So, I’ve become one of those crazy people who voluntarily commutes into London every day.
The first week or so was an almighty shock to the system. I was like a zombie, slumped in my seat and wondering whether it was all worth it. Six weeks on and it’s just become a standard part of my life, as normal as washing my face or cleaning my teeth.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve become one of those superhumans who actually gets things done on the train, oh no.
I had high expectations about what I could accomplish during the hour and twenty minutes it takes me to get to work, but I’m afraid the reality doesn’t quite measure up…
Expectation: I’ll sit still and quietly prepare for the day ahead.
Reality: I nap.
Expectation: I’ll eavesdrop for writing material. I live for listening to other people’s conversations. It interests me from a writer’s perspective but if I’m honest, I also enjoy being nosy.
Reality: Everyone is too busy napping to talk, to the point where the train manager asks us to put our tickets on the table if we do not wish to be disturbed.
Expectation: I’ll read all the books waiting for me on my Kindle.
Reality: I read all the free newspapers and magazines because they’re easy to grab when I’m walking in and out of the station. Because of this, I find myself reading anything from analysis of the Paralympics to articles with headlines like ‘Teepee for a Weewee’ (no, I can’t remember what that was about).
Expectation: I’ll get some writing done.
Reality: God, I miss writing my own material. But early mornings have never been good for me, writing-wise, and by the time I emerge from the office in the evening all I want to do is eat, curl up with a book, and go to bed. The non-fiction I’d like to work on has been put on the backburner for the time being, but I will get back to it. I couldn’t not.
Expectation: I’ll catch the eye of a cute stranger and eventually strike up a conversation, leading to real, everlasting love with lots of sex, holidays, and puppies.
Reality: I don’t look anyone in the eye until I get to the office — we’re all too busy napping.
Do you have to commute to work? How do you spend that time? Let me know in the comments!
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.