A matter of time
As I was watching a documentary yesterday on quantum theory, I saw that Albert Einstein was a pretty phenomenal physicist; he created theories that drastically challenged the way we see the world. And while he may have passed away attempting to disprove his own speculations wrongfully, he was right about one thing; time moves at different speeds. And I am not referring to the elaborate, intricate, science-filled quantum mechanics of time dilation, I am talking about the much lighter topic of time passing either instantly or gradually based on our perception.
For a moment now, picture this: I'm thirteen years old, sitting down at my desk, minding my own business. I was completing a task that now seems trivial, as I hear an alarming noise coming from the kitchen. It was my mom; she was crying. I stand up curious, wondering if I'd cause more trouble than help by going in when my dilemma is resolved by loud stomps headed in my direction. As my mother enters my room I would come to experience the longest twenty seconds of my life, "Your grandfather has cancer" she said, choking on her own words.
What happened afterwards is irrelevant, today my Grandpa is alive and getting better every day. They performed an operation and it succeeded. But what is still shocking to me is the fact that those few seconds seemed to have gone by much slower than any other moment ever has. We have all lived it: How vacations seem to end way too quickly, how every day we write the date down and before we know it, the year has gone by. And after first-hand experiencing the shortest week of my life in Punta Cana, I won't settle down with the childish explanation that 'time flies when you are having fun.'
As I was saying; Punta Cana, a week that condensed into seconds to my discernment. We arrived at the island on a Monday, and from then the days went away in a flash. I would wake up in the middle of the week not knowing what day it was, and not wanting to find out for that matter either. I was aware that time would fly, but I never expected it to go by that quickly. Addressing the elephant in the room, yes, the class of 2017 just came back from prom trip, and though it may have been a week-long journey I feel as if those days passed quicker than the twenty-second bad news update given to me a few years ago by my mother.
Now that I have returned home, I experience the opposite. I spend minutes undividedly staring at the clock waiting for time to speed up, but nothing seems to happen. It's as if the act of recognition makes moments last even longer. For me, it's an issue of awareness. The more you seem to count the time the slower it seems to pass. At the end of the day, there are several theories that attempt to explain this baffling phenomenon, but none poses a direct answer. I guess we all just have to learn to live a life where every second counts because in the blink of an eye it may pass away.
As cheesy as it may sound, appreciating every moment -be it good or bad- is the only way to make sure that it was of value; because no cherished second will ever be wasted. My grandfather's illness may have caused for some pretty sorrowful moments, but those experiences taught me strength and hope. And as for Punta Cana, as fast as it may have gone by, it created some of the most ever-lasting memories I will always treasure.
10/19/2015 11:50:05 am
Hey Fran! I’ve read your blogs since the start of 10th grade and you have improved enormously in every aspect. This post has 3 main ideas: Einstein, your grandpa, prom trip. But what I find most incredible is that you found a way to connect all these three concepts and made them fit perfectly together. It is a very special post for me because I can connect to some of the aspects. Even if I couldn’t go to Punta Cana, I have experienced that moment when time goes by so quickly. Yet I believe that in those moments you learn more. I made a bit of a research and learned that there is a relationship between the energy spent thinking and the experience of duration. So when you find out something sad, you think so much about it that it seems like it has been an eternity. 30 seconds can actually seem like 1 hour.
10/20/2015 02:36:19 pm
Allegra, thanks a lot! :) Hope to see you soon! And thanks for taking the time to give me such amazing feedback, it means a lot.
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