We’ve become accustomed to time travel. We travel space and time each day. We can be in one city, converse with someone still in your yesterday and watch something from someone else’s tomorrow. It’s now our norm. We slide in and out of times seamlessly, without any semblance of temporal or spatial lag or consequence. We can, at a touch of a button, shrink the world.
Whilst it’s a blessing, and it’s a mammoth blessing at times, I do think it does something strange to our present. Because we all lose the sense of geographical scale, when you call someone around the corner or across a state or in another continent, they’re there. When you hang up, that other person seems in some way equally distant and unattainable whatever the actual physical distance. It means that you can feel estranged from someone who’s near or talk intimately to someone the other side of the world about the trivia of daily life.
Because we can grab someone’s attention in a heartbeat with a text or a message, minutes can now seem like hours whilst you wait for anything. It feels like you can measure people’s affection, efficiency or worth by the time it takes for them to answer you, instead of how they answer you. And if you don’t like what someone’s saying now, you can just scroll back to the cyber page where you did.
In a world where we feel unceasingly time-poor, it’s scary how easy it is to not be in the present, in the now. I know I used to spend a stupid amount of time worrying about a future as if that somehow gave me clarity. It didn’t. Sometimes I spend stupid amounts of time worrying about things I’ve said in the past as if it will help me in that moment. It won’t. And I’ve hidden in myself in limbo cyber-worlds as an escape to a moment I didn’t like.
At some point, I have to make myself just sit back and relax, let what has and what might flow away to either what is ‘done’ or just ‘ to come’. I have to set everything else aside enough to realise that time travel is down to me and, that once I do it, I can never actually get that living moment back. I can’t grow if I actually sit through the hard bits. And I can’t expect to be satisfied with life if I’m not, just sometimes, be grateful for that moment whatever it is, with no emotional legacy or expectation in my actual physical, tangible, fleeting moment life.
If I choose to time travel now, I try to do it with an honest awareness and love rather than adding nostalgia or projections into the fuel of the journey. It’s harder than it sounds. But it’s worth it!