The subject of time is a broad one – this I know. But it’s something I’ve been thinking about so much lately. Almost constantly, if I’m being honest. How quickly it seems to pass one day, how slow it seems to pass the next. How time can heal wounds and at the same time, open them wider. How in certain moments I imagined my life so much different than what it is now, and other moments I remember that I’m exactly where I need to be.
So lets start with that first point.
The moments where time absolutely takes off – leaving us scratching our heads in confusion saying “well how the hell did that happen?” It seems like just yesterday I was on the plane moving down to South Florida from my hometown of Chicago – like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to all of my friends, my loft in Printers Row, our sweet doorman, soaking up the scenery of the place I’d become truly myself and the people that helped in that creation.
We’ve lived here for 13 months now. We bought our first home. Trent hit his one year anniversary at work. I’ve developed two amazing, beautiful friendships. The kind where you wonder how you spent the longer portion of your life not knowing them. (the best, and so rare) I don’t know how that all happened so quickly, and I don’t know how the hell I’m already 31. I don’t know how my baby niece is already walking and trying to say my name. I don’t know how it’s been 8 months since I’ve last seen my sister (by far the longest we’ve gone) and I don’t know what we’d do without FaceTime.
When time travels quickly like this – it brings up so many different emotions. First: I freak out. I panic at the fact that it seems like I’m driving a race car, flying by every single moment in my life. It’s there for a moment, and then it’s gone – just like that. Then, I find myself in a place of calm. I relish in the memories, I thank myself for always taking the time to write about my experiences, document them with my camera or my phone. I cherish them, I sink into them and I talk about them. I bring them back to life through words and stories. For me, this makes it seem a little less fleeting. The panic subsides. The calm takes over.
Isn’t it funny though, that life seems to pass so quickly when we’re enjoying the ride? On vacation, visiting family and friends, a beach day, doing the job that we love, seeing our favorite artist in concert, watching a child grow.
The times we’re struggling is when it seems to crawl. When we’re sick with the flu, when growing a child (or so I’ve heard), watching someone in pain, arguing with a loved one. These are the times we all need grace. Patience. That light at the end of the tunnel.
These are the times that test us as human beings.
And much how time can heal wounds, time can also heighten their suffering. This one hits close to home for me when it comes to the loss of my dad. Time may in some ways have lessened the brutality of it. I can take deep breaths now. I have an appetite again. I can channel my hurt at the gym instead of sleeping for most of the day. I can say his name without crying or cursing the universe. I can toss a piece of paper that has his name on it. I no longer have to smell his cologne every day just to feel normal or half alive. I’m not on anti-depressants anymore, and I no longer see a grief counselor on a regular basis.
But I still grieve at the distance that’s between us. I cry realizing that the photos that I’ve gone through, those are it. That’s all I have. There won’t be new ones created. I lose sleep over the fact that he wasn’t here Earth side when I bought my first home. That he won’t walk me down the aisle and he won’t meet my babies. The distance grows, my life continues, and his physical self isn’t here to bare witness – to tell me he’s proud, or that maybe he would have done things differently. I give myself grace here, because I know he’s around. I feel him often, and a lot of my decisions stem from channeling our bond and having a good sense of the advice he would have given me.
That’s the thing about distance in the concept of time – it stops for no one. Life keeps on going. Through pain, through joy, through triumphs and failures. It demanding to be spent, no matter the circumstances.
And since that’s the absolute truth, I want to spend my time in the present. Right here, in the now.
I don’t want to waste my moments worrying about yesterday or what tomorrow will look like. I want to wake up each day with a flexible plan. One that allows for rest and relaxation, puppy snuggles and lingering in cashmere robes. One that invites friends over who just need to vent, one that allows me to shrug my shoulders at a “to-do” item left uncrossed. I want to make room for people, less room for things. I want to feel grateful for the ticking hand on my watch, for the time that I have – rather than panic that it’s moving forward, moving on.
Take your time.
You are coming home
-The Becoming | Wing