Monday, November 24, 2008

Runaway train

During the height of my sister's first stint in rehab and first big relapse, Jeremy bought one of Jack Johnson's CD's. I fell in love with Jack's music and listened to the same songs over and over again. One of those songs, "Breakdown," kind of became like an anthem for that period of my life.

I hope this old train breaks down
Then I could take a walk around
And see what there is to see
And time is just a melody
All the people in the street
Walk as fast as their feet can take them
I just roll through town
And though my windows got a view
The frame im looking through
Seems to have no concern for now
So for now....

I need this here
Old train to breakdown
Oh please just
Let me please breakdown....

That is just the first verse and chorus, but it makes the point. I used to play that song at top volume when I was alone in the car and just cry my eyes out because that is what I wanted more than anything. I just wanted to feel like I could come up for some air.

When you are in high crisis mode, just trying to get from one moment to the next, and everything seems to be stuck on fast forward, there is nothing you want more than for the "train to break down." You just want off. You want out. You want to be able to see and feel and experience other things, but it consumes your whole life, your thoughts, your every breath, your every minute. It sucks the life right out of you. It really feels like life has become a runaway train that is going too fast, and you are too scared, to jump off of. You just feel like screaming at the top of your lungs, "STOP!!!!!!!!"

But you're along for the ride. You can't bail out, because its someone you love who paid for your ride. And though their life has taken you on a ride you never bought a ticket for, or would have chosen to in the first place, you're stuck there.

You eventually just resign yourself to making the best of it. And in time, you do find ways to cope. It does get easier. You wind your way through all these little "towns;" Angerville, Apathytown, Denial City, Despairopolis, and finally, you arrive in Acceptance. You still hate the train you're on, but you start to realize the food isn't as bad as you once thought it was, and the views are improving. It could be worse. You grow, you change, and at the end of the journey, you are a whole new you, having seen and experienced new places along the ride. You have gained a wisdom and a heart of understanding that supercedes anything you would have had, had you not been thrown on the train against your will. Sure, there are still days you just want the train to break down because its all a blur. But you learn how to appreciate the ride you're on for the good it produces. Its a wild ride, and not one I would recommend to anyone. (Take the train to Boston instead, its much more enjoyable!) But you see things and live things that change the whole shape of who you are.

For me, I believe its been for the better. I have arrived "older" and more worn than I ever would have imagined, and I don't think I am anywhere near my final destination yet, but I no longer hate the train, and I am along for the ride until the train finally stops. But for now, at least its slowed down enough for me to enjoy the people, places, faces, and experiences I encounter along the way. And for now, that's good enough.

1 comment:

Ashley Randolph said...

I am a huge Jack fan too. I guess I never really listened to the words to this one... just sang them, and didnt think about it.... weird for me, I usually analyze everything.