There’s this view that if you’re waiting for the train in downtown Chicago, off of State Street, you can catch the 4 o’clock sun hitting the buildings just right.
The light bounces off the windows’ tint, reflecting orange hues from the sun’s beams. The Art Museum is in the very back, looking only as big as the size of a penny at the center of your viewpoint. Autumn has left bare trees in the park, and you marvel at how beautiful a tree limb structure is, even without the greenery to please the eye. The evening traffic building up makes you happy that you’re not driving home that night.
But only if you can take it in and breath can it be the most perfect sight you’ve ever seen. Resting and reflecting on the nostalgic feelings you get from missing home is the key to this very moment.
I was in the middle of working on an assignment where I had to accompany a client home on the train. This first job after college had me crying some days over how stressful it was, on top of not being anywhere I had planned for my career to go. As the days progressed, I became more depressed, continually feeling less sane than the first day it hit me that this job had not been meant for me long term.
That particular day with the setting sun, trees, and rush hour traffic in view, I believe God was trying to show me something.
“Today can be enjoyed even under unpleasant circumstances.”
It had been a 10-hour day. Some days, it was twelve, other days it was five. No matter how long the shifts were, I sometimes wondered if I had made the mistake of moving to a new city to take a job I knew I wasn’t going to hold onto forever.
In those times I felt the most discouraged, I prayed and I complained. I prayed to God, and then sometimes I snapped at Him for making my life feel so meaningless for so long. Having gone to college longer than most, I felt an unsettled way of living. It was filled with no security, a dwindling bank account, and a job that paid well by the hour, but made me depressed every day I went.
But in working the job where I often felt like complaining or crying, I found the orange hues of the sun. The bare trees. The beautiful high-rise buildings. The nostalgic feelings of autumn in my hometown. And maybe most importantly, my sanity kept in tact during a time where I felt the least confident.
What I found was that there was always something to admire in the dark moods, and just perhaps a voice reminding me it was all going to change. Just like the season was turning. Just like the sun setting. And just like going from one place to another on the Blue Line.