Time Goes By

I never understood what grown-ups meant when they said, “It seems like [insert event here] was only yesterday… Time goes by so fast, doesn’t it?” I was in elementary school; for me, time lingered, whether I was in class reading a book under my desk or out playing in the dirt and the forest at my best friend’s house, making up characters and games and stories. Time couldn’t go by fast. Too many different things happened, and when things are different from second to second, the moments can’t blend together in your mind. Each one stands out, unique, and makes a day last a lifetime.

Things were different this year.

Eleven months and one day ago, I was in Germany. Exactly eleven months ago, I was not. Somehow, that eleven months and one day seems more recent than a great many things that have happened since. Since I came back to the States and especially since I started school, everything has been incredibly similar. As the moments passed, they dragged; every one was so like the last that they couldn’t do anything else in my mind. But that same similarity has warped my memories of the past year. A few things stand out, but for the most part, it all blurs together and, now that I look back, it all seems to have gone by so fast. Suddenly it was the end of the year, and nothing seemed to have had time to change. There’s absolutely no way a whole season at my old theatre could possibly be over; there wasn’t enough time to do all those shows since I left. But it is over, and even though my memories of the place and the shows I did are so sharp that if I close my eyes, I can be there again, it has been a full year – five shows – since I was there, and now there’s a list of a second season which I will not be able to see. It’s completely impossible, but there you have it. Time passes very differently when the days lose adventure.

I’m a teenager, nearly an adult (as my driver’s license so kindly reminds me with its “under 18 until” label whose date ends with this year), but I am not grown up in the slightest. I am not ready to go out and face a world where every day is the same, where one day I will stop and look back and go, “God, was that production of Romeo and Juliet really ten years ago?” or “It’s been fifteen years since I graduated college – where did the time go?” Just thinking about living that kind of life terrifies me. It’s so bad that I can’t even write this post all at once – I have to keep getting up and walking away for a minute so I don’t get overwhelmed. I have always wanted an adventure. I want to travel the world, help solve crimes, or maybe just keep writing, because if I’m doing those things, the day can never lose its adventure. Nothing will ever be the same. It will be impossible for the minutes to blend and fade into the nothingness I’m so frightened of. I’ll be able to really live.

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