Wake up. Eat. School. Homework. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. And it’s like this that the days—which turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years—transpire so that you find that your heart is, so soon, coated in a tinge of oxidising regret. And you’ll feel impotent—helpless against all that which you can’t remember, all those stressful, torturous high school years that have condensed into a mind gap, countless hours of work merged together into an inextricable, incoherent mess.
Seeing the countless colours drag themselves across the car window, I often think, the last time I closed my eyes, wasn’t I sitting on the cool floor, my legs intertwined like a pretzel, wondering who in the world had thought to call it criss-cross applesauce? The last time I closed my eyes, wasn’t I blowing out a candle, yelling ‘Stop!’ when my friends reached the number 10?
And then I shut my eyes, as if to prove my theory. I endeavour to see into the future—further than my body accepts—and feel my pupils pushing against my eyelids. But it’s all for naught because when I open my eyes, I’m still riding home from school, still re-tracing this weary path and nowhere closer to comprehending why time does what it does.
Why does it sprint every time you laugh? Why does it drag itself with the same sluggishness you battle in class? Why does it evaporate everyday, regardless of how endless it once felt? Where did it all go, I ask, you ask, we all ask.
But we know where it went.
We chose where it went.
It went into the 7-hour schooldays. It was sucked up by the Facebook-browsing, shredded by homework, and slaughtered by all our trivial preoccupations—frivolous, little specks in the grand scheme of life. We don’t honestly think we’ll care what we wore on November 15th 2016, in a years’ time. We don’t really think that C- will haunt us in two years. Do we? Have any of us ever asked ourselves?
It’s so very easy to see why time trickles down our fingertips, leaving us exasperated and helpless; for too long, I confused busyness with contented proactivity, spent decades annotating poems without ever writing one, envied the life of others without striving to make it mine, completed an untold number of math problems without ever questioning.
Don’t live your life with the most literal meaning of live, like I used to. Don’t stuff your life with frivolity for superficial satisfaction—something as ultimately ineffective as filling your stomach with rocks to tranquilise hunger. You can’t fool yourself.
I know that after reading this, you’ll still go ahead and finish your homework, watch TV, or finalise stalking someone’s Facebook profile. I know these few words won’t change humanity’s paradigm and that most of our lives will still be reduced to learning, working, and dying—with brief flashes of spontaneity in between. And I know most will conform to living off these achingly brief flashes.
But I can’t and would never wish to. Because I see everyone of us and I has the option to make these glimpses the whole picture, not tiny puzzle pieces of it.