By Kevinn Chan
In one way or another, we’ve all witnessed the speed of time change right before our eyes. The clock slows down when we stare at it, almost as if the second-hand knows it’s being watched. It taunts us. When we’re doing 1-minute planks or when we’re waiting for the weekend to come, time seems to be taking its time. And the opposite happens when we desperately hope for time to stop. For some reason, time simply refuses to cooperate.
I’ve been thinking about this lately because of a recent build-up of anxiety. And in hindsight, most, if not all, of my anxiety stems directly from impatience. I feel that my struggle with the speed at which time travels has reached the point of no control; it’s only when I’m asked my age when I’m brought back down to reality. But still, most times, when I’m less mindful of the shortness of my stay on this planet, the heart races when productivity is low and the mind rushes when things aren’t happening soon enough.
The more I thought about this, the clearer it became to me. Time is uncertain, dark, and unstable when looking forward, but when we review the past, time is sure, clear (most of the time, at least), and fixed. When focused on the past, time has already gone and now we’re here. This means, today is the day we had anticipated a few months ago. Now is the moment we were once impatient about, the moment we’ve been waiting for.
So I’ve begun looking back, at the things I used to hope for, to get up everyday knowing full well why I woke up that day, to be excited for Mondays, and to have great, deep relationships among many others, and it’s helped place me in the present moment. We’re not there yet, far from it, but we’re somewhere along the way.
Impatience is the agitation of looking ahead, while patience is the calm of measuring the trail blazed from the day we set our goals to the present moment, goals unrealized and all. But from that point to now, certain events and experiences must have occurred to get us here, no matter how far or near that distance may be. If we’re always on the edge about things yet to come, we miss out on the things the things that already have. In some sense, it’s a matter of looking at the right direction, at the right moment, something I’m still struggling to learn and embrace.