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Lost in Time

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I began the painstaking process of lifting the seal, trying to ignore the bold printed label reading ‘DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 2010’. For seven years this time capsule had sat on a shelf collecting dust. I had forgotten both this cardboard cylinder and the memories it contained. It was as much of a mystery to me as my plans for the future, plans my parents wanted desperately to know. I had no idea what had been important to me at the age of ten, or what was important enough to me to be my future career path now.

I wished I could open a book of clear, concise words about my self. I was Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs to Cleopatra, indecipherable and mysterious. I was Mayan civilization; my dreams, and all I had hoped for, had disappeared for reasons I could not name. I wanted a codex, or a Rosetta stone dedicated to the enigma of my own desires and plans. I tore at the label with a sudden ferocity. It remained the only thing between me and, what I hoped would be, a revelation. I felt as though a tangible piece of my childhood ideals, an object sanctified in simplicity, would connect me to the person I had once been. As children we often dream of our future, and I have always been of the opinion that the future can be found rooted in the times we have forgotten. I was not however, prepared for the epiphany the time capsule contained.

The information I had sealed away, among the Pokemon cards, to share with myself proved indispensable, something I could never have predicted. I could not have done better than writing six words on a sheet of paper; words that were the answer to the age old question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’. I had flawlessly spelled out my reply, ‘I want to be an archaeologist’ the ten-year-old demanded trough the simple scrawl. It was as if the child within myself was ordering me to recognize our dream, the way only a self-centered child can. The path I wanted to take began to become clear. I knew what it was I had always wanted, above all else.

I have always known an insatiable desire to whet my appetite for puzzles of the past. It became instantaneously clear that I had a simple goal all along, to learn the facts contained deep within history. It had always given me satisfaction to learn obscure information about ancient civilizations, to know them like neighbors. In my head there began to form an understanding of why I cried every time my sister deleted my Discovery Channel specials from the recorded programs. I knew suddenly that I had, throughout my life, had a desire to be in the company of others who shared my thirst for knowledge. My mother had found little excitement in my thorough list the accuracies and fictional assumptions of Michelle Moran’s novel, “Nefertiti”. I recognized my longing for a chance to learn and discover the history that will teach others, and myself, as something I have wanted all my life.

Throughout our lives we will meet countless people, out of the blue, people who have the ability to leave just as swiftly as they came. The only person you are guaranteed to always have is your own self. Every person you meet can influence you in some way or another, but it should truly be your own self that holds the most sway over each choice you make. It’s unfortunate that what you want can become clouded and your ambitions can go astray. Human nature allows each of us to lose focus. We put our dreams, what we want for our future, aside and dedicate all of our attention to the present. When we allow ourselves to neglect the past, when we put that box of dreams away, we allow what is important to become irreversibly lost in time.





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