NEW YORK—It's funny, and perhaps a little sobering, how quickly a whole year can pass you by.
One of the things my long commute to midtown Manhattan, combined with my 11:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. work schedule, has forced me to do is to take a local (818) NJ Transit bus from East Brunswick to nearby New Brunswick in order to catch a Northeast Corridor train from New Brunswick to get me to New York Penn Station.
This morning, after waiting for five minutes in the scorching heat and humidity, I boarded my usual 818 bus at around 8:49 a.m. and encountered a familiar face driving it: the same female bus driver that had been driving it at that particular time regularly a little over a year ago, when I started working the 11:30-7:30 shift.
Not that this was a surprise; the previous (male) bus driver had alerted me last week that she was reclaiming her old bus route. But when he mentioned it, I had only a faint memory of who this former 818 bus driver was. When I stepped onto the bus this morning and started talking to her, light bulbs of memories started flashing in my mind.
Other thoughts that flooded into my mind at that moment: Have I really been in East Brunswick this long? I'm still here even after being forced to relocate my job to New York two years ago? And finally: What the heck am I still doing here? What with all the time I spend in New York these days?
I'm not sure if I should react to these realizations with disbelief or bemusement. But it once again reminded me of how time marches on, without a care in the world. What you do with those oceans of time, of course, is entirely up to you.
Time, for one thing, certainly won't advise you on how to live your life.