Sometimes there are quiet moments, like right now. I’m completely alone, sitting up in bed, typing away under fairy lights with the windows open. I can hear the quietness of the city outside distantly settling. I can’t hear anyone else, and I’ve been silent for hours. It feels as if there is peace in my mind. Peace and agony.
In these moments, I can travel through time.
If I close my eyes, let everything else fall away, and listen only to my own breathing for a moment; I can travel anywhere, to any time. I’m right there in those moments I thought were long gone.
I’m around nine years old and I’m riding my bike around the block repeatedly. I love it, I feel free and I like the breeze in my hair. I feel like I’m going on my own adventure, even though I’m really staying within a small radius around our house. Just one more go around the block Mum, I’ll be in soon.
The sun is setting, and the sky is orange.
I’m twelve, and I’m standing in a corn field. I’m with friends, and I’m with a boy I like. We’re about to kiss, everyone knows it. It’s so awkward, forced and stupid, and everyone is watching. I don’t want to do this wrong. But I do really want to kiss him. Just maybe not with everyone watching. I can feel the pit of my stomach churning. He’s a little older than me, and really nice. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to kiss him first, or him me? I can hear people giggling, and a nearby river trickling away.
I’m 21. It’s 4am and I’m sitting near the window, waiting. Hating myself a lot, feeling powerless. Not sure how to be myself anymore. Wondering if I’ll be able to fix things so that he’ll like me again. If I could just stop being so annoying, it’d be okay. I wonder if he’ll see how much I care. I always feel like I’m bothering him, he makes me feel desperate. I’ll just wait up another hour, that’s it. I’ll keep looking out the window and waiting.
I don’t know how we got here, we were only supposed to go for one drink. Now I’m with the boys and we’re all hammered. We’re dancing like insane people, the music is good and we can’t stop laughing. I have awesome friends, and I get to go home to my soul mate. I’ve spilled my drink, but no one even notices. It’s loud and my ears are ringing. I wish I could bottle this feeling.
I get home, and there are roses waiting for me, I’m not sure what I did to deserve those. I’m so happy. I need sleep, and water. I collapse on the bed without changing clothes. Everything feels so good.
Sometimes I’ll close my eyes and travel to a distant memory without meaning to, or to one I didn’t even know I had. I’ll feel that joy, or fear, or pain… all over again. It scares me sometimes, how ten years can feel like a moment ago. It’s a good thing though mostly. It means I’m still me, it means people don’t get left behind, you get to take them with you. It means you relive past pain, but you remember the lessons. It means you have gratitude for everything you’ve gained.
You can close your eyes, and go back through time to the most random, beautiful and strange moments. It’s a gift.
We’re all time travellers.
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