My life is ruled by logic.
Well, for the most part at least.
Sometimes logic betrays me. Sometimes it just doesn’t have the answers, and I’ve learned to accept that, even embrace it.
There will always be things we can’t explain.
Time is relentless. Regardless of who or what is joyous or suffering, it goes on. There always seems to be too much or too little of it, and it never listens when you want it to speed up or slow down. Its only consistency lies in its indefatigable determination to tell us when it is right or when it is wrong.
A trusted friend (far wiser than myself) once told me that time is the most precious gift we can give or receive. We spend so much of it carelessly, scrolling through websites, watching marathons of shows we don’t even really like, procrastinating over important things. Then we complain that there is not enough time to do what we want to do, or it’s not the right time to do what we want to do.
Perfect jobs come and go, perfect relationships don’t quite work out, opportunities and missed chances abound. Sometimes, inexplicably, moments just seem to pass us by.
There is always more than once upon a time.
I knew that I wanted to study abroad in college. It had always been my dream to go to London, and what better place to study English Literature. I never saw it as a negotiable point, but a fact. I signed up to go during the fall semester of my third year at school. It seemed like a waking dream, registering, meeting my teachers, my classmates, insatiably reading and re-reading all of the brochures and packets of information. I even spent a week writing the perfect essay and won a financial aid scholarship.
I never left.
Life happened, and reality hit me hard; friend issues, relationship issues, health issues, money issues, it was all I could do to survive my everyday life. All of the shit hit the fan, and I withdrew from the program. I remember having a panic attack when I went to do it; sitting in my car, hyperventilating, sobbing and shaking until I blacked out, waking up to realize that it had not in fact been a nightmare.
Yet, time went on.
We try to fight time everyday, try to control it, try to find the time to do, whatever it is we want to do. But dreams gather dust, in notebooks or in hearts, waiting for the perfect moment, the right time that doesn’t exist.
Times change, time changes.
I painfully regretted the decision not to study abroad. The feeling of lost opportunity and loss was overwhelming. It took years for me to look back and think objectively about what that trip would have been like, had I actually taken it. I hadn’t been healthy enough to enjoy it, or brave enough to take full advantage of the opportunity.
I didn’t know enough to know that I didn’t know enough.
When I later decided to get my masters degree, I felt that it was finally my time to go. I signed up and flew overseas, landing on British soil and crying my eyes out at the sight of the airpot, the train into the city, the countryside as we sped by, Kings Cross Station, and again at each encounter with a long-imagined place or thing. I embraced the city as my temporary home, disregarding my GPS in favor of traditional maps and endless explorations, getting lost in bookshops and skipping down cobblestone streets, touching stone and marveling at the feel of something so ancient.
I reveled in my classes, ravenously taking in all the information, and learning even more in-between courses from bartenders and museum guides.
I relished each and every second of my trip, and treasure all the memories made in those too short months. It was the time of my life.
Sometimes, the time feels right, and sometimes it just doesn’t. Sometimes the perfect job for you comes along just when you need it, and sometimes it comes just after you’ve signed a contract. Sometimes almost relationships get second chances, and sometimes they’re done forever.
Sometimes missed chances one day mean incredible opportunities the next.
Just because the time doesn’t seem right, doesn’t mean what you want isn’t right.
Any day could be your once upon a time.
Only time will tell.
Author: Gabriella Sweezey
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: new 1lluminati at Flickr