I’m in Chicago, IL where a thunderstorm is occurring and as I stare out the window at the sky, I notice the apartments across the street. It’s always interesting how windows in a big city like Chicago provide brief glimpses into people’s lives.
One person is working in the kitchen getting dinner ready. Someone else has a tripod setup and is cleaning the apartment possibly preparing to record a video. Other rooms are dark but you can tell the TV is on. Someone is texting as they browse on their Macbook Pro.
Each apartment is filled with different furniture helping to make the room unique. I wonder what these people do for a living. I also wonder why so many leave their blinds wide open, I certainly wouldn’t.
Next month marks three years of full-time employment contributing to WP Tavern
Three years later and I’m still having a difficult time molding myself into a (good) journalist from the shoot-from-the-hip way of writing I did a few years ago. I can’t just write stuff and hit publish. I have to check and double-check for accuracy and then get it checked again. Get quotes from people. Wait hours, or a day or two for a response back. Edit posts because I fail at grammar all the time.
The publishing process sucks and it’s not something I enjoy putting myself through every day. After three years of doing this thing full-time, the job should be easier but instead, it’s more difficult. I gotta use proper English, be professional, put quotes in the right places, start paragraphs in the right places, know when to use a block quote versus an inline quote. Fuck quotes.
The funny thing is, I did a lot of this stuff naturally in the early days of the Tavern (probably incorrectly) but for whatever reason, they’re pains in my ass now adays.
In the last three years, there are quite a few challenges I’ve worked through and ones I continue to struggle with on an every day basis while working from home. No need to get into those here but I’ve formed some pretty bad habits.
You know what, this post is just a stream of conscious thought and it’s beginning to ramble into different directions like my mind does all the time so I’ll end it here. Here’s to another year of figuring shit out, including quotes. On second thought, fuck quotes.
As I was working at the train restaurant yesterday, I saw The Katy (UP1988) heritage unit go by. One more Norfolk Southern heritage unit checked off my list!
When I worked at the grocery store, there was a gentleman older than me that I got along with and who I could tell anything too. He’s one of those individuals that are hard to find now a days. After years of friendship, he decided to take his own life.
I’ll never forget the day I went into work when it happened. People crowded around me as I punched into the time clock. You see, I’d hangout and work with this gentleman several hours a week.
First it was my best friend then it was my future wife who told me the news. My friend and co-worker had taken his life the night before with a shotgun. I attended his funeral wondering what signs I missed, what could I have done to prevent this tragedy?
Sometimes, I run what if scenarios through my head to try to bring him back but no matter what I do, he’s gone from this realm of existence. There will always be a bit of guilt on my part for not recognizing something that may have saved his life. At the time, everything seemed just fine and this individual was hard to get personal information out of.
If you know someone who’s committed suicide, please don’t feel guilty and put the burden on your shoulders. It’s a choice the individual made and it’s likely their mind was made up well in advance.
Society sometimes looks at suicide as a way out, an end to all that is shitty in their life. Some may also consider it a cop-out or a selfish act of desire. Unless you’ve been at the brink, that point where you decide if you live or die, who are you to judge?
I sometimes dream it, think it, wonder it, but it’s the same conclusion every time. My good friend is gone and there isn’t anything I can do about it. I’ve thought about it but have never reached the point of doing it.
Please don’t put yourself in a depressive state because someone you know has taken their life. It’s sad yes, but if you put guilt on your shoulders at the same time, it will likely drive you into an unhealthy state of mind. Be strong, support loved ones who cared for the individual, and be the light in a time of darkness.
My how things have changed.