Hey! So, I’ve thought about time travel for a long time (years, actually) and I’ve come up with this conclusion– I’m content with staying in the present, thanks. It’s not that I don’t think it’d be cool to see the Revolutionary War take place, or witness the 100th president of the United States be inaugurated (okay, that wouldn’t be very interesting, in my opinion, but it’s the first realistic future event I could think of!), but I’d rather stay here in 2014 and learn from my mistakes one at a time, grow up in time, start a family in time. Plus, I’m scared shitless that I’d screw with time and create some sort of paradox that would make the world explode or something.
Why do I want to stay in the present? Well, there’s three simple reasons. One, like I said, I’m too scared to do anything else. Two, I want to do everything in the right time, because what if, in going to the future, I misinterpret something and end up doing something horrible (I actually have a story idea for this– more on it once I develop it)? The third reason is silly, but I was born on September 11, 1998, at exactly 7:00 am. I don’t want to age in the future, then come back to the past and be born a day or two later (technically, by age). I LOVE my birthday and birth time. My birthday is awesome because no one ever forgets it (plus I just don’t want it changed since it’s been that way for over 15 1/2 years, soo…). My birth time is so awesome because it’s exact. That’s pretty cool.
I just, I can’t fathom being anywhere else. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am, and I have so much more to do. What if time travelling messes with all my hard work on trying to establish good habits (not to mention all the work I’ve done on my history quarter project for Dos during the weekend!)? Personally, I feel it’s not worth the risk, especially when I have those I love to take into account. What if they’re affected, too?
People always use this example (at least in my experience), but I’m going to use it again. What if you kill a butterfly? So what, it’s just a butterfly, but that butterfly was a piece of time. What if it was the reason your parents met (like your mom chased that butterfly four miles until she literally smacked into your dad, and they stayed friends ever since then)? You wouldn’t exist, and it would be a paradox, because if you didn’t exist, then who killed that butterfly? UGH! Paradoxes are so confusing!
It’s not like I don’t want to go back in time. If I could go anywhere in time, knowing for sure that nothing would be screwed up (which would be impossible to know!), I’d go see my grandma again. She died on June 21, 2010. I don’t really know what I’d do, because what do you do when you know it’s the last time you’re going to see someone? I do know I’d give her lots of hugs and kisses and I-love-you’s.
But, with all the bad that came out of her death came some good as well. My other grandma became much kinder. My grandpa began to get healthier. And there’s a bunch of other things, too.
A good book on the man who invented time itself, a.k.a. Father Time, is The Time Keeper, written by Mitch Albom. It’s amazing, inspiring, a really good read. I highly recommend it, even if you hate reading.
There’s a quote in there. A good one. It brought up a point that I’d actually contemplated when I had my mid-life crisis at 8 years old, but, other than that, I hadn’t thought of this since. And, in my 8-year-old knowledge, I hadn’t been able to think of it in this way. Here’s the quote:
“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.” -Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
Here’s another awesome quote from The Time Keeper (I tell you, this book way up there for containing the most inspirational, life-changing quotes, and it only has, like, 250 pages!). I took a picture from my own book and cropped it to show only the quote:
I’m pretty sure Mitch Albom wasn’t thinking of time travel when he wrote the book (or maybe he was…?). But these quotes fit this post perfectly.
So, time travel? I’m good (plus, I’m too chicken to risk screwing up the space-time continuum). I’d much rather stay in the present, where I can face similar unknowns and learn from my mistakes (as if time travel is possible for me right now, anyways– maybe for the government or something, but not for me). I’m quite content rolling with the punches as they come, in the order they’re meant to come (which is in chronological order– the ones I’m supposed to face as a 11-year-old, I’m not going to face again, at least not in the exact same way), even if it does mean no second chances. I’m fine with living with my mistakes, because it also means living with my triumphs. And who would I be without my mistakes? A stuck-up person who can’t learn, because everyone makes mistakes, and if I think I don’t, then I obviously don’t pay enough attention to learn from them, and… well, Houston, we have a problem.
I’ll end on a thought to ponder that I’ve always wondered about– how can time be reversible if it’s relative? Like weight, it changes with location. And we invented time, so how can we turn back the clock? Time only exists in our minds (whoa, my brain physically feels weird re-reading that, but it’s true!). Without us, there’s no one to measure time, therefore, time doesn’t exist.
I think there’d be both good and bad aspects of not knowing about time. I’ll start with the good. We’d never be late. We wouldn’t have to stress about deadlines. It would be a whole new world. We’d live simply. The world would live simply, be a simple place in general.
But, despite all the possible pros of no concept of time, I do believe we know about time for a reason. And that reason is just as Mitch Albom said. If our days weren’t limited, would we care about our actions of now? We would have infinite time to make up for it, which would turn into “nah, I’ll make up for it later, cuz I still have infinite time.” No one would forgive because nobody would try to fix anything, since “oh, we could just do it tomorrow.” And that, my friends, would be a big problem.
I’m glad our days are numbered. While I wish everyone went at the expected time, like parents first, then children, that’s not always the way it works. But you know what– where would we be if we lived forever? Eventually, we would run out of room on the planet, run out of resources, and there’s be a full-out war. Who knows if anyone (or anything) would be left afterwards?
I’m not going to experiment with time and space, even if I ever miraculously get the chance. I’m no better than any one of you– I’m just here to live my life in the best way possible, then move on. And if I traveled through time, that wouldn’t happen, which isn’t something I want, even if it were possible. So, even if given the chance, I’m going to continue living for now. Because this is where it all is.
The past is the past– it’s already happened. The future is determined by our actions now. I want to be part of the future, so I’ll live for now and help make it. And that’s good enough for me.
P.S. As always, the original image URLs, if not mine, can be found by simply clicking the image. Also, this was written in response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge.