Time has a way of swallowing things up. Making things almost obsolete, as if they never even happened. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can almost remember the smell of the room. Other times, it’s as if that entire experience happened to someone else entirely.
I lived in that room for one full school year. I can bring every part of it to mind. Most of all, the feeling I got when I walked into it. At the time, it was an endless nightmare of a daily routine, something I could not break free of.
Today, it is a memory, a piece of my history, a moment in time.
Practically obsolete. A moment that with all my strength, I can not bring back.
Life is made up of these moments, towering on top of each other, pushing us forward.
“Come help me!” my nephew pulled me over to his homework.
He had to trace the word CATS over and over and over on his paper to practice his handwriting, to make the letters a subconscious action, to get to the goal of efficient, legible writing.
“What do you need help with?” I asked.
“Can you just do some? I want to finish.”
He takes after me, always moving to the next stop, always keeping his eyes on the finish line.
Moments. They become obsolete as they pass us by, forever buried in a history we may not even remember.
Moments are long, endlessly long until they are gone. Sometimes you can feel it happening, you can practically see the hands on the clock turning, you can feel the minutes slipping away.
But sometimes, the more you stare at the clock, the slower it goes. You can feel time slowing down. Sometimes, in life’s toughest moments, it feels like this moment is here forever.
But moments don’t stay around, not the good ones, not the bad ones.
And in a weird twist, I mean that in a comforting way.
Living in the now has always been my struggle, for the future has not yet been ruined by reality.
And if we abandon our past, how can we make the future better?
Living in the now seems the most useless, there is always more to be done, fragments to glue back together, from our past, for our future.
This week I danced with my friend at her wedding, with a heart so full of joy for her, and I thought to myself “what a beautiful future she has ahead” and then I thought “no. Tonight, she is married, tonight she is joyful, it is not yet about the future. Let’s live in tonight.”
This week, I held my tiny brand new nephew, memorizing his every tiny feature, holding him close as if with force alone I could stop him from growing up in a blink of an eye. Before I know it, he will be holding my hand and saying my name, and these newborn moments with him will be difficult to even call to my mind.
I feel the minutes, days, moments slipping through my fingers. How does one live in the moment, and not feel like they are losing moments?
This week, 17 futures were destroyed in a moment, lives living for the future, lives ready for the future. Lives built on a past that now has an ending. Memories of moments are all their families have now, whispers and winks, moments they can not get back. Living in the future is sometimes a privilege.
I may live half of my life in the future, looking ahead to bigger and brighter, wanting more, working for more, praying for more, but I try to live in the moments that I can.
People say “live in the now!” but the truth is, we have no choice. We don’t know how to live in the past, nor can we live in the future. We can only live in what we have.
In the most joyful of moments, it is my responsibility to hold on to that joy, notice it, be grateful for it, revel in it.
In the most painful of moments, it is my privilege to know that this moment is almost a memory, that it will pass, that better moments will come.
And one day I will look back at my life today, remember my dreams and wishes, my deepest wants and desires, and the memory of it will fill me with the joy of having reached the place I dreamed of.
But just as I remember the dreams of my past, I will surely look forward with dreams of the future, because I’ll always be a girl with one eye backward, one eye forwards, and a heart trying to take hold of it all.
Blog Post: 22/52
Photo by Uroš Jovičić on Unsplash