Time twists and turns…it’s never here, yet never there. You’re in the midst of it, yet as soon as you start to think about it, boom! It’s gone. Time blows my mind. Some days drag by, eking out every hour, every minute, every second, but on reflection seem to have gone faster than a Ferrari with broken brakes. Other days fly by, making you desperately reach out to grab each passing second.
But what controls the metaphorical speed of time? Technically, time is all the same, never-ending, never changing. Mentally, it’s a thousand different speeds, a thousand different days. They say time flies if you’re having fun; but that’s just when you want it to slow down. When you’re down in the dumps, every minute is dragged out, extracting the maximum pain as you dwell in self-pity, when yo just want the day to end. In all probability, this is all in our minds. But that doesn’t stop it feeling real. A minute is sixty seconds, but what truly is a second?Thinking about this, about how our mind changes perceptions, how an endless minute to one person is a blink of an eye to another, could explode your brain. The amaranthine theories, driving you mad because you don’t know the answer.
And then there’s the question of the past and the future. What if there are a billion different galaxies, universes of scenes playing out over and over again, with different outcomes each time – in one galaxy, the dinosaurs aren’t wiped out, humans never exist. In another, Einstein is never born, history is rewritten. In those scenes, the past and the future change. What if the past is all an illusion, false memories? The future is infinitely changing – every act affecting something, long-term or short-term.
These are just thoughts swirling around in my head – but they make me think about what we do with our lives. When we have a bad day, do we mope and be miserable until the next day and the chance to start anew? Or do we use the time, do something productive and change our mood? In reality, every second you spend wallowing in self-pity is a second wasted, every minute one you’ll never get back. If you’re dreading something, it’s so easy to let it consume you, until by the time the actual event comes around, you’re terrified, blowing the whole situation out of proportion. But if you think about it; time is a constant. It’s like a brick – however much you wish you could bend it out of shape, twist it up or roll it into a ball, you cannot freeze, rewind or fast forward time. It’s like a TV before the pause control – your life is the programme, and you can’t save bits for later. People and events will flick in and out of your life, channel-hopping, but you just keep going, until the programme is over. We can’t stop time, we can’t avoid events they’re going to happen anyway, so we have to make the best of it and stop our anxieties from taking over. There are two kinds of people in life – those that mope when bad things happen, who allow worries and thoughts to take over their lives until they end up in a never-ending circle of pain and despair, and there’s the type who take life as it comes, accept the bad along with the good and make the most of what they have, whilst using their time to the best effect.
I always try to be the latter – because it is what it is, we have a certain amount of time on this earth, but it’s up to us what we do with it. So go for it – because life is not a rehearsal, so be happy now. As Gandalf said in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring*, “all we have to do is decide is what to do with the time that is given us”.
Thanks for reading my ramblings, and feel free to let me know in the comments what kind of person you think you are.
An Overthinking Teenager
*I haven’t actually read this, but Goodreads came up trumps with quotes!