I notice the grizzled beat up train slowing down.

I can detect the tremble on the tracks.

The weight of time on top of them.

The distant platform is approaching undoubtedly.

It’s wintry and bitter cold but a luminous day just like the days before today.

A sky that is cloudless on a day like this is almost unheard of.

I expect thunderstorms and darkness coming as the platform is nearing.

But no sound or sight of them.

I gather my bags from the seat next to me and one small bag from the overhead compartment. Put my long grey coat on and begin to walk towards the sliding door.

I have been on this train for a whole year. Maybe longer.

Timelines have merged together.

I can’t remember the day I made the decision to get off on this next stop.

I will miss my special corner seat with no passengers next to me.

The extra luggage area behind me. I will miss the view.

The mountains. The landscapes.

But I know it’s time.

I hear the train’s voiceover preparing us for this next stop. My stop.

The train has a few more yards to go and then it will come into a complete stand still.

I look back and glance one last time at my favorite seat.

Where everything happened.

Where I sat all this time.

And with just one more lingering thought that questions my exit I take the final couple of steps and step down from the train.

As soon as my right shoe touches the cold cemented ground it softens up almost like I am walking on grass.

The train behind me starts to move away from me as soon as my left foot lets it go.

It disappears from the platform as if it was never there.

I look around me and it’s a new place, one I have never been to before.

There are some people there but I don’t know them.

I start to walk towards the building with the door.

As I am approaching I see the writing on it more clearly.

I can almost read it.

Welcome to 2017.

Please read the Instructions carefully before entering:

  1. Don’t let others take away your certainty about yourself. Stay away from doubters. 
  2. Question everything you ever wanted before. What you want now is not the same. 
  3. You have abilities, skills and gifts you buried deep inside since you were a child. Once you get through this door you are no longer allowed to hide them.
  4. There will be some difficulties but nothing you cannot overcome. Nothing at all. Write this part down and carry it with you.
  5. You might have to leave all your luggage right here. This new journey requires a different set of belongings.
  6. You have choices.
  7. Focus on the things you want, and don’t give another thought to the things you don’t.
  8. Listen in. Listen in. Listen in.
  9. Go slow before you can go fast.
  10. Enter. Not carefully.

I open the door.

My coat feels heavy and unnecessary.

The temperature is much higher.

My shoes are no longer needed.

I slip them off. Socks too.

I start walking.

The coat drops next to the shoes as my shoulders push it down.

My thick hair that’s been wrapped around my grey scarf starts to break away from my face.

The sun is still the same but is now closer to me.

I listen. I slow down. I slow down some more.

I realize there is no rush. This is no longer a train ride.

I have to remember the instructions.

Listen in. Slow down before you can go fast. Don’t doubt yourself. Share your gifts. You have choices. Enter. (Click to Tweet)

With knowing, believing and trusting. Happy New Year. May you too follow these instructions and boldly go where you have never been before.


Share this post


Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

Inspiration to your inbox every Friday

Subscribe to the Life Changing Second Firsts Letters


Leave a Reply