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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

More train analogies...

It's late and I feel alive so I'm writing.  It's been a bit but I have more train analogies.  I swear waiting on the train platform is better than sitting on the toilet for generating ideas sometimes. 

Anyway, the New York City subway system, the MTA, short for Metropolitan Transit Authority, is notorious for delays and night time and weekend service changes because of the simple fact that it runs 24/7.  It's easy to forget this fact and get angry at your predicament to the point where you forget to appreciate that at any hour of the night, you could feasibly hop on a train and get somewhere...maybe not always as close to your front door as you'd like but still...somewhere.  But last night, trying to get back to Brooklyn after the Mets game was an epic ordeal that took me almost two hours.  Back when I lived in NC, a two hour car ride would be unacceptable unless I had planned to be somewhere for 24 hours or more.  I'd probably even plan to sleep at my destination as opposed to braving the return trip at an ungodly hour.

In truth, the main frustration on nights like these is that, in my almost 5 years of living here, I like to think that I've gotten better at figuring out what the best way to get home is, factoring in service changes for construction and reduced frequency of train arrivals late at night.  But sometimes you just eff things all up by making one snap decision, thinking it'll get you somewhere quicker and it ends up extending the length of your trip long enough that you find yourself standing on the platform for the third time in one night muttering rapid fire F words because your phone is dead and you can't even listen to music or play cell phone games to pass the time and all you wanna do is get home.

So this past Friday night I went to a Mets game in Queens with some coworkers from the freelance gig at TruTV.  A fun time all around and I got to see one of my favorite bands play a show after the concert (Third Eye Blind...a band I haven't seen perform in 15 years!).  But because I stayed so late and because every single train line that I might take home from Citifield is having some kind of track work related to Hurricane Sandy damage, it took me, as mentioned previously, 2 hours to get home. 

I can trace my mistake back to one pivotal moment at Roosevelt Avenue when I took the first train that came, an E train, thinking I would just catch up with the F in Manhattan and take it the rest of the way home, and walk the extra ten blocks from 7th Avenue and 9th Street.  I somehow forgot (let's face it, I never go to Queens anymore) that the E is local and the F is express (or maybe I was thinking both would be local at that hour...I don't knwo).  So, no sooner do I get on the E train and it goes two stops, do I see an F train passing us in the tunnel on the express track.  It probably arrived at Roosevelt Avenue mere minutes after I jumped on the E.

Now, because I did this, I found myself waiting for an absurd amount of time for the next F train to come.  The lesson?  Maybe it's not always the best advice to jump on the first train that comes along...even if it is late at night.  Even waiting at Broadway Lafayette for the F, I had to pass up two D trains that rode by because I knew they wouldn't be stopping at Prospect Avenue due to construction on the R line.  They might have gotten me close but not close enough unless I wanted to take a cab the rest of the way.  I found out earlier in the week that the D, N and R were not only not stopping at my stop Bay Ridge bound but also Manhattan bound.  So there was essentially no way for me to get to the stop closest to my apartment and I would have needed to take the F no matter what.  Now, if I had waited two more minutes at Roosevelt Avenue I'd have made it onto that first F train and could have freaking napped on the way home if I wanted to and been home a good 45 minutes earlier than I was!

But, that is not what happened.  No, in fact I stayed on that E train all the way to the LES, gave a group of kids some directions because our E train wasn't going to Canal like they had expected, noticed they had beer cans in plastic bags and watched one of them light up a joint on the train (even joked with him about getting a contact buzz), made it to Broadway Lafayette, waited for three trains to pass through that weren't mine before finally landing on the F train and riding home, all the while people watching and listening in on people's conversations since my phone battery had died at the game and I had nothing do but be a fly on the wall. 

It was fun, but ultimately, considering my aim was to get home in a timely manner and get a decent amount of sleep for a change, not the way I wanted to spend my Friday night.   What if I had waited for the right opportunity?  Patiently....Then I got to thinking about that in terms of my career, because, let's face it, that kind of thing always comes up when I have the extra time for introspection that these long train rides afford me.  I have a lot of opportunities here.  That's literally the main reason I came to this amazing city.  Often I'm compelled to take the first ones that come along.  It's easy to think that's all you might get and that you'd better seize it while you can.  But, as evidenced by my train trip, you could take the first thing that comes along but then immediately realize (or maybe not always immediately realize) that there was something else coming that you are now going to miss out on because you've devoted your energies elsewhere. 

I happened to see the F train passing my E train in the tunnel but I thought about how you may not always realize that the choices you make cause you to miss out on opportunities.  That's sort of a mind job if you think about it.  How do you know what the best opportunities are?  I have had occasions where I didn't realize for years that something I had seized upon, thinking it was a great opportunity, whether it was career-wise or relationship-wise, had potentially caused me to miss out on other opportunities.  Or maybe not so much miss out on them but delay them while I wasted time on something fruitless.

I'm not terribly depressed by this thought.  There are valuable lessons to be learned from every single encounter one has.  It does kind of make me reconsider a lot of what I'm doing though...the recent focused search for a voice over agent, some live performing opportunities, film scores I've written for films that never got finished.  I've spent a lot of time paring back some of my activities and bringing others to the forefront and slowly over the years I've gotten closer to satisfied with my endeavors. Fruitful or not.  I had to give up some things that I really enjoyed because they were simply taking up time I could have been devoting to making ends meet or spending time on my own creative work.  

That said, I'm thinking there's going to be some changes soon.  I'm revamping my approach to the voice over agent and I'm going to start writing again with a mind to perform my originals.

On that note, I'm in dire need of sleep.  Why am I still awake?!

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