I take a new route to NAIT every day. Now, I drive right by the Via Rail train station. The other day as I drove past, the train had pulled in and was picking up passengers. There it was, a silver traveller, ready to head for parts unknown. I honked my horn as I drove past, and all the people getting on board stopped to wave. Never had the temptation to blow off school for the day, buy a ticket, and hop on board been any stronger.
I’m sure I’ve ranted about this temptation before. In Japan, my place of business was actually in the Kumagaya train station. So, every day as I talked to work, I would pass the turnstiles down to the tracks. I’d pass busy commuters heading into Tokyo for a hard day’s work. I’d go buy schoolchildren going to their school in the next town over. I once asked one of my coworkers if he ever felt tempted to not go to work; just buy a ticket and head to parts unknown. “Every damn day,” he told me.
Apparently, a former teacher at my place of business actually did that one day. After a particularly rough performance evaluation, he went to lunch, hopped on the train, and was never seen again. This teacher even had my apartment, so a lot of the stuff left behind by old teachers was apparently his. But I digress.
What is this temptation we have? Most of us, no matter how much we deny it, have it. No matter how much we love our jobs and look forward to going each day, we always have that feeling. “What if I just kept on driving? How about I have an adventure today?” Why do we feel this? Why do we desire to break from the every day and just head over the horizon?
I have no answers for these questions. We delude ourselves. We tell ourselves of the value of consistency, that we have responsibilities, that, above all things, the schedule must be adhered to. We tell ourselves of the nobility of the routine. But we all want to break from the routine. We all want to skip days. We all want to have an adventure.
But we deny ourselves. One of our most base desires, and we deny ourselves.
And so, I keep walking to work. I keep driving to school. But I know that one day, the temptation will be overwhelming, and before I know it, I’ll be buying my ticket and hopping on that train for parts unknown.