People and packed stations whiz by me, faces mostly unrecognizable. Ready to board their train, ready to move in their chosen direction. On the train, clear but unrecognizable faces are too moving forward, moving toward their own destination.
I chat with these people. I share my stories and they share theirs. After talking with one, I stir up another discussion. This action continues to repeat over and over again. I find myself watching new people board this train. They ask me for my life stories and I oblige. This train car is getting busier and busier and before you know it I am brushing shoulders with all sorts of commuters. I pursue this connection, as I am so naïve to think we are all moving together towards the same destination. All I know is that these strangers are my kind of strangers. I don’t care about their background, all I know is they are moving progressively. I quickly realize some of these visitors have done this journey before while others are new, like me.
These strangers quickly become part of my journey, part of the ride that is slowly becoming less hazy and less arcane. The train doesn’t slow down, yet the faces and the stations become clearer. I see some stops and think I need to visit there one day; I see others and simply say no, that’s not for me. But together these stops and these strangers are making the final destination feel closer and less obscure.
Then, not knowing why, I step off the train. And now I stand on a platform filled with people all seeking some sort of direction and some train that will take them there. I brush shoulders with these aliens, I listen and I talk. I gather knowledge of this stop, take what I can and then board another train. I do this action over and over again gathering knowledge. Some of the experiences are bad and useless but mostly good and enlightening. I then about face and board another train.
Then while hanging on tight to the handrail it dawns on me, this train, this moment, is right where I want and need to be. These strangers are not strangers but rather colleagues. The stations are not stations but rather workshops, blurry at first, but now clearly guiding my direction and feeding my passion. These train cars are my classrooms, filled with all sorts of different children. These people, these places, helping me find myself, feeding my passions and helping me to find my direction-forward!
The wild ride of being a teacher and life-long learner has all sorts of twists and turns. It is fast-paced, ever changing and overwhelming at times. It may take time to board your train but when you do it is the most rewarding ride you will ever take!