Goodbye, Joe

Feet on Train Graphic

I was staring at my feet again. Bad habit I sometimes fall into when I’m among friends and taking in the scenery on the train. Headphone tucked securely into my right ear as I chuckle softly at the podcast episode I’m catching up on. Everyone’s sharing stories of how they spent the weekend. Swapping GoT spoilers as Linda and I grin at each other from across the vestibule, neither of us following the series (by choice). The laughter’s strong as always and I’m just happy that this daily community is something to look forward to on my way to work.

It was a unique week, however. As often happens every few months, someone’s life takes them in a new direction. With that change, their commute either a) doesn’t need public transportation anymore or b) a new train line will get them to work faster. This week’s loss would be Joe.

You didn’t see it in the faces or body language. No one was wiping away at tears. No horrible jokes to “break the ice”. There was just this thought you knew sat in the back of everyone’s head…

“It’s changing again.”

It’s that funny thing you can easily forget about life as you meet new people–there’s no warning sign for when they leave your life. As much as I joke around about observing the world from a distance, I think it’s safe to say we all have those handful of people whom we hold especially close. Since I’m still expanding my network downtown (in terms of personal friendships), it means so much to wake up every morning knowing I’ll see multiple individuals who truly care about me and my life.

With the crazy public transportation moments like today (Blackhawks Parade, anyone?), it’s so easy to just see the crowds as one being that’s just…there in the background. But when you give yourself even a second to discover the lives you are actually weaving in and out of daily–you can’t help but appreciate the opportunities for growth and self-discovery.

We’re all getting together this weekend to celebrate Joe’s next phase of his life. I finally have the chance to meet his awesome wife he’s always speaking of and see the infamous penguin statue in their basement (flood damage, permitted). It’s like a special family reunion.

Now, I just need to remember to bring my own beverages since I’m one of the only non-drinkers in the crew.

#commuterproblems of the positive kind.

; )