Shocked By (The Totally Normal) Progression Of Time
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Shocked By (The Totally Normal) Progression Of Time

On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, when people are supposed to reflect, I did not reflect too deeply.

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Shocked By (The Totally Normal) Progression Of Time

As people ring in the new year, they observe the passage of time. "What are you leaving in 2015?" a friend asked me thirty-one seconds before December 31, 2015, ended. I scrambled for an idea but came up with nothing.

On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, when people are supposed to reflect, I did not reflect too deeply. Maybe it's because I'm proud of my life--but it's probably also because thinking about time makes me feel crazy. It's fast and slow. It's everywhere.

In My Dreams

Dream 1:

"Look, Yasmine!" I shout, gesturing at the lackluster bunk beds that clutter the dark, log-walled hallway. "That was our housing last year!"

"Oh yeah, I remember that!" she says.

I kind of want to live there again, because there are windows by the bunk beds. But we end up in a whitewashed gymnasium with an excess of space and a serious lack of coziness. It's OK, I think. Sophomore year is going to be great.

Even if everything reminds me of a summer camp.

Dream 2:

"Did you take the Calculus notes?" someone asks me.

"What?" Shock. In the back of my mind, I have this beautiful sensation. It's the vague understanding that I will never have to take a focused-on-math course again. (Yeah, it's true--in real life.)

"The calculus notes," they repeat, and I deny my previous intuition; I must have forgotten something, because this is reality, right? Yeah, I am in Calculus. The stress hits me like a runny nose and cough, a crippling addition to life, but I accept it.

These are some of my winter break dreams. Dreaming about returning to college makes sense, of course. But it's strange that I always believe the dreams, and that they include both past haunts (math) and non-existing randomness (the cabin and gym housing). "Onto the next thing!" my mind hums as it tries to anticipate life. I always get fooled and change my knowledge to fit with the dream... before waking up, sighing with relief, and readjusting yet again.

Post-La La Land truth: I still have lots of relaxing time with my family before the second semester starts. Other readjustments: I'm not going to be a sophomore quite yet, my Haverford housing is awesome, and I truly am done with Calculus forever (I hope! Ha ha ha).

Events get tangled in the throes of REM, right? My friend Francesca dreamed that there was a zombie apocalypse at Haverford. All I can do is live while I'm awake. While I'm asleep, though, the passage of time shocks me with its rapid ebb and flow. It almost ceases to exist, and everything happens at once.

In My Traditions

On the dream level, I guess I'm preoccupied with school, and with how much I see my family before I go back, and so on. That's all currently processing through the system. But there are things that have exited the dream cycle and still live in the waking one.

There's a dreamlike quality about holiday patterns. When my siblings and I changed our New Years Eve tradition this year, it felt like a dream; we were thrust into feeling the loss of our Pop Pop Cookie (sadly) and remembering the sleepovers we used to have at his house (fondly). All this emotion can coexist, and must... but there is danger nearby.

There is danger in comparing moments, in viewing the past against the present and thinking about what emotions and events stand between them. I get disoriented and start to think there must be something besides emotions and events.

I want to know the nature of time, but it's this fizzy flame. It could be less or more at any moment. It might not matter, and it's hellishly attractive. I feel something besides emotion; I feel a shock.

In My Phone

Facebook even honors the passage of time now, telling me that a year ago, I was at a wedding with Pop Pop. And I have to believe this information. It's real, not a dream. All these pictures give evidence--I don't try to deny it. I love these pictures.

They might be able to simplify time, because when I scroll through my photos, I feel nostalgia instead of shock. I'm glad I have these pictures.

I'm not leaving them in 2015; I don't plan on leaving them at any point. I'll try not to overthink their mystery, but it's beautiful to behold... from time to time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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