Time seems not to exist sometimes, whether it’s linear or some great big bowl of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. (Illustration by jinterwas/Flickr)

Minor Inconveniences: On the subject of questioning reality

By Olivia Favreau

I believe there is a point in everyone’s life when time becomes completely irrelevant. Everyone is different, but if I had to pick, I’d say 17 to 23 seems to be the choice period of seemingly endless limbo. Unfortunately, it seems to line up perfectly with what people deem especially important: graduation, university studies, career choices, and all that. I want to say it’s normal, that everyone experiences this deeply unsettling yet charmingly quaint way of floating through the space-time continuum, but I don’t really know if it is.

I don’t want to journal my sad stories here. I want the opposite — somewhere to be emotionally stable and somewhere to tell the truth instead of embellishing it to sell in an autobiography if I get famous. This isn’t a cry for help (at least, I hope it isn’t). It’s a question.

Why does time pick a certain chapter of life for a fond, psychologically-breaking, shin-scratching, toe-stubbing, empathetically-void voyage? Why does it happen? Well, if you’re looking for an answer, plot twist: there is no answer, this is me just shouting questions into a meaningless void composed of, like, oblivion and regret. Please don’t think too deeply into this.

I want to know why we feel this way, or why time stops being linear for a few years and then starts again. I should think it doesn’t go back at all, for some people. I’m assuming everyone thinks time is linear. There is, on the other hand, all that stuff about time being a bowlful of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. Whatever, we can question that frontier of reality later.

What I want to know is how our brains, trained for years to depend on time to wake us up, tell us when to eat, and so on, can just switch on your seventeenth birthday into a hot mush of, “I have no idea what is going on around me at any given time, and I’m just going to attempt to surf it like a wave when in reality, I’m not even on top of the water, I’m under it, and floating is getting pretty tiring, to be honest.”

I could probably find a dozen answers, all from award-winning psychologists who do studies in daddy issues and Freudian thought. The answers could range from, “This is just a phase!” all the way to, “Hm, it is possible this could be a coping method, or an actual, clinical issue. Either way, sucks doesn’t it!” Like I said, it wouldn’t be hard to find an array of replies and probably some believable cures, too. I just don’t trust them.

I know, I know. I should know better than to question scholars. It’s true, I have no PhD in psychology, but I do know time isn’t existing for me right now. It’s probably why I can sit and stare at my cubicle-white ceiling for a half hour, knowing I have a deadline in 45 minutes, and I haven’t even started the project.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just out of my mind and everything I’ve said is deeply concerning to the general public. In that case, sorry you had to read this. But, on the other hand, I might have just touched on a worldwide problem for people who disassociate from time and they’re all shouting with joy at being recognized. Either way, I just want you to know, time is the biggest social construct of all. Have fun, and all the best meeting your deadlines.

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