I’ve always been a pretty serious fan of self-made similes and metaphors. Most of the time they’re outlandish and exclusively created to gather the abstract thoughts in my head so that they fit into neat little brain boxes. Sometimes though, if I’m lucky, they’re actually relatable.
Visualize an enormous leather bound novel the size of a 20 something’s studio apartment in New York City. The book is clearly worn, but its beauty remains undeniable. You open it up and realize the pages are thin, almost translucent- and the font is so tiny you consider grabbing a magnifying glass. You’re overwhelmed by the amount of text, but you can tell that the words within contain magical truths. You decide that although you’ll never be able to read it all, it’s worth it to explore and learn as much as you can from all the wisdom it undoubtedly holds.
To me, the world is the novel. There are just as many people to see and places to go as there are words to read and lessons to be learned. Looking at a globe excites me and terrifies me simultaneously, and if my fan wasn’t on so high, and my tear ducts weren’t so dry, my eyes would be watering right now at the thought. I do, however, realize how ridiculously lucky I am. I have the freedom to explore; to turn the pages without hesitation.
TrIP has added abundant fuel to my fire and my transit outings have reminded me to always have my book open and my monocle nearby. A simple conversation with a stranger on the bus could be a real world experience that perfectly illustrates an inherent truth about our world; a quote from page 2,422 in the novel of life. It’s these interactions that allow us to add our own chapter in a book that, even if no one ever gets to read, we get to write. TrIP is about more than public transit to me. It’s about connections and the ability to explore. Sometimes the connection is just from Stop A to Stop B, and sometimes the only exploration is of the back of your fellow bus rider’s freckled bald head. But Stop B? Maybe that’s outside of the office you’re interviewing for, and maybe that interview will lead to a job that changes your life. And that bald freckly head could turn around at any moment, striking up a conversation with you and sharing exceptional wisdom.