A wise and wonderful woman paused me mid-rant to share with me a few sage words.
"My new trick is to instead of thinking about future events in moments, thinking about them in time frames," she told me. "Though you don't know much about it all now, I personally think it's comforting to know that the version of yourself who does know is only a few days ahead of you."
First of all, of course, how dare she pause my incoherent angry babbling to offer me something that inspired me enough for written word? The nerve of that absolutely incredible lady. She placed something completely profound smack dab in the middle of my mind, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since.
Since then, I've continued to mill the thought of time frames over and over in my head, pitting it against all of my unrealistic stress over every second. I've found all too quickly that my body tends to react as if each single moment will determine my entire fate, as if each second that passes is for some reason not going to pass this time. As if the steady flow of time has one foot on the brakes, prepared to quick stop for my mistakes.
Time frames are a different story altogether. It's an opportunity to look at your life in both the present and the future. Obviously, you're not seeing what happens next; you're simply reminding yourself that this moment of unknown or uncertainty or doubt or pain or trial is just that. A moment. A singular happenstance in the grand scheme of your life.
Imagine for a moment that your life is a movie. One lengthy feature played out over the landscape of your mind for however long you have. You can view it beginning to end, watching the slow, steady winding of time go until the little bar at the bottom of your screen has traversed all the way to the other side. The entire movie is there, all parts intact, all scenes in order, everything in place.
Now break down that movie in terms of frames.
Some amount of frames are playing every second all throughout the movie. On a smaller scale, those frames are each massively important. Arguably, they are on any scale, but when you're up close, those frames seem like everything. They're the building blocks of your entire feature. They're the reason your movie came together at all, the necessities that make a functioning film. On their own level, the frames are all that matter. They loom large and inescapably over your movie, each one seeming larger than the last.
Now take a step back. Fit all of the frames into place, and play the movie in full.
On their own level, yes - frames do loom large in both size and importance. And yes, without frames, the movie couldn't come together at all. But when you take a step back and view the movie in its entirety, frames disappear. They each work together to create a functioning picture, but the importance of each lies with the whole, not with all the small moving parts. If one frame were to horrifically malfunction, the movie itself would barely be fazed. There are ample chances for mistakes to be made, but there are also ample opportunities for successes that will vastly outweigh the others.
Time frames are a reminder that moments are finite. They will come to an end, and on the other side of them you can regroup and reevaluate. While in a moment, you will feel as if it is your everything, so before you choose to take a step in, remind yourself that one single, solitary moment is all that it is. Before you realize it, it will have passed. You'll be standing on the other side of it with more information than you had before, ready to face the next moment that comes along.
Take life one time frame at a time. Keep moving forward, take time for the grander scale, and appreciate moments for the finite opportunities they are as you push on into the future.