Time. It flows. And keeps flowing.
You’re a fish trying to swim upstream on a current that’s hell-bent on carrying you down. No matter how much you resist, whether you stay still or fight furiously, the current always wins. The waterfall at the end of the river knows no mercy.
You’re trapped in a train. It’s chugging along, oblivious to your existence. Many have come before you; many will come after you. The train spares none. You can see from many miles away that the train’s tracks end abruptly, that all that awaits you is a fiery demise. Nobody escapes.
You’re a human being. You have “hopes” and “ambitions”. You want to do stuff, make things, meet people, travel the world, become rich, famous. You want to leave a legacy. You wake up every day, then spend the next 24 hours sweating, bleeding and crying. Yours is a violent never-ending stupor. Well, not exactly “never-ending”. Oh, end it will! It always does.
It’s like a sword hanging over your head all the time. While you walk, while you talk, while you smile and wave, while you laugh, while you cry, while you’re lost in reverie or fully concentrated, it’s always there, ready to fall at any instant, drawing closer and sharper with every passing second.
I’m 24 years old. If I live to 80 and I read five books a year for the rest of my life, that’s 280 books. That’s all the reading I’ll ever do. Out of the thousands, nay millions, of books out there, I’ll only ever be able to read…280 more.
If I make two new good friends a year, I’ll have a total of 112 more people in my life. The significant ones anyway. Out of the 7 billion and growing, I’ll make meaningful connections with 112. And that’s the best case scenario.
Have you ever waited until the last moment to study for an exam? Do you remember the “There’s just so much to do but no time at all!” feeling that you get a few hours into your all-nighter? If you think about it, really think about it, the whole of life is that way. Sometimes I get scared that while I spend all my time compiling the perfect bucket list, my time on this planet will be over. The final exam will be here and I will be unprepared as usual. It scares me that I might somehow be procrastinating on the act of living itself.
Perhaps the best way to move forward is to accept it. To laugh at the pointlessness of it all. Nothing lasts forever. You won’t either. On lazy Sundays, you may be inclined to believe you have a whole lot of time left to live to your heart’s content. But the thing about lazy Sundays is they don’t last either. The next day you’re back in the rat race, screaming, running, biting, in pursuit of…something. What something? Who knows! All you know is once you get it, you’ll be set. No more anxiety, stress, or sadness — all moments filled to the brim with absolute bliss. You’re convinced it will come. It has to! Life is fair!
“Meaning” and “purpose” are man-made concepts. The universe owes you nothing for existing. It’s not a video game where you play until you reach the last level, kill the bad guy, and it all ends in fireworks and bliss. There is no overarching storyline that connects all the dots of your life. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s okay.
Does this depress me? Does it make me feel sad, anxious? No. Au contraire, I find it liberating! I’m alive! Now. At this moment. And that’s all I know and all that matters. My moments are ticking away and anything I do — or don’t do — in the end I will be swept away by the winds of time. Every single precious moment on this beautiful planet is meant to be cherished and admired, none of it to be regretted.
There it goes, another moment. And all the moments I took to come to this realization, they were beautiful too! It’s all fine, all good. All problems are ephemeral, all anxiety fleeting. Why be stressed out by anything at all? Why be anxious? If your happiness depends on something or someone, it will be taken away. Because things and people are being swept away by the tides of time. “Forever” is a concept that the human mind can never grasp. We never evolved to be able to do so, for obvious reasons. Live this moment out. Smell the roses while they’re here.
You’re here! Alive and kicking! And that’s reason enough to be in a state of serene bliss. Breathe life in; it’s beautiful.