I recently did a very early morning run at 5:30am as I try to get some more miles in than usual. Although it is not easy to get up that early it has something very magical to it. I ran towards the city and the first people you bump into are the young girls and boys who have been dancing (they came across pretty sober, which has never happened to me at that time at their age) all night and could not afford a taxi and still have not figured out how UBER works (that’s the scary part as I guess there are no people on the street in San Francisco at that time of the day). No other runners and very few cars which makes the air very clear and you can just keep going.
The most interesting part of my run was when I passed a waste burning factory which was lit up brightly and you could feel the warm air coming out of it. The parking lot was full which very much reminded me at a time when I had a very similar summer job. My shift started either at 5am, 1pm or 9pm. The factory had 3 shifts and was working 7 days a week. I actually have no clue what we actually have been producing as my only jobs have been to wipe the floor or move 50kg bags from one place to another. After my shift I was so tired that I slept for hours straight afterwards (which was suboptimal as I usually was not tired during the night and went out to get drunk and got back to work verry tired). I was 16 years old and it was the first time I made serious money. I mean really big bucks.The job was so bad and unhealthy that they paid up a lot. None of my co-workers had any school eduaction so there was very little philosophical discussions going on and I could not get them interested in Latin or French.
Most of the discussions with them circled around sex and alcohol. I just loved it. After I smuggled in some bottles of wine I started to become friends with my colleagues. They encouraged me to start full time as my reading skills would get me on the fast lane in no time. I was tempted. Seriously. I even had the discussion at home which did not go down too well but then again my parents did not finish high school so it was hard for them to dig out the benefits of higher education. After 6 weeks I went back to school and miracously finished it including my university degree. When I passed by today I wondered what would have happened if I would have stayed. Would I have seen almost the whole world like I did? For sure not. Would I have friends all over the place? I guess not. Would I have been less happy? This no one will ever know. I am reading Seneca at the moment, which also was not a big hero in the factory and would like to finish with a quote from him:
It is not the man who has too little who is poor, but the one who hankers after more.
Keep on running!