There’s a belief in time, well I guess it’s more of a belief if the entire world centers around it. Even more so, the entire world revolves around the sun and the sun’s movements dictate daylight and daylight determine time so, after a run-on sentence that would make my all English teachers cringe I suppose I’ve concluded that time is more than a belief, it is a reality. But what I do propose is this: the impact of time is relative.

I think I can trace this overly introspective and attempt-at-being-philosophical-even-though-I’m only-19 statement to two principle events, that, if looking at time in the commonly accepted form of things, occurred during my junior and senior years of high school.

In class, we read “On the Rainy River,” a chapter from my favorite book, The Things They Carried. There are a plethora of ways of interpreting Tim O’Brien’s writing, but in my teacher Ms. Purcell’s classroom, we were most interested in moral journeys, and how a single interaction can change everything. Without delving into too much detail, much of which would be insufficient in describing the discussions Ms. Purcell lead, I learned this: a person can change everything, even if they were in your life for five minutes. And, even more significantly, you may have had no impact on their life. This may sound sad, it certainly did to me when I was 16 and angsty, and I’m sure I posted something on Tumblr about it, but in reality, it’s empowering.

The next instance came a little over a year after that, when my friend Ally told me to read the book Just One Day. Written by the same author as If I Stay, I expected a teen-centered heart-wrenching 250 pages, but what I got was a belief that will stay with me longer than one day. The crux of what both Ally and I extracted was this: it takes one day to change everything. More than that, people have the ability to stain you, a little reminder staying with you forever.

So, why is any of this relevant? I think that people sometimes look at things, events in their lives, with the wrong measurements. Maybe it’s time for everyone to change the measurements and the rules, the same technique I used for geometry.