How My Absolutely Shitty Commute Made Me A Better Human Being

Annie Spratt
Annie Spratt

Let me start by painting you a beautiful picture: 2.5 hours of my day, on a good day, are spent sitting on a train. I wake up every morning by 6:15 the latest just to be in for work at 9. Just let that soak in for a second.

I clearly wasn’t getting the full-suggested amount of sleep. I would wake up tired every morning and would end up sleeping the entire ride in. I basically was walking to work like a zombie. Coming home was even worse. Annoyed, pissy, tired, you name it- but ultimately miserable. I felt like I was wasting my life.

Commuting really is a grueling process- I’m sure you’d agree if you’ve ever had to do it for a long period of time. Shitty wifi and crowded space were a given, then you add in the occasional delay. Power outages, signal issues, traffic, and trespassers… To name a few, I’ve experienced it. It’s more than enough to make someone go crazy and trust me I did.

I couldn’t be a typical 23-year-old basic bitch optimizing my time with Insta, Facebook and Twitter because like I said wifi sucked, which also meant I couldn’t be a 23-year-old dedicated professional getting ahead on my work. Major first-world problems.

Anyway, I knew something needed to change and since it wasn’t going to be my commute time, oh the sacrifices you make for love – I explored other options. I first started an inspirational Instagram account- except if we can all recall for the third time, no wifi. Next I tried writing, I’ll let you decide how you think that’s going,  but ultimately I think I landed upon the holy grail.

I started reading, which I should have done in the first place. Truth be told, I thought I could get by listening to music, sitting in silence, or relaxing after a long stressful day in front of a screen, but nope, wasn’t cutting it, it wasn’t enough, I needed more.

I started with my guilty pleasure (Nicholas Sparks – See Me) but unfortunately he’s not writing new books fast enough for me to read, so I needed to explore the infinite book world.

Luckily a mentor/ co worker of mine suggested a book I had never heard of, one out of my reading preferences. I was nervous, but my desire for optimal train productivity won out. You can only imagine my excitement when I started getting really into my book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Ever heard of it? {Insert promotional video of me saying how transformative and relatable it is}. Ugh, if only I got paid to say that. I finished that up and it left me hungry for more wisdom, more positive energy, more useful tips on how to maximize my happiness and life.

So the reading snowball continued: The Year of Yes, Fully Charged, Finding Your True North, You are a Badass….

While you’re thinking, “Alright what’s wrong with this girl, aren’t those all self help books?” You can call it what you want but I have found useful treasures of information in all of them. And I can now experiment and try out these value adds, not only in my own life but those around me.

This new found perspective and attitude has helped me in enormous ways. Duh, did you read the title: I’m a better person now – I’ve been able to connect on a deeper level with my friends and colleagues, control my temper (for the most part), see the positive side in situations, try new things, ask for more, do better, share new ideas, better all of my relationships, and so much more.

It’s not only a constructive use of my time but it gives me an escape and in turn allows me to be creative. I’m always leaning, time goes faster, I come home happier more energized, ready to take on the world.

Where I’ve really noticed a difference is at work, and I know what you’re thinking, but YES an activity completely unrelated to my work helps me do a better job.

I’ll admit, like any human being, we all have good days and bad days but I’m learning to be okay with that and ultimately it’s going pretty damn well. I seem to have less train delays, more excitement in my voice, I’m less tired, I’m present, and I am ever growing.

So whatever situation you may be in, shitty commute or not, find time or make time to be more awesome. I promise you’ll be better because of it and if not, well that’s on you. TC mark

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