Where Have the Years Gone?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I think I might understand the way time works: how its passing is impossible to see but when it's gone, you feel it.” - Lysley Tenorio

Time is a funny thing. It has a way of seeming to pass so slowly in the moment, and yet eventually you look back and wonder where it's gone. Each day may well seem as long as a lifetime, yet as more and more go by, you look back and see that you have come so much farther than you thought you had. You think about things happening in three years and think, "Oh! That's a long time from now. I have a while." But if you look back to three years ago, you realize that it hardly seems to have taken a week.

When people used to talk about how time passed so quickly, I would think to myself, "Ha! I don't know what world you're living in, but it's sure not the same as mine! Things always come so slowly in my world. I wish time passed quickly!" As I have grown older, though, my perception of things has changed. I don't know exactly what it is about getting older, but time seems to just fly by so quickly you can hardly keep up. While days may feel exceedingly long, all put together they seem shorter than each individual day. (A bit like the stable from The Last Battle, but in reverse. Instead of being larger inside than outside, it's smaller inside that outside. (Did that even make sense?))

I guess I haven't really said what it was that has made me realize how much time has passed. It's not really one incident, but a collection of happenings put together. In fact, I am reminded of it on an almost daily basis.

Today, my not-so-little sister made cookies. Nearly all by herself. The only things I did were call out ingredients, help with stirring, and take it out of the oven. I still remember when she was born. I remember holding her for the first time. I remember her first birthday, and her first Christmas. (Not that she did much that first Christmas.) I remember her first year of dance. So many “firsts.” And now she's getting so grown up! She does things on her own, she is independent and has a mind that never ceases to amaze.

Another reminder of the passing of time is at the exact opposite end of the spectrum. The end that makes me feel so young still. My older sister. With her, instead of thinking so much about her “firsts”, I am thinking about how many “lasts” there are now. Her last year of high-school. Her last year of dance. Her last few years as a teenager. Her last year to share a room with me. Last, last, last. A whole chapter out of both of our lives is finishing. And once it's finished it's... finished.

It's kind of a scary thought, actually. Like coming to a fork in the road that's covered in fog and realizing that my sister and I are both headed somewhere different. I know that may seem a bit melodramatic, but it's how it feels.

It's easy sometimes (especially when I'm feeling down or stressed already) to let the thought of her going away really freak me out. Sometimes I can't help but think, "Oh my gosh! I'll be all by myself! Who will I talk to all the time? Who will I laugh with? Who will I run all my ideas by?" It's at times like that when I have to sort of stop my brain, take a deep breath, and remember that it will be OK. My world will not fall apart. She's not leaving forever. She's not running off never to be seen or heard from again. She'll come visit. We'll still email. If I start working on it now, we might even talk on the phone. Imagine that, huh?! (Did you hear that, Daddy? I just suggested talking on the phone for fun! You should be proud of me.) 

And even though it might seem like it now, it's not like everyone is going away. I'll still have my Mommy and Daddy. I'll still have my friends. I'll still have my other siblings. And above all, I'll still have God. Or, rather, God will still have me. No matter who else in my life moves on, He will always be there. No matter how many people "leave" me (even though my sister isn't really leaving), God isn't going anywhere. 

And in the moments where I feel like worrying, that's what I hold onto. That everything will be OK, that not everyone is leaving, that my world is not going to fall apart, and that no matter who does "leave", God is still there.


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  1. Timing is a funny thing. I've been fearing changes and people coming and going as we get older a lot lately, and especially today for whatever reason. But then I happened upon this, and you really turned my day around. That doesn't really even do it justice. Thank you. :)