Time is strange, you don’t see it going by until it’s gone. Seconds change into minutes, minutes into hours and so it goes. It feels slow when it starts off, but when we think about it later, it feels like a flash. It feels like it was only days ago that I was a teenager with an attitude to match. I have a habit of always asking for more time. I never think I have enough time. I get angry at life when every change comes when I least expect it almost like rude surprises. Change is the only constant and even though we accept it, it feels fresh every time.
No matter how much I have tried to makes sense of change, I have never dealt with it well. When seasons change it takes a toll on me both emotionally and physically. Since I have been here, Winter has turned into Spring and now Summer has set in. I can barely handle it, alarm bells are going off in my head, screaming, “NOOOOOO!” No, I am not crazy, I am just someone who lives in my head the entire time and I am only in touch with reality when the weather changes. If it rains I’ll catch a cold, if it’s Winter I’ll have chapped lips and dry skin for months and when it’s Summer I get migraines thanks to the heat. So for the first couple of days of every season, I am the unhappiest.
Now that Summer has set in, I have been sweating even without moving a limb. The other day I was doing Yoga, and I could not hold a pose because my hands were slipping on the mat thanks to the unwelcome sweat. That’s when it hit me, it’s March and save for going to buy groceries, to the therapist, the doctor and for movies I have been on the same couch for at least 17 hours every day straight. I am not proud of it. Of course, I have been alternating between lying down and sitting up, they’re like partial crunches if I count that as exercise. I do get up to go to the kitchen and the washroom. But overall I am planted on that couch perpetually.
Today I actively pondered the crucial changes in the life of someone who has a routine, whose sleeping position stays the same, who is punctual to a fault and whose religion is time. I feel like I figured it out, in a world of change, I have made my own constants. Sometimes you just let change happen, even when something changes, some things won’t. Yes, I grew from a four-foot midget to a five-foot-seven clutz but my dressing sense stayed actively the same, the same baggy t-shirts and shorts, some that my Mum begs me to give up even now. You hold on to certain things. I used to hate my blanket with teddy bears on it when I was a kid, that I chose mind you. I conveniently forced my sister to use it when I didn’t like it back then. Now I cling to it, it’s a lifeline to my childhood.
My height changed, so did my handwriting, but my thoughts are still childish. The memories only grew in quantity whether sad or happy, the content stayed pretty much the same. The characters in my life grew up with me. I look at photographs, my dad’s hair turned from black to grey and finally to white, mine from short to long, but the smiles remain the same. It’s interesting thinking of then and now.
My therapist said I can start meeting her once in 10 days rather than 7, a small but marked improvement. I couldn’t help but think how much has changed, I entered this year with thoughts of death and with little will to live, suddenly I feel more alive than ever. Change doesn’t have to be loud to wake you up, it can be things you notice much later. There’s much to learn from change, who stays and who goes, what to regret and what to celebrate, what you can win and what you had to lose. Change is not always happy, it’s not meant to be so, but it’s always relevant.
Change taught me not to make promises for a ‘lifetime’, or ‘forever’. They sound beautiful and make for great stories, but they don’t last. I am still regretting certain promises I made and couldn’t keep, to myself and to others. There are things I said that I now wish I could take back, and there are things I wished I had said when I had the chance. I have grieved over change and I have been relieved by it too. I used to blame change for my pitfalls and I realised as much as change has tripped me, it has picked me up. If things didn’t change life would be like food without salt. Yes, we’re only given one chance to do things right, but change gives you the power to move on and to value what you’re given. Change is the world’s first functioning time-machine that only goes forwards. Men may come and men may go but time goes on forever.