Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The blazing-fast passage of time

It's one thing to say that time flies. It's another thing to watch it flying. Actually, maybe it's not so different. Without delving into any of numerous philosophical stances on the human experience of temporality, I'll simply say that time's been zooming by for me, and it's a little spooky when you stand back and look at it in perspective, or retrospect, or whatever.

For starters, there's the smaller picture. The days are darker sooner now, so I always feel as though I've only blinked before the sun has set and the day feels like it's over. I mean, 5pm looks like midnight out here. So there's that. That doesn't help the fact that I constantly feel like the walls are closing in, what with the papers and exams that are stacking up all around me this week. Deadlines are looming so close now, charging at me with the speed of Faust's nocturnal horses at full gallop. Not to come off as dramatic or anything. Seriously, though, it's getting a little scary, just as it always does this time of year. Besides, John's here now, and undergoing much of the same pressure. That can be both good and bad, actually. It's good because we're sympathetic to one another's current plight and can bolster each other through it rather effectively. It's bad becasue this kind of stress is pretty damn contageous. If he's having trouble getting finished on something, that's actually going to keep me up at night worrying.

So the days are shorter, the semester has flown up and slapped me in the face as if out of nowhere... time is flying by in perfect cartoon fashion. Then, of course, there's the big picture. After all, I just turned thirty a little over a month ago, and that's no chump change. It's not that I don't know where thirty years went... I know full well. I was there for most of them, after all. And I have to say that yes, it feels like thirty years have gone by. They haven't flown past in the normal sense... they've just been kind of brief, now that I think about it. It's not that they've been shorter years than usual; it's just that a year isn't a very long time in the average context of a life, even when a lot goes on. One could actually argue that, as more takes place during a year, it tends to go by even faster. Years, in a very general sense, are short... that's all I'm saying, standing on the afterwards end of thirty of them.

That's not the only thing that's got me thinking about the passage of time. Once in a while, some blast from the past shows up out of nowhere (thanks for the occasional freak-outs, MySpace and Friendster) and reminds me that time is indeed passing, since people I've met along the way are getting in touch with me to let me know they're feeling it, too. Just the other day, an ex-boyfriend from, jeeze, fifteen years ago (Chrissie, Kim... I think you know EXACTLY who I'm talking about here) shot me an email from out of the blue. He told me that he's married and has two kids, that he did two tours in Iraq with the marines, and that he's some kind of engineer now. Personally, I wasn't entirely thrilled to hear from this guy... not the best boyfriend memories with this one... but I put it into perspective. What the hell good does holding a grudge do me? Besides, he apologized for his long-ago transgressions, even offered not to contact me if he was being in any way offensive. John was a little miffed, not because I can't be trusted with email contact from high school ex-boyfriends, but because I've told him about this guy, and the stories I told weren't exactly about fuzzy teddy bears and fun and flowers and fluff. (Chrissie, you're probably backing John on this one, I imagine... I know how much you hated this guy!) In the end, I did shoot him a response, basically telling him he was a crap boyfriend but I was well over it, that I was glad to hear he was doing well, and that I'm happily, happily, happily married... you know... just in case this had the potential to get weird and stalkery. I'm glad I did it, to be honest. There are some things in life that never get resolved, some people who you always wonder about, even if only out of morbid curiosity. Here's one I don't have to wonder about any longer... woopie. No, really... I'm not going to be looking for ways to get together with him and his family on holidays or anything, but I am glad to know he's a better person now than he once was.

Naturally, he had to ask how married life was treating me. Treating me? Hmmm... Colloquialism or not, it's a strange choice of words. Married life hasn't treated me like anything. Married life is no different than unmarried life, as far as I'm concerned. Either way, John would be an enormous chunk of it, just as he's always been since the day I met him (whether I wanted things that way or not... ah, the early years of ever-persistent requited/unrequited fireworks... long story, that one). He's my best friend; I didn't have to marry him to have that. Granted, I'm in love with him, so we'd have to at least make out once in a while. But yes, I married him, so we get a couple of perks that go along with that convention, but that still doesn't feel so mandatory when it comes to him and me, if that makes any sense. I'm not trying to come off as some sort of marriage-is-a-social-construct-and-our-love-is-greater-than-such-artificial-bounds hippie or anything. That's just the way I see it. We got married young, sure. And left and right, we've had friends and family all around us whose marriages didn't go so well, which left us wondering if we were just missing something that everyone else was seeing and walking away before any more damage could be done. To be honest, I think we just got lucky. We go together really, really well, and that's just luck. People put tons of effort into relationships that don't work in the end, while others don't even try and manage to live in bliss (mind you, we've put in work... make no mistake there... just not as much work as some, I think, mostly because we're lazy and decide we'd rather play X-Box or go shopping or something). I say it's all luck. Not that working hard at a relationship is a bad thing... it's just relative. And from what I can see, it's relative to how lucky you got with who you found and what circumstances surround you at any given moment. Fun, huh?

Actually, it can be. In about a week, it will have been eight years of fun for me and John. People have been telling me it's a pretty long time to have been married. I just tell them I got lucky. Very, very lucky indeed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you are coming to big d - from your blog - want to have drinks? Kathryn

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger christine said...

Um yes I DO agree with John...LOL...obviously no surprise there. I can't believe he even had the nerve to contact you!!!

Awwww and y'all (you and John) are so cute!!! I'm glad to see that you guys are so happy.

Friday, December 15, 2006 11:15:00 AM  

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