When I saw @stellargirl tweet about@weeklyblogpost I knew that my excuse for not regularly blogging had come to an end. It is true that this blog was due a week ago yesterday and that, having moved the due dates to Sundays, that I will be turning in my "Muse" themed blog later today. That's fine. Whatever keeps me writing.
Beyond those blog assignments I intend for this blog to be a repository for sharing any experiences and thoughts that I feel speak to shared human experience. I could limit myself to being a vegan or health care or LGBT or film blog, but limits are stifling and I have to a lot to say. At the moment, we're here to discuss transit.
The obvious route, city boy and SEPTA enthusiast that I am, would be to literally discuss mass transit. Yes, I could get excited about it. Ask me about that abandoned Franklin Square stop on the PATCO line some time and watch my face light up. I read all about it on SEPTA's history page one day when work was slow and the khaki cubicle walls were pressing in on me.
However, while the Broad Street Line isn't exactly interesting without end, the human condition is. When I think about transit I think about myself my friends. I think about the ways in which we are in transition. We are transitioning careers, genders, marital statuses and street addresses. It is exciting, frightening and heavy with risk; it is tantalizing with the possibility of reward. This often seems as awkward and uncertain as our pubescent transition to sexual maturity but hopefully with greater wisdom and fewer breakouts.
I don't personally know where I'm going. I am a train departing 30th Street Station, bound for all destinations at once. I'm trying a bit of everything. I'm figuring out what makes me money, what makes me happy, what gets me laid. I am busy wondering why I'm in debt, if film is the exact fit for my artistic and entrepreneurial interests, and if there is an herbal cure for a sexually transmitted intestinal parasite. I have stopped buying lunch at Whole Foods every day, I am working on sets, writing in a journal, starting a blog and just attended a social media conference with Jeff Pulver in NYC. I took black walnut for two weeks and, yes, it killed the parasite. I'm getting there, even if I don't know where that is.
There are two ways to look at this (at least). You can be transitioning between gears and for a (hopefully) brief time your bike pedals will spin furiously without engaging, without providing torque, without converting your energy into forward motion. This is what I feel like when I answer phones and emails and coordinate surgeries and conferences that, in some vague sense, "help people." Mostly these actions help earn other people and organizations tens of thousands of dollars *per day* while I earn little in monetary compensation or emotional or spiritual satisfaction. At the moment all of my forward motion is derived from ancillary activities such as event designing for non-profit organizations or acting in indie shorts.
The second bit is interesting because it is not transition, but the actual act of transit. It is not the road or the bike we pedal on it, but it is the journey itself. It is engaging in the activities that challenge me intellectually, physically and spiritually. It is pausing before rushing to defend the status quo. It is moving purposefully in a direction.
I'm doing it without and without grace and dignity. I like it. This is gritty and exciting. Somewhere along the way I have realized that there is no destination, but only a series of refuelling stops on a journey that, if we're lucky, is engaging and uninterrupted from cradle to grave. Any time we have stopped the journey we have fouled things up. For example, if I got a degree in accounting (something, incidentally, that I could never do as I think numbers are somebody else's job) then the way I see it I would have two options: keep up the journey by finding challenge in growth within accounting or start taking a tap dancing class after I got done crunching numbers. If I were an accountant who wasn't being challenged inside or outside of my career I would be reduced to living in just one dimension without growth in any direction. When I'm a movie producer and entrepreuner I will certainly be studying astrophysics and art history on the side.
Transit is challenge, education and growth. Transition is moving from one lesson to the next with all the beauty and strength that we can muster.