3 years ago, I was a few months into marriage, living with my husband who I thought I loved then but didn’t know that I would love so much more every year that went by. I was a few months past the comfort that was student life, and though it was daunting, I had never felt so free, so myself and no one else. I was a few months into the lightness that I knew would reward me after the toughest year I’d ever been through, and every waking second was a reminder of why I stood my ground. I was a few months into living in a city I adore and still do, with my friends close by and the lifestyle of a twenty-something that I’d always hoped for. And I remember thinking, and saying out loud, “I want time to stop so I can enjoy this for as long as possible”.
If I could turn back time, I would tell myself that it only gets better. That I might think I’m happy now, but 3 years later, I’ll be the happiest. And that time only goes faster the happier you are – and no, it won’t slow down for you. It won’t wait for you. It will shorten the days you want to hold on to, and it will laugh at you for wishing otherwise.
I hit 29 last month, and as I was wrapping up a weekend of celebrations and seeing almost all of my favourite people, I wondered how almost three decades of my life could have possibly passed by. The week before, we had celebrated the 60th wedding anniversary of two people who have changed my life so completely, and they told us they had no idea how 60 years had gone by either. I wanted to bottle that night up and replay it over and over.
I spend so many of my waking hours thinking about my students, who are young and wide-eyed and teach me more than I could ever teach them. They change and challenge my outlook on music, on life, on friendships and relationships. Their highs are so high, their lows are so low, and although I’m glad to have grown out of the ever-swinging extremes of childhood, they remind me of the passing of time through the blinding unknown of their futures.
It’s not so much a feeling of time running out, but that time is always, always one step ahead. I’m constantly trying to catch up, to rush towards the next while trying desperately to hold on to now. I feel unjustifiably fortunate, and feel greedy for wanting more and for wanting to grasp everyday with both hands just to make them last, and feel shamefully spoilt for fearing that this escalator climb will one day stall, because regression to the mean is inevitable.
Time never stops, it never wanes, it never shows any mercy whether you wish it faster or slower.
If I can’t beat it, I’ll run after it.