Time is something so pliable that no one experiences it quite the same way. You can be driving in through the farm lands of lower Ontario and pick up on every difference or similarity to your home that time stretches farther than it has since you were six-years-old. In contrast, things can weigh you down and every moment can be so overwhelming that every difference or similarity to your normal routine makes time seem to stretch farther than it has since you were six-years-old.
I am always entertained by the juxtaposition of life. When it comes to time, joy and fear elicit the same response, at least in the perception of time. Times when I have been happiest, fullest of joy, hold long strips of my memory. Times when I have been fearful also hold huge chunks of my consciousness. That bland Tuesday from seven years ago…not so much.
Having a conversation in Portuguese in Brazil with a woman I loved, despite our cultural gaps about the tragedy of Brazilian people trying to sneak across the border to the States….that is one of my happiest, most vivid memories; and in truth the conversation was probably only five minutes, but the way I see time in that memory—it was at least a week long discussion.
Crawling out of the passenger door of a flipped jeep on a dark country road, and watching strangers use human force to upright the car so my trapped mother could get out and then watching the jeep roll down an embankment…that’s one of the most terrifying memories; time in that memory seems to multiply with each second.
When it comes to time though, the experience is all dependent on how you regard the unknown. There are a lot of unknowns in the world, in my most vivid examples, it’s not knowing if I can actually intellectually interact with someone from another culture or not knowing if my mom would survive that car wreck. Polarizing examples, but both are times when the concept of time seemed most fluid in my life; it was the unknown of those situations and how I regarded them.
Approach the unknown with joy and excitement or fear and cautiousness and you’ll get a moment that strecthes on and on in your memories years from now. This knowledge feels for some reason to be incredibly empowering.