I tend to have trouble understanding that I have a long life ahead of me. It's nothing prophetic like “I don’t think I’ll live much longer”, nothing morbid like that. It's just that I think about life a lot...a life, my life, what do I want to do with my life? where am I going in my life? what is the purpose of my Life? etc... 99% of the time I'm only ever thinking about birth all the way up to now and maybe forward a few months. Any span of time beyond a few months forward all looks like mist which grows denser until I can see nothing at all. This view of life feels, well, very short-sighted.
It is a rare and relieving thing when I finally remember that so much of my life is a very long way away. It isn’t over yet and I haven’t wasted it. I have many more places to go and purposes to fulfill. Remembering my long life ahead of me is wonderful but rare, so most of the time I live shuffling along, only looking a few feet ahead of me.
In this way I move relatively slowly through the years. Or more accurately, the years move relatively slowly passed me. They have been respectful, bringing with them only a few sudden movements and unforeseen glitches. Any great heartache usually comes with its own numbing balm to soothe me. It's baffling: I am almost unaware that any time has passed me at all, save for the changing of the seasons and the date in my journal. I journal and I date the pages. Those incremental changes leave me awed for a few moments but not much more.
...Until I’m struck again by those relieving moments and I remember that - or realize that - perhaps, I have been seeing time backwards.
Yes, that's right - backwards. Why do I have to see time as a thing that has happened to me? It is better, I think, see it as a thing into which I advance - a thing, unto which, I happen. I am the thing that happens to Time. Isn’t that a wonder? How lucky Time is that I bestow myself unto it, allow it to receive me and cushion me through my days. And O! What a loyal companion is Time!
That is actually how I talk in my head.
I have a girlfriend. This woman for whom no title seems to completely encompass. I love her so much, but she is not long enough nor even deep enough for “girlfriend”. Not simple or manipulatable enough for “my girl”. I can’t call her “partner” or even “sweetheart” comfortably. We lack the past time.
And yet some of me, some heartbreaking part of me that I can barely see or have ever seen (I think this is the part that dreams only forward) loves her the most, with all of its little being. For the sake of this dear part of me, who has always struggled for its share of the sunlight (and who perks up when I talk about hope), I am calling this woman “my future”. I hope to find the balance of it soon and walk with my eyes on the horizon, a little less afraid.