, travel, whatever. I tend to hold myself accountable by adding some sort of external promise or dependence, because I don’t ever break promises or appointments. And I’m almost always I went through with something even when it was really out of my comfort zone. Some people disagree with me but this mindset has served me well.
People not following up with the moral principles they preach is unfortunately very common. “Rules for thee but not for me”. I find myself struggling with this so much and there have definitely been times where I’ve looked the other way in some regard or the other. ”Virtue Signaling” is the other side of it, which I think has overall positive benefits depending on your system of morality.
I hope the voice thingy is temporary, and I really suspect it is just temporary. Maybe you’re just in a phase where you’re absorbing more than you’re releasing and that voice you’re looking for will return back in time. You’re willing to voice out your thoughts right now in this post, that’s already extremely valuable, and I think you already understand that on some level.
Take good of yourself ^_^
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