I Stopped Waiting for Trains, Now I'm the Engine

I Stopped Waiting for Trains, Now I'm the Engine
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

I’ve stopped waiting for trains with my name on them. Gone are the days of shattered hopes and dreams that never come true. Because now it’s me who makes the movement,  me who creates the path.

Anyone who wants to go on this journey of discovery with me is welcome. But if you don’t want to, you can also get off at the next station.

Taking on this simple but brave attitude would certainly be a great step in our personal growth and ever-changing emotional balance.

However, let’s admit it, if there’s one thing we’re used to doing, it’s waiting. We fill our waiting with desperate dreams and the chisel of perfection that is just unrealistic.

 “The occasion must be created. Don’t wait for it to arrive.”
-Francis Bacon-

One important thing to note: it’s society itself, with its sticky tentacles all over the place, that leads us to waiting room of life.

Despite that, no one can take away our attitude. No one can steal the engine, the fire inside us.

So it doesn’t matter if at first glance all the trains seem to be headed in the opposite direction. Because you are firm and clear on your path, dreams and ideals. You are can’t wait. You can’t stop.

A GIF of a train crossing a bridge at night.

When “waiting” feels like our life is on pause

There are times when we feel like someone pressed the pause button on our life.

Maybe it’s not being in a relationship, being unemployed, having failed personally or having been rejected professionally or emotionally.

These examples are the truth for a lot of us. They fester in the depths of our being until they immobilize us.

Now, we must understand that life is never on pause. Life is constantly vibrating and sprouting and moving. However, the thing that did stop us is our spirit, our willpower and motivation.

Bernice Neugarten was one of the first psychologists to study adult development. She studied the complex periods of our life cycle where people really feel like their life has stopped. Frozen in a gray, motionless, dull frame.

Neurgarten established the theory of “Life on Hold” as a transition that we should all learn how to face. The biggest problem lies in that oftentimes, we have a vision of the future that’s too ambiguous, uncertain or even pessimistic.

Thoughts like “my train has already passed, I’m not going to find the right guy” or “it’s obvious I’m not going to find a good job”. These betray a style of thought that will lengthen this phase of waiting even more. It also makes the transition towards something better even more difficult.

A woman waiting at a train station.

How to exit the platform of dreams that never come true

We live in the world of “come back tomorrow”, “I’ll call you”, “when you do this, you’ll get this”. We live in eternal waiting rooms. Forever asking ourselves if that thing called happiness is a fraud or perhaps a prize you win when you get enough points.

Trains pass, opportunities come and go, but none of them ever seem to have our name on them. How can we survive in this world, then, amid this scenario of uncertainties?

“Learning from yesterday, living in the present, having hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to never stop questioning everything.”
-Albert Einstein-

Up next, we will give you some simple things to reflect on.

A train travelling in a fog.

3 keys for getting your life moving

  • The first key is simple: you have to be clear on your objectives, your point on the horizon. However, it’s good to make it a precise, realistic goal that fits with your abilities. But never underestimate your potential.
  • The second aspect that Bernice Neugarten gives us in her theories about life transitions is the necessity to rehearse for our future everyday. It’s not enough to dream it.

If I long to have a good partner, I will first take care of myself as a person, growing and becoming what I wish to find in other people. If I aspire to have a good job, I will invest daily in preparing myself professionally and mentally.

  • The third part of this plan is just as interesting. We need to feel like proactive, creative protagonists. We must stop feeling like subordinates to something or someone. If society doesn’t have a spot for me, maybe I’m the one that has to create that spot for myself.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.