As a teenager, I never thought much about you. The passing of you, Time, was exciting: new experiences like high school and college, new responsibilities like driving and living on my own, and new opportunities like getting on TV and traveling the world. My perspective on you, Time, was carefree. I never thought about how quickly you moved or how much power you had to create change. But as I have gotten older, you have made me wiser.
In my late 20’s, I started to think about you more. With each birthday that passed, I thought about all the goals that I had yet to achieve and felt like I couldn’t work hard enough or fast enough. And so, throughout my 20’s, I felt like I was racing you. Every weekend, late nights, I put in the work. I moved away from my family to take jobs that would offer me new opportunities, and I walked away from relationships to give myself that space I thought I needed to win that race against you. Back then, I was excited about what was to come and didn’t mind the distance from everything and everyone I knew.
Then by my 30’s, you started to change my appearance and body. My face is a little more narrow. My eyes and forehead with a few more wrinkles. You also began to change the circle of people around me. My grandmother wanted nothing more than to see me or my brother get married, but you took her away before that happened. In fact, by my 30’s, you took away all of my grandparents. And that’s not all. In my 30s, thanks to you, everyone from doctors to strangers on the street ask me when I will have children. While I may not be ready to have children, you seem to have more say about that than I do.
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In my 30s, it started to hit me that you are extremely limited. That carefree attitude I had in my teens is gone. And that race I was in in my 20s seems trivial. See, when I realized how quickly you passed and how limited we really are when it comes to you, Time, the places I traveled, and the accomplishments I achieved in my career, did not seem at all significant.
Instead, when I think about Time, I think about my parents, who cheered as loud as they could at every soccer game. My mom helped me study for nearly every test, and my dad hyped me up for every sport I played. When my fourth-grade crush pretended to throw up when he found out I liked him, my mother sat in bed with me that night and told me I was beautiful. She told me every day, I was only going to get prettier and prettier. When I started my business, my dad asked me why I was so stressed. I told him if I failed, I was afraid it would let him down. He told me the only thing that could ever let him down is a bad attitude.
When I think about Time, I think about my brother, who is quiet but thoughtful. I remember how he taught me how to read, write, and ride a bike. He is the one who told me I could and should start my own company. Despite having a demanding job and his own life, he is always there to guide me and help me.
When I think about Time, I think about my best friend and all the nights we went out dancing until our feet hurt or drove around playing music in the car, as if it was the best night of our lives.
It’s all those moments, I wish you would just let me hold onto a little longer or go back to for a day or two. But you won’t allow it.
And that is why, Time, you scare the heck out of me. Sometimes you even make me angry. I hate that you are limited. I hate that you give me and everyone else an expiration date. I hate that those beautiful moments in my life pass by – and some never return. Quite frankly, sometimes you are cruel, and I wish you would give us so much more of you. But with that said, what I have also realized is that if you were unlimited or maybe even if there was a lot more of you, I may have never learned to appreciate, or fully value and enjoy what matters in life, and that is love.
While you give me heartache and stress, you also give me the perspective that the most fulfilling and meaningful part of life has nothing to do with what you achieve or the places you visit but rather the people you have by your side along the way.
Your eternal friend and nemesis,
P.S. Click here to enter our contest and write a letter to time, or write a letter to yourself about the perfect way to spend your time.
3 thoughts on “Dear Time, sometimes you are so cruel and sometimes you are beautiful…”
This one was really great Lauren. Time takes many things away from us, some a lot sooner than we’d like. It certainly did for me. Even my clock seemed like it was out of time, 10 years ago I was battling early stage congestive heart failure due to neglecting my health. I thought the hands on the clock would soon strike my chime from this world. 10 years later and the clock hasn’t called me name yet, but it has taken others from me. I fight against its ticks and tocks everyday in search of the happiness I’ve searched long and hard for. Hopefully time grants me enough space to do something great for this world.
Good story Lauren 🙂
“Your eternal friend and nemesis”.
I love that! Interesting read!