Surrounded by a Smoke Cloud of Mainstream Bliss

What happens when I miss the 7:30 train by a second is I get stuck in the city until the next train at 8:40, at which time I begin an hour-and-fifteen or so minute ride to my stop and another 20 minute walk home. I usually miss the train by ten or more minutes, but arriving when the door is closing just plain sucks. In fact, if I didn’t have to tag my pass on to the train, I may have made it – the man at the door was going to let me through, but then I had to run back to tag my pass.

The good news is it’s quite beautiful outside. I’m sitting outside by AT&T park, waiting for the next train home. Apparently it’s a pre-game for the Giants against the Oakland A’s, so the atmosphere around here is quite festive. I Feel rather out of place in my work close all pissy about missing my train when there are hoards of happy folks headed to the game. When I see people who are that happy, I question when the last time I’ve actually been happy – in that sort of useful, blissful way. Sure, I’m happy with my boyfriend – happy in a safe and calm sort of way. But I haven’t really had fun in a while. I don’t remember the last time was when I had fun. Maybe my birthday last year but even then there was drama which kind of put a damper on the mood. You know, I just miss having fun.

My typical weekday amounts to crawling out of bed at 6am, reading through emails until I finally get up the motivation to hop in the shower, run out the door to catch the train – and somehow it’s already after eight at this point, sometimes nine – I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast but I manage to get a train for an hour or so to the city and I do more work as the scenery from the last 10 years of my life passes before my eyes out the window. I get into the city, walk the 30 minutes or so to the office, or if I’m lazy I take a bus which takes pretty much just as long. Then I get to the office, rather late, and try to focus on getting all the millions of things done that I have to get done and feel completely incapable of handling. When I can’t handle the stress anymore I find some food to stuff my face with in the kitchen. I figure it can’t be that bad since I haven’t eaten breakfast or lunch.

Sometimes… I take a walk outside in the afternoon with a colleague, which is a nice break. Then the time flies by, I stuff my face with more random food, and all the sudden the day is over before it feels like it even began. I head back to the train… 30 minutes walking or by car or bus, and hope to make the one I want to take, but rarely do. I sit around and wait for the next train. Eventually it comes – it takes a good hour-and-a-half to get home. I’m home, usually, by 10. I jump in bed ready to pass out and force my boyfriend to watch one episode of some television show with me on the computer which I normally fall asleep during. I wake up the next day to do it all over again.

Oh woe is me, right? I mean – I’m getting paid well for this life, this is the life I chose. It’s not slave labor. But I’m tired. I’m getting older and six months of this has taken a toll on me. I could move closer to work, but I’m not sure how much that would help. It’s not just the commute. It’s the career. It’s the chemistry of chemicals firing off in my brain. It’s the loss of whatever existed of a carefree childhood. When I see people so happy heading to a baseball came I wish I could be that happy about anything. I wish I remembered what pure happiness felt like. I wonder if I’ll ever feel it again.

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4 thoughts on “Surrounded by a Smoke Cloud of Mainstream Bliss”

    1. I agree, but I’ve finally found a home that I love and my job isn’t stable enough to merit the move. I think it’s more likely I’ll find a workplace closer to me than move. The commute doesn’t feel that bad in the mornings but it is definitely hard at the end of the day. And yes, I’m sure it has something to do with the burnout. I didn’t think it would be so bad, but then again I tend to underestimate my own ability to handle said situations. I did want to move to the city, but now I think I don’t.

  1. Is your bf’s work nearby where you live? If not, why live so far away unless cost of living is that much cheaper to offset the long commute.

    1. He actually works remote most the time and his office just moved closer to the city also, so it would make sense for us to move… I just don’t want to deal with it. Our lease is up May 1(I don’t believe we resigned it yet) so we have to make some quick decisions. We can go month-to-month but it is a lot more expensive. We are getting a really good value for the area and I love this place, even though it’s not much if you were to compare an apartment in another part of the country.

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