Life is Like A Train Ride by Jessica Smith



Life is like a train ride.

We get on. We ride. We get off. We get back on and ride some more. There are accidents and there are delays. At certain stops there are surprises. Some of these will translate into great moments of joy; some will result in profound sorrow. When we are born and we first board the train, we meet people whom we think will be with us for the entire journey. Those people are our parents!

Sadly, this is far from the truth.
Our parents are with us for as long as we absolutely need them. They too have journeys they must complete. We live on with the memories of their love, affection, friendship, guidance and their ever presence.

There are others who board the train and who eventually become very important to us, in turn.

These people are our brothers, sisters, friends and acquaintances, whom we will learn to love, and cherish.

Some people consider their journey like a jaunty tour. They will just go merrily along.

Others will encounter many upsets, tears, losses on their journey.
Others still, will linger on to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.

Some people on the train will leave an everlasting impression when they get off….

Some will get on and get off the train so quickly, they will scarcely leave a sign that they ever travelled along with you or ever crossed your path…

We will sometimes be upset that some passengers, whom we love, will choose to sit in another compartment and leave us to travel on our own.

Then again, there’s nothing that says we can’t seek them out anyway.
Nevertheless, once sought out and found, we may not even be able to sit next to them because that seat will already be taken.

That’s okay …everyone’s journey will be filled with hopes, dreams, challenges, setbacks and goodbyes.

We must strive to make the best of it… no matter what…

We must constantly strive to understand our travel companions and look for the best in everyone.

Remember that at any moment during our journey, any one of our travel companions can have a weak moment and be in need of our help.

We too may vacillate or hesitate, even trip… hopefully we can count on someone being there to be supportive and understanding…

The bigger mystery of our journey is that we don’t know when our last stop will come. Neither do we know when our travel companions will make their last stop. Not even those sitting in the seat next to us.

Personally, I know I’ll be sad to make my final stop…. I’m sure of it! My separation from all those friends and acquaintances I made during the train ride will be painful. Leaving all those I’m close to will be a sad thing. But then again, I’m certain that one day I’ll get to the main station only to meet up with everyone else. They’ll all be carrying their baggage… most of which they didn’t have when they first got on this train.

I’ll be glad to see them again. I’ll also be glad to have contributed to their baggage… and to have enriched their lives, just as much as they will have contributed to my baggage and enriched my life.

We’re all on this train ride together. Above all, we should all try to strive to make the ride as pleasant and memorable as we can, right up until we each make the final stop and leave the train for the last time.

All aboard!
Safe journey!!


What I deserve ….

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I am very lucky with the friends I have.   They listen to me,  are honest with me and take a genuine interest in me as a person.  They give me their time and give me the honest hard truth that sometimes I need to hear, whether I like it or not….

I had a discussion last night about my decision to stay single.  My friend (an ex .. from many, many years ago), who is in a very happy relationship listened to me and gave me some advice that made me stop and make me think.

I look around at relationships I see, some are fabulous … but some … they are just for now … they will not last .. you can tell by the drama and the nonsense around them.   These will end and for some, the whole cycle of drama and emotional highs and lows will start again.   This is not what I want … I value peace and quietness in my life and I am not prepared to give that up.

The last big relationship I was in ended about 3 years ago.    There was not one reason for it really .. we just had run our course and in my heart of hearts I knew our relationship had become more of a friendship than anything else.   When I weighted it all up .. I did not want to be a “companion” and in all honesty I knew my ex (who was a lot younger than me) needed to go out there and really fill her heart .. we are friends and I genuinely care for her as a very good friend.   I know that when I went through a really bad patch, she was was there, and carried me for many months.   It is something I will not forget.

I also made new friendships through it … and these new friends along with my close old friends, helped me in ways that I can never repay.

I have also dated a few people since … with mixed results …  some have ended with great friendships which is fab, but some have been a bit strange to say the least and have made me stop and think a lot about what I need (and don’t need!) in my life.

I have found it safer to lay my heart in the hands of the unobtainable .. my close friends will know what I mean by this, however I do know that in reality I use this as an excuse to avoid the dating scene because It has simply left me feeling used and lied to, and I really do not want that in my life.

Perhaps this will change …  when I meet someone I feel close to …  it is the emotional connection that wins my heart .. someone who can see my soul and understand it.  Someone who is true and honest and has no secrets with me.

Does she exist …. I’m not sure … I know I am not easy, I am a lot deeper than I let most people see … so until then (if ever!) I will stay the way I am .. in my own little happy world where I find my peace.

This is what I have been doing today…



ImagePainting 200 wooden shapes ready for our Fort William event in April … these will have messages written on them and tied to our memorial tree.

I have had great fun doing this today … and I like them so much that when I decorate my summerhouse in the Spring I think I may buy lots of these and glue to to the ceiling and walls ….

I’m feeling quite proud of myself …


The answers

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Image by garylellis.org

You do not find the answers in a book.

You do not find the reasons on facebook.

The answers to life and happiness lie within each of us.   

We cannot learn from other people’s lives or experiences, we simply have to stop, think and look inside.

Sometimes facing up to the truth or feelings is hard and try as we might to change them, we can’t.  We just have to embrace and accept them.

The biggest lesson in life is to learn to accept who you are and what you need.

The answers may not be what we expect but if you really want to be happy you have to be brave enough to be honest with yourself.

.. and that is the only lesson you need to know.


Never the same love twice. ~The Great Gatsby.

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very true!!


“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”

~F Scott Fitzgerald. (The Great Gatsby)


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Today is Blue Monday … supposedly the most depressing day of the year.

This is my day in rhyme:   

Today is shit.        (c) CJ Johnson


The cost of human kindness

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We all do something stupid at times .. at the most inappropriate times.

Setting up a new business from home is a tough call .. you have to earn to live .. you have to work unsociable hours and weekends and sacrifice your social life in a BIG way in order to reach where you are aiming for.

On Friday I picked up a deposit for a wedding ceremony I am taking in March … £100 crisp notes in an envelope… and somehow I think I have flung the lot in my fire … I have hunted high and low but there is no sign of the envelope and with a sinking heart I have to admit that I think I have burnt it.

I announced this today on Facebook .. to point out my stupidity … what I didnt expect was for 3 people (non of whom I have actually met in real life) offer to send me money.     I was touched beyond words with their kindness but I will not take their money, I am not desperate and it is not a matter of eating or not … it just means I will have to curtail my shenanigans for a few weeks.

However, these people got me thinking … about kindness and about people.

I am by nature a kind person .. I know that .. it is a great strength of mine .. and a great weakness.   I know through my life I have had people who have realised this about me and used me .. I also know there are people who have been kinder to me than I can ever repay.

The act of kindness cannot be measure in money terms .. it is measure by the spirit in which it is given or offered and I have never given anything that I did not want to give, although I do realise that sometimes I have felt “obligated” but that says more about the people who have made me feel that way than it does about me.

At this time in my life I have less money than I have ever had.  I have to carefully plan each week to make sure that the money I have lasts until more money comes in yet in a strange way it has given me a sense of freedom and I know now that kindness is not in the gifts you can give but the attention and the care that you can give to someone.

As the old saying goes .. Human kindness costs nothing.



I am my own worst enemy

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I am a bit of an oxymoron … I do things happily for other people, but I am rubbish at doing things for myself.

I know I need to exercise more, I know I need to diet, I know I need to stop smoking.

I have no excuses … I just cannot be bothered … I need to change that.


The truth

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The truth is never easy to face up to.    Especially when it involves looking inwards.

I have been lied to many times in my life.  Most of the time I have known it but chose to ignore it.

I do not mind the truth, even if it hurts, I can deal with that.   What I cannot deal with is lies that are used by others to gain sympathy or pity .. or to simply get their own way.

I have often been left in total confusion with lies .. you never quite know what is the truth .. and what is said to hurt .. but you lose something then .. you lose the trust you have in someone and that is a very difficult thing to get back.

At times I have been made to feel like a dirty secret, a bit of “rough” … and I am certainly none of those.    

I have taken time out to look inside, to find out if I was the monster, the destroyer I was painted out to be … and the answer is now clear.   No I am not.

I am not perfect, hell, no-one is, but I am open and honest, sometimes to a fault.. and sometimes that is used against me.

Will I change… nope.. no feckin chance!! …  I am happy with me and my life.   It is a pity that others are not, but that is for them to work on, not me.

If I could turn back time ……

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I was chatting with my friend Stuart over a wee drink last night.   Stuart and I have been friends since we were 3 or 4 years old, nearly half a century! … as toddlers, children and teenagers we kept a close friendship .. so much so that our parents thought we would get married!  … it was never anything more than a friendship, we just had a bond from a very early age .. and that bond was that we were both gay.

Stuart left Scotland in his teens to live and work in Italy (he went over on a summer break from university and never came back!)… I went off to join the army but we kept in contact and always met up if we happened to be in Scotland at the same time on holiday.

We have both had some great times in life, some tragic times, Stuart more so than me when his partner of many years died suddenly and it was a tough time in more ways than one for him at that time.  

We were chatting last night about our lives, how things have changed recently, especially for me, and how we have found ourselves in settled and contented place in our individual lives.  

We also talked about people we knew, and regrets that we had .. and funny enough both of us did not really have any regrets.  For Stuart, obviously he missed his ex partner, but he had moved on, accepting and, although keeping memories in his heart, had moved on from the pain.

For me, my biggest regret is not having the courage to walk away from the life I was living years ago, and start to build a life that I want, and indeed, in many ways, need, for me to be happy.

I think back over the years and would I go back and change anything else … well.. No.   The experiences I have gone through, good and bad, have all been part of the journey that I am on … and I do not want or need to look back over my shoulder.

I am moving forward, at my own pace, on my own path … and I am looking forward to discovering what lies ahead and perhaps seeing things through new eyes and a little bit more knowledge!

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