Time and The Absurdity of Time

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My brother just got married last month. Undeniably, it was a happy and joyous occasion worth celebrating, but if I were to reread that sentence again slowly, I was quickly snapped back into the bitter truth of life. My brother, who was 5 years older than me, just got married last month.

It’s absurd! Imagine this, your brother, 5 years older than you, graduated high school after what seemed like only yesterday, is now getting married?! Honestly, that’s terrifying! Before you know it, you’re up next on the list. It’s horrifying, mortifying even. You’re not prepared for that! I’m not prepared for that; I’m not even ready to grow up and yet I’m 19 now!

Back to the wedding, (let’s just say that I was there during the reception), I can’t help but cringe at the phrase “time flies so fast” said by my distant aunties and uncles who I’ve last seen when I was only 5 months old. However, during my brother’s wedding, it really occurred to me that time DOES fly quickly. One minute, you’re minding your own business, happily drinking bottled milk while watching Go, Diego! Go!, next thing you know, you’re going bald over your Midterms, which you completely flunked (or aced, whatever). It’s like magic, one blink of an eye and then suddenly *POOF!*, your brother, the one who you used to fight over the remote with when you were young, was sitting handsomely next to his bride, a step closer to having his own kids who will then have their fair share of quarrels over the television remote. Sometimes, things are happening way too fast for you to even understand them and somehow, you feel like pushing the “Pause” button; just for you to get a little breathing space.

Thing is, that’s not how it works. You can’t hit “Rewind” to correct all the stupid mistakes and screw-ups you made throughout your adolescence. You can’t “fast forward” time to get over the piercing pain you felt over your best friend ghosting you after high school. You can’t simply “pause” time to savour your last few seconds with your friends and family members before you’re getting on your flight, taking you 11, 000 km away from home. There’s no stopping this perpetual motion of time. It’s well-established by now that time will keep on moving forward, irregardless of whatever’s happening. Thus, we can’t do anything to bend time to our own liking. It’s fated (one might also say it’s written in the stars) that these things happen to us throughout our waking time and there’s no known way of rewriting fates, no known way of rearranging them, no known way of avoiding them.

Then comes the question, why does time have to be so cruel and unforgiving? It is vicious, leaving you no room at all for you to erase all the errors and mistakes you made from the past. It is menacing, taking away your loved ones, decaying them daily until one day they’re no longer able to manage and succumb. Time is envious, providing us with no opportunities to cherish our last moments with our special someone. Time is responsible for that strand of silver that you saw on your mother’s hair, who just yesterday had the power to smack you with a clothes hanger. Time, even without a soul, is despised by many for its cruelness. Why does time have to be so cruel?

Well, complain however much we want, there is no manipulating time. Time has always been that way. It’s not cruel, it’s the nature of time to always tick-and-tock every second. However, it is up to us on how we could harness it and cherish, savour, enjoy every single tick of time. Life has given us the gift of time to enable us to learn from our past, to learn from our downfalls and embarrassments, and to appreciate every single moment of our short life. Now, your brother, prim and proper, is up there, sitting on the bridal dais, smiling from ear to ear at your relatives who came for the wedding. Tomorrow, your brother, wrinkly and grey, is sitting on a rocking chair, too tired to get up, smiling at his grandchildren who came to celebrate Eid with their grandparents. There is no stopping that from happening, the best we can do is enjoy the moment while it lasts, and let it be embedded perpetually in our mind before we move on to the next hour.

There will also be times in your life where you will feel like you’ve hit rock bottom and into the abyss and along with it, comes grief, sadness, or even depression. Well, the gift

of time also allows you to get back on your two feet. Aside from that, throughout time, the people you’ve met and the relationships you’ve built will surely aid you to find a light in the darkness. That’s exactly the beauty of time. It gives you healing moments, and it gives you the support that you ever so needed to compose yourself and walk confidently down the avenue of life.

Thus, time, it will beat you up until you’re battered and bruised if you fail to tame it. However, time will also give you daisies and peonies once you’re able to manage it. You’ll be given all the riches and glory in this world if you can appreciate time. How do I do that? Well, for starters, let’s start by not dwelling on the past and just enjoy the nasi minyak and ayam masak merah served at your brother’s wedding, appreciating the moment and letting it be eternalised in your mind.