December 30, 2019

To See the Future

1:27 AM

Sometimes when I’m lying awake at night, I wonder what life will be like in a year. In 5 years. In 10, and so on. A year is easy to visualize. I’m still in school. I’ll probably still be doing design and music and stuff. Maybe my friends and social circles will be slightly different, but for the most part I can see it. 5 years is harder. I might be in a completely new place with new people. Can’t even imagine what 10 or 20 years would be like. But I know that it will feel totally regular and normal when I get there, because of the status quo.

And that scares me a lot. I read a meme or something that read, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days, before you’ve already left them”. Honestly, at the time I just dismissed it as some nonsense, but now I realize how true it is. We transition from one phase of life to the other so seamlessly that it’s only when we first get a chance to stop and think that we realize: things were different before. That’s nostalgia, and by then it’s too late. The past we are thinking about will never come about again, and it will henceforth only ever exist in our memories.

When I think about the future, I’m not only wondering what my lifestyle will be like. I’m also wondering what it’s like to look back on what I now know as the present. It’s strange to think of these years as already being long gone, but in a sense, they already are. I know they will not last longer than 2022, so the time really is limited. What I fear that these college days will pass me by far too quick, before I get a chance to realize that they are slowly but surely slipping away.

To seize the day and savor the moment are already things I strive to do. I cannot stop time from moving forward, but I can prevent myself from taking these days for granted. But ultimately I must come to terms with the fact that nothing will prepare me for when this phase of my life finally ends. It’ll feel like a whirlwind - and then it’ll feel like nothing. And I dread nothing more than that feeling I’ll get when the dust settles and I realize that it really is all over.

Suddenly I’m snapped back to reality. Sometimes I get carried away with thinking about the future, so much so that I forget that I’m still here. Reverse nostalgia, I call it. I know I will miss these days, but I hope that I don’t become too obsessed with making them stay. I would like to live them out properly, without too much artificial emotion or thought injected into them. A fine balance between enjoying these days and being ready for the next phase, I believe, is truly essential for keeping the adventurous spirit alive.

I’m leaving these very wistful thoughts behind for the moment as I return to the life I know right now. I hope I’m able to have some fun and make some nice memories before my mind returns once again to this subject. Someday, many years in the future, I will be looking back on these days and this post, hopefully without too much attachment in my heart. I don’t know what it’ll be like, to be honest. But I am certain that when that time comes and I’m all settled into a new environment with a new lifestyle, I’ll still be lying awake at night sometimes, wondering what it’s like to see the future.

- Sam