I like observing. There’s not even a specific circumstance. I just like watching the world and all it’s details. I used to think there was something wrong with that–not always jumping into the conversations around me. But it’s amazing what you can learn in the process.
Every morning, there’s a specific section of the train I hang out in as I make my way into the city. And every morning, I end up smiling at least once. Snickering at the stories swapped between my fellow commuters. It’s amazing that a community can build with little effort. Because, if there’s a day I’m not on that train, there are at least four people who make note of it. It doesn’t matter how often we have or have not spoken.
Sometimes I’ll spend the ride watching the same buildings pass by. About 10 minutes out from arriving at the train station, an abandoned building is 70% removed. I can remember back in the winter when there was a certain pattern in the chipped glass. Graffiti art broken up to the point where the colors are just a highlight of contrasts blurring when we zoom by. Now the construction vehicles move the shatters rocks into piles of potential in another sector of the parking lot.
Earlier in the ride, there’s a stop where a flood of people get on. Some are always happily speaking with coworkers. Others have the same stern expression as they ignore every body that stands between them and a seat in the first car. You can hear the slight grumble that escapes their lips when they realize everything is taken. The severe curling of their shoulders as they pivot around and half run-half walk into the next car they hoped to evade.
There’s always the day where it’s unusually empty (more often than not a Friday). Instead of having to strategically arrange my body in a way that I keep my personal space, but also allow others to pass, I can take those extra few feet I had mentally claimed all along. When the doors open, I’m discreetly eyeing the gentleman to my left. He could see me standing in front of him from the other side of the door. Yet, as we slow to a stop, somehow finds it appropriate to slide his foot in front of me as if he’s Mr. Stretch and will snake in front of me.
I’ve had my shoes stepped on. Shoulders slammed into the vestibule door because one of the runners just had to get passed all of us to hop into the car and beat the crowd. Because, you know that’s not everyone’s idea. The kind motorist who chose to not run me over when I already had the right of way. The woman across the street trying to figure out what I do when I enter my building from the street.
So you see, I can understand why some might wonder what the quiet woman on the train is thinking about. However, it’s really not all that unusual. I get inspired. I run through my work day and design ideas after seeing a building at just the right angle. Sometimes I’m getting all of my social media posts scheduled. Observation is just interesting. The world is just that interesting.