where do they live? they live in the places you would never visit in your daily path. they live in small depressed office buildings, in lonely garages on dead end streets, in parts of the city where trash is not picked up, where trees are not trimmed. no one goes here except the people who have no other choice or who have made the choice to try something new – to take a chance – to take a risk for success. when you start at the bottom, it isn’t pretty and it doesn’t smell good – and the people do not smile. these people are all just wandering through life, hoping that they will reach the next level. these people linger in the parking lot smoking away – staring off into the distance. these people sit in their offices and make long deep sighs all day – they are not sad, they are not happy, they are just there – hanging on by a thread to keep the lights on at home. when you walk around the parking lot, you don’t look each other in the eye – you are all in the same miserable boat. your office is a small collection of rooms – empty most of the time or just a few people staring at their computer screens. there is a fridge but not much in it – there is no sink or kitchen – you have to pour out your water outside or in the bathroom. there is a microwave in another empty room in the building – it is small and dirty. the day is the same every day with the occasional surprise or victory – but they are small victories and the big victory takes a long time to achieve or never comes at all. you wonder how did you get here and why are you here. you have bet your life on this job in this very small company with not much money. you only have your hopes and your dreams and your will to keep going. you will not quit until the day they fire you. you are sure that day will come soon, but are still holding out hope that what you are doing might actually succeed. until then, you will keep coming to this place, you will keep trying, you will keep dreaming, you will keep hoping.
such is life, such are the odds and such are the individual destinies of us all. in the past 7 years, i have known 10 couples to divorce and 10 people that have died (in middle age or earlier). we all know that these things happen in life – and early on in life, we see these things happening from afar. but as you get older, as you hit the 40’s, 50’s – it comes crashing closer and closer to home. on the death front, you wonder why they went so early in life and you hold your dear ones closer – praying that you are not next and being more grateful for what you have in life – so stop complaining – you are not dead yet. on the divorce front – it is an even bigger shock sometimes. you see that perfect couple and divorce never even crosses your mind. but then one day you see the wife shoveling the snow or the husband not showing up at social events – and the signals start to mount. it is a shock to think that they went through all those years together, having kids, raising kids, building careers together, going through tough times – and then one day they quit the relationship – they fall out of love almost as quick as when they fell into it. this cannot be explained easily – why did this person wake up one day and say “I’m done”. most likely things were boiling under the surface for years – unknown to other person in the relationship and certainly unknown to the rest of the world. it is a tragedy that will affect many people in their world – especially the kids. and such is one of the big mysteries of life – one day we are happy and one day we are not.
why do we always think about the past. why do we always think about the people we used to know. why do we question our actions of the past. why can’t we still be friends with people in our past. these are questions that go through everyone’s mind at one time or another. we think about what we did in the past. we think about the people we knew very well in the past. but those people are not there anymore. we think about the people we hurt in the past. we think about the people we helped in the past. we wonder why we can’t be there with them anymore. but we know why. it is because that is the way life goes. it doesn’t stop. when you are in that moment with that person in the past – which was the present – you don’t think about where you will be in the future or who you will be with in the future or what you will be doing in the future. you only think about the present in a very quick mindset – everything just goes and you just live – and you move on from people, places and things. but when you get older, you think about the past more and you have settled into a life that does not change much anymore – so you can see the future with clearer eyes – and you know what might happen in the future – as you get closer to the end of life – you know more and you know what to expect. but that past is always there, waiting for you to look at it and question it and wonder why or what could have been – but you are glad that you moved on because your present gut told you to – and your gut today still guides you so you can’t wish for the past because you told yourself to move forward – but you can still think about the past.