By Bryan Johnson
No matter where we go or what we do, time is always with us. We have no control over time; it’s a continuum that doesn’t have a beginning or an end. Time never starts, stops, pauses, slows down, or speeds up. Time moves at the same speed every single second of our lives, pushing us into the biggest fear of all, the unknown future. Most days we aren’t aware of the presence of time until it becomes relevant. Time can be represented by the grandfather clock chiming on the mantel, the beeping of the watch on your wrist, or the push of the home button on your iPhone.
Everyday, we wake up and forget that time controls our lives. Everyday time sets our schedules and guides us through the day. Time is pivotal to the daily function of our lives and society. Time is a subtle constant that is often misconceived as having a limit. The only limit that can be placed on time is man made and it only lasts until the alarm rings. Without time the sun and moon would rise and fall leaving us with any sense of direction.
Time is often perceived as being a numerical reference. Numbers that represent when we wake up for work or when we eat meals throughout the day. Seconds into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years. Suddenly time flies by, ours lives pass us by, and we wonder where the years went. The best way to interpret time is by removing the numerical aspect. Instead we should be remembering the minutes and days as experiences, the weeks and months as memories, and then the years come together giving us knowledge and wisdom.
Time makes people grow, literally and figuratively. Everyone knows that time makes you grow from a newborn to a full grown adult. Even though time controls how our bodies physically change, it has a bigger impact on how we grow as individuals. Time allows us to hone our skills and talent into ability. Ability that allows us to be positive contributing members of society. The ability to have an impact on other peoples lives, even if it’s just one person. Time gives us a sense of direction and purpose in life. Ultimately, time teaches us lessons as we wade through each chapter of life and it allows us to grow into the best version of yourself.
As time pertains to our lives the common metaphor for time is a book. Each chapter of this book represents time spans throughout our life. We title those chapters as the childhood years, high school and college years, and then our adult life. As we endeavor on fruitful experiences during our life we start chapters, fill those pages with the contents of the memories and experiences, and eventually we end each chapter. Without time we would not be able to fill the content of our book. Time represents those years and allows us to reflect on those experiences as the booking is being written.
Time lets us remember all of our firsts, the first kiss, the first death, the first child, and the first love. It also allows us to remember all the lasts, the last time you spoke to someone, the last memory you shared, or the last time you saw them. First impressions are incredibly important in the beginning, but over time things change. Time allows that change to occur and that first eventually becomes a last. That last is the impression that stands over time because it’s the most recent. Even if that last was years ago it’s the memory that stands the test of time.
Time allows us feel every emotion imaginable. It allows us to feel the happiness of being alive and the sadness that comes with life as well. It allows us to celebrate the happy moments in life that we share with loved ones. The joy of bringing a child into the world or accomplishing a life long dream. Time also makes us suffer through sad times. When the death of family member or friend happens for no reason. Sadness that makes you sit and wonder why? How?
Time allows us to feel the stresses of life, those deep down feelings wondering if you’ll make it through that certain period of time. The stress of having your back against the wall, when the light at the end of the tunnel is barely shinning. Time then allows us to persevere through stress. Time can give us motivation and courage to keep moving forward step-by-step. Time gives us the encouragement to exit our comfort zones. To chase after new excitement and to conquer the fears we’ve always had. The emotions time allows all of us to experience are boundless.
Time allows us to love. It gives us the ability to take that giant leap, to go after that crush you’ve always had. It allows us to learn about that person. We learn about their passions, desires, fears, and goals. We learn the stranger behaviors they do unconsciously. Time allows us to become blindly attracted to all of their flaws. Time makes them become your first thought in the morning and night. It allows them to be on your mind 24/7. As the time passes by you become unmindful of the world around you during the memories you create. The times you hugged and kissed. The times you laughed and cried. The times you held hands on the beach or sang out all the words at the concert.
Time allows us to alter our behavior and to act without thinking, becoming spontaneous in the moment. To grab them by their hips pulling them towards your body in a crowded place. Kissing them as if it’s just the two of you, as if time stopped and no one could see you two. It allows you to let your guard down and let someone else see who you really are. Time allows you to be vulnerable in front of them and for you not to feel judged. It allows us to love them in the purest definition of the word. Time allows you to build the trust that they won’t let go. Trusting them not to break your heart. Time allows those butterfly feelings to develop into something much greater, true love.
Time also allows us to be hurt and to feel heartbreak. It allows you to realize that the love you two once felt is over and you can’t get it back. Time allows you to realize that the one person who made you feel the ultimate definition of happiness can bring you to the darkest corners of sadness. Time allows you to get to the point of crying harder than you ever have before. It makes you realize that your tears will never run out, that there is an endless supply. Time allows you to feel the pain of having your heart ripped through your chest crying over them until you can barely breath.
Time makes you feel the pain of utter heartbreak, pain like you’ve never felt before. It will make you reach for something that is no longer there, something that was once part of your entire life. Time will make your phone no longer ding with their name flashing across the screen. It will end the daily good morning, good night, and all the conversations in between. Time makes you realize the fairytale you once planned isn’t going to be with them anymore. Time will make them no longer think of you all day. It will make them stop fighting for that deep love they once felt, a fire you thought could never be extinguished. Time will make you feel like you are suffocating, gasping for a breath, and the hand you once held will no longer be there.
Time will also allow you to heal. It will be your best friend and your worst enemy. The minutes on the clock will move slowly and the hours won’t pass by fast enough. The days and weeks won’t blur together like they used to, but eventually time heals all. Time can’t erase the scars, but it can heal the wound. As the healing proceeds time will allow us to gain perspective on what used to be. It allows us to look at a situation from a different light. Time can turn a negative into a positive. It allows us to realize what is most important. It allows us to focus on ourselves and the things we want in life. Time allows us to look forward to something and eventually time will allow you to move on with you life, but time will never allow you to completely forget.
There is one certainty about time. Any given situation in our lives only has a certain amount of time before it ends. Nothing in our lives last forever, except time. Nothing can change time or stop it from continuing. No amount of money can change continuum of time. No matter what happens in the world everything will eventually come to end, but time will forever continue to tick away.
As you look back on your life, all those years you’ve experienced seem to blend together, becoming one big blurred memory. The beauty of time is how most people can recall a certain span of time and highlight every single aspect of those memories. Time that moved by so fast we forgot to stop and gaze upon the beauty of the moment. Yet for some reason we can remember all the details. We can distinctly remember all the senses we felt. The warmth of the sun on our bare skin, the laughter of your children in the other room, the way the engine of the car purred as you accelerated down the road, and the way a gaze from your loved one could level you. The essence of time is a beautiful thing.
Time teaches us to treat each day as if it was our last. A quote that we hear in every motivational story, but something most of us fail to do. Time allows you to measure your life by more than just the years that passed by. Time allows you to make the most of those years. It gives us the opportunity to turn the journey of life into something memorable and inspiring. Vivid memories of “the best times of your life” can be passed on to future generations.
The wisdom we’ve learned can evade the barrier of our lifespan. Time can escape the grasp of father time. Even though our life span is represented by the numerical aspect of time, our lives do not have to be contained within that time frame. If time is an endless force why not contribute to the future of it?