In San Francisco, they have a fabulous trolley rail system. It keeps the trolley cars “on track”. I have often wished for a similar system in my life. Wouldn’t that be lovely? You leave your childhood, settle on your designated trolley rail, and life just… happens.
I know, its not a very independent thing for me to think. But, by golly, what is so wonderful about being independent? About having choices? Some days it gets exhausting and you still never know if you made the correct ones.
Well, I mean, choices are good. Sure. I wouldn’t want to ride my life-trolley for a while just to find out it went to the life-version of the city dump. I would like some choice over where it goes. But if someone could just give me a hint?
What if the magic life-guru came to your house and said, “You will get on the trolley to being a rich person’s spouse”? Well, that might sound good. I would have lots of money at least. But what if that path lead me to have to get three Master’s degrees and a high-stress career as a lawyer so I could win that wealthy go-getter? Well, that isn’t really what I want to do. It sounds stressful and time consuming and boring.
What if they said, “You will be a famous soccer player”? Well, that would be awesome! Fun! I mean, It would suck if I got injured and my hot spouse had only loved me for my money/body/celebrity and I ended up limping alone to the library each week just to get some human contact and a free audio book. But other than that… assuming all my years of effort actually resulted in a true sports career in the first place… I can only spend so much time watching or playing sports before I just want to go read a book. Let’s try again.
They might have said, “Get on the trolley for France. You will move there and meet wonderful people and write books.” But if I had never made decisions, or taken chances, or stumbled over my own mistakes, what would I write about? Just being in a different country wouldn’t be a story – not if it was just doing what I was told to do. I would never be able to relate to my characters or understand the depth of feeling that comes from heading toward something in life and then missing that destination completely.
There are some things I wouldn’t want to do. That’s always easier to figure out, isn’t it? No, I don’t want to get on the trolley to being an elementary school teacher because I cannot handle that many kids for that long each day. No, I will let the US President trolley go because I don’t want that much stress.
But what do I want to do with my life? I could be so many people, go to so many places, create or destroy or perform or teach so many things. I don’t know. So every day I decide, stay or go?
Today, I am staying.
But I am considering some changes. I am always considering changes. I am glad I have the choice. It is truly an underappreciated freedom for many of those who have it. Trolley rails sound nice, but now that I’ve thought about it, I would choose to jump off the trolley every time. I might regret that decision, but if you have never done anything you regret, you are not trying hard enough to find your limits.