Saturday, July 30, 2011
A friend of mine has something that can almost be described as a clock phobia. He can't stand ticking clocks. I personally find them calming, reminding me of my grandmother's house and the first time I saw a cuckoo clock - a magical novelty for someone used to 1970s DDR design. A 5-year-old me sat in my brother's friend's house, determined to wait until that little bird would come out of that loudly ticking clock again - until my brother told me that would be an hour, and an hour in a 5-year-old's life is a hell of a long time.
My friend, however, just dreads this audible reminder of time ticking away. And nowadays I don't even need a cuckoo clock, or any clock for that matter, to rub my face in that.
What happened to the summers that seemed to last for years?
What happened to the time when the wait for Christmas seemed like an agonising eternity instead of the mad rush it is today?
How come I seem to waste my entire day on trivial unimportant matters instead of doing what I really want to do, and how come my to do list never gets shorter?
I was 25 just recently, now I'm 34, and it spooks me, because I don't know how I got here, my body and life raced away with me while I am still stuck in a mental teenage limbo. It's unsettling to feel your life running out and your body disintegrating around you when you feel you should still be reading your school books. Maybe that is why women (and men) lie about their age. It's not vanity. It's self-denial. It's being unwilling to submit to the pressures and expectations that comes with increasing age, when they have barely caught up with their early 20s yet.
Apparently it's because a day in relation to the life you have lived already is much longer when you've only lived four years, but much shorter when you've lived 30.
For me, it's also the sense of time running out. That may sound crazy, but the past ten years have gone by so fast it makes my head spin. And I have been warned, it's only gonna go faster.
So I am anticipating that whatever time is ahead of me, as much (or as little) as it may be, will pass in a heart beat.
The thing is, we never know how much time we've got left. I've had that reminder a few times, and it made me quite paranoid. I've lived fairly unsettled for some time now, and many friends I've had from all the different places have come and gone - something which has never got easier for me. I've been told it's natural and I should accept it, but I can't - it hurts too much. You could say, I'm almost always in a panic to spend as much quality time with everyone as I can, because I never know how long it will last, how long I will be able to be around them, and whether I will lose them to distance, forgetfulness, or worse.
I will never have as much felt time again as I had when I was 20. Then you think you have an eternity ahead of you, and it leaves you relaxed enough to be able to focus - nowadays I just seem to run at top speed just to keep up, and never quite managing to, trying to get everything done at once, my concentration frayed into a blur.
How can you trick your brain out of this? Maybe it's to really make yourself believe you are 2o, to reach that feeling of eternity ahead of you.