My past relationship with time was twisted. I had too much of it and then I never had enough. When I was in elementary school, I remember tapping my fingers on my desk waiting for Christmas break. Even when the air was cold, we rushed outside but we couldn’t rush fast enough: it was only lunch recess.
In my early twenties, time sped by and I spent a lot of hours on the skytrain organizing the years of my life on a memo on my phone so I could fit in everything I wanted to do. It was stressful but I had fun. And then last summer, each day dragged out like two hundred years and I couldn’t wait till it was time to go to bed.
What have I done with my time? The days where I stayed in my pajamas all day, the days I was lazy, the days I was jealous of other people for living more exciting lives: guilt comes to haunt me, as it has a tendency to do. I could have lived so many lives. But rarely do I feel like that anymore, even on days where I do nothing. I credit the passing of time for gracing me with the gift of maturity.
Now, I like to think of time as my friend. I appreciate it a lot more; I don’t rush it along; I am patient with it. And in return, it gives me what I need – even when it’s not what I want. It gave me an extra hour of sleep this morning; it gave me long hair; it gave me 29 years, it gave me 6 months in Edinburgh and now it’s giving me 5 years. Tonight, it gave me a slow evening eating chicken wings and watching The Mandalorian. When we finished, it was only 9pm.
Time broke me and then time healed me. Time made me miss people. It made me wish I was older and then made me wish I was younger. Time gave me the perfect summer; it gave me the worst summer; it did not make everything better, as they promised me, but it did make a lot of things more bearable.
I do not know when time will run out, or drag on, or even what I will do with it except that I will cherish my portion, this piece of limited currency dedicated to me. Because the more time I spend with time, the more I come to understand that although it’s flawed and cruel and forgiving all at once, it’s not to blame for what happens or doesn’t happen to me.