Fleeting time and my adolescence

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My parents always described paradise as a place where you lose track of time. It is such a happy paradise that the days merge into each other. My mom explained to me that there was no point in having a date where all your worries would go away. She said time ceases to exist when you are at peace. It was a big concept for an 8 year old to digest, but I think about it every now and then now. I remember it especially during the times when I forget the days: the hot, busy weeks of August, the insane hours spent in good company, or the lazy mornings when there is no alarm to wake up. For me, it becomes heavenly moments.

Sadly, the only thing I’ve been thinking about lately has been the weather. There always seems to be a deadline coming up, or something that I thought was due a week later that was suddenly due at 11:59 pm. list are never completely crossed out. I count the number of hours of sleep I would get if I slept at that exact minute. My time frames have been reduced to today and tomorrow. The only other time marker I have is how quickly the pile of dirty clothes and empty water bottles is growing. From Google Calendars to Excel Sheets, I constantly go through my daily schedules, but even then I forget a thing or two that can’t fit into the short 24 hours of the day. Time always flies, and it goes even faster when there is so much to do. It’s going fast enough that I’m already twisted into the next thing, not even taking a moment to think about yesterday.

The other day, however, I realized I was 19 just over a month ago. Nineteen. I hadn’t even registered that I was 19 until I noticed my outdated Twitter bio. The memory of my birthday seems so far away. The hard-hitting realization that my teenage years will be over in a few months was another reminder of how time flies through my fingers.

By changing the biography to “9teen” I thought it was too easy to sum up all the memories, people and stories I have experienced in one single measure of time. It’s not just 19. It’s a number of people who have walked in and out of my life, all of whom I miss and others who have taught me hard truths. It’s all the missed connections, the unspoken words, and the things I’ve learned to let go. It is also the time that has passed between dreaming something and now seeing it come true. All the sly smiles and sleepless nights are just a fraction of all the seconds I have experienced so far. All those seconds that could have been critical in the moment seem so tiny now: dates don’t matter so much. Looking back for a moment, I saw how the 19 years came together to do a series of miles driven, wet summer nights and lots of Drake rather than 603,055,860 individual seconds.

With mid-sessions around the corner, I found myself switching Twitter tabs on the next Canvas mission. At the moment, it’s easy to get lost in a world of deadlines highlighted in yellow. I realize that time will continue to concern me until it has passed before me. So I take comfort in knowing that I will probably change my Twitter bio again next year and look back fondly on the past. For now, I’m going to have to take advantage of the short moments when I forget about time, like cheering on Saturday football games, taking a shower after a long night out, or convincing myself that I’ll wake up after having “rested my eyes for a few.” minutes “. While my mom might be right to forget the hands of the clock when she lives in peace, I’ve learned that time doesn’t equate to the exact weeks, months, or even years that you start to remember. When you look at it from a distance, all the minor stressors and deadlines get so small and life itself begins to look a lot more heavenly. And rather than measuring life over time, I start picking out the memorable moments and feelings throughout it all. I realized that you don’t have to lose track of time to have or even enjoy heavenly moments, because they will always be there whether you see it right now or not. The key is simply to recognize these moments at one point or another, regardless of the weather.

MiC columnist Zafirah Rahman can be contacted at zafirah@umich.edu.


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