For centuries, the basic concepts of time have been determined by numbers – as we all know it, we live and breathe through 365 days in a year. This can be broken down into a universal calendar of 12 months, 52 weeks, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes and 31,536,000 seconds. While the Earth rotates on its axis, the days and nights take turns with their shifts.
But it doesn’t stop there. We always make it seem that time is limited, and that “it is always running out.” No matter the clocks in our sight, we’ve been ingrained with the idea that time is valuable, yet defined by a ticking clock. Fairytales love to romanticise the stroke of midnight as the time where something good or bad may happen. We’re not sure yet. All we know is that we are constantly driven; blinded by the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. It’s a red-suited creature that bears an unnerving resemblance to certain aspects or people in our lives – especially those who lead their lives by the ticking bomb of a watch.
I think as humans, we are always scared of time – we constantly think about it in some situations. We always plan our days ahead with a timed schedule. We diligently work towards deadlines and drown ourselves in a chase because we fear that time is running out, or that there is not enough of it. In some cases, we believe that we won’t be able to make it; that it’ll be too late, or that we’ll never be on time.
Tell me, why is it that we are so dependent on the calendar and the clock? They certainly do not determine our time on this planet. It is a mere thing hanging by a nail. Tell me again, why do we choose to be driven by deadlines and mistake them as our reasons to meet our goals? Why do we do this to ourselves? Time is not finite – it is just another common misconception perpetuated by time.
Repeat after me: We always have time. We do not run out of time. There is still time.
I feel that timing is a concept we should start to embrace. Timings have always been overshadowed by its glorified siblings: Coincidence and Fate. Beautiful as they are, they are secretly not that special. If you actually think about it, they’re both the same. They are both just romanticised individuals raised by numbers. Timings, however, can be right and wrong. I agree they are the black sheep of the family with their imperfections and all, but they can be just as right.
I figured that God gives us a tumultuous period of time for a reason. What we perceive as a mere inconvenience could actually be a blessing in disguise. I think they are the lessons we should take the time to properly observe. To properly tackle and learn. I think there’s a lot of significance to the concept of timings, even if they escalate to worse things. In other words, bad timings are the way to be stronger in terms of the way we adapt and survive in life. Change is always something we resent at first but grow to love.
I also think that God means to teach us (humans) that we can survive as we go along. That is, we will find our way back in time. No matter how the hours and seconds disappear from our fingers, there is a definite taste of fate which may end in pure happiness later on. There is always time for happiness, even if the acquisition requires saving up all your dimes. Being frugal is practically a requirement now. It’s just that we’re so focused on our fears that we forget to set some aside for ourselves.
When time starts to define our lives, we tend to miss out on so many good things. When you decide to turn your back and invest all of your energy on something, you don’t see the arrival of the perfect we’ve always wanted. Or, in some cases, you’re blind to enjoying the one thing that’s so much better than what you’re originally sticking to. Just like that, the perfect timing is gone in the blink of an eye.
We’re meant for great things, both you and I. I do not stop for time; you shouldn’t either. We are incredibly resilient. Our bodies have been built in a way that we can withstand the heat and the cold. We can grit our teeth through hunger, the absence of sleep, and the thirst for water. Some of us have lived through wars (literally and figuratively), no matter how bloody they can be. Just because it’s difficult now, it doesn’t mean it’s time to stop. Keep going, keep trying. You do not stop for time just because it’s easy.
There is a victory at the end of the tunnel we have to witness. Do not stop fighting even if there are knives trickling down your spine. Our bodies are an ongoing battle; it does take time, but we do heal. We do recover from all the crimes of illness, the wear-and-tears, and injuries embedded into your skin. Admit surrender as you please, but our bodies do replace what was missing. Wounds can only heal in time that way, and we survive.
Look at you; you survived. You did not run out of time. You swam through rivers of tears and found your way back to the earth. You manoeuvred through mangroves of change and found catharsis in the herd. We develop calluses and paper cuts on our fingers because sometimes, we have to sacrifice to survive. We had to have our wings severed, and trials completed to error. Games were lost, but it’s alright. You have paid the price, but you will find victory in time.
There is always time. None of the worst is ever permanent. You may think it so in the present, but the future says otherwise. Give it a chance and come back in five years. You will realise it in time, or you will cease to remember. That does not mean anything, however – it was temporary. It always is.
There is always time for everything, be it whatever you need. There’s always time to broaden your horizons and pursue your dreams – live them for me. There’s always time to enrich your thinking – cross paths with a different career or go back to school. There’s always time to travel – leap over the oceans and seas to return to your roots. There’s always time to move on; to fall in love, to change, to heal and to be happy. Age is a just number like time – start a family if you’re ready, or forgive your current one. Let go of growing pains and just go with your gut. Who cares what anyone thinks?
You are already enough. Time should not stop for you, or for the seasons in your life. Evolution and growth are processes not to be rushed. Slow and steady wins the race. Take a break if you may, and let go of certain things if you have to. There is still time for the best version of yourself – you’re allowed to take a break if the world can be too much sometimes.
You have the time, and it is yours. Not theirs.
It’s just a matter of deciding when and how you want to use it.
By Natasha Effendy