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Another Thing About Time (And Then I Will Stop Bringing It Up)

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Gertrūda Valasevičiūtė
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I have a really terrible habit of writing down random statements and quotes without distinguishing whether I thought of them myself or if I overheard them from someone else or if a friend sent them to me in a text or if I read them online or what.

Anyway, I can’t remember who told me or where I read that life should be viewed as a spiral rather than a straight line, all I know is that I wrote it in the Notes App on my phone on August 28th, 2017 at 1:48PM EST.

I don’t know why I’ve never thought of it in this way before, especially since I dedicate a good chunk of my everyday life to having a panic attack over the passing of time or running out of time or just time in general. A therapist (I think it was the one who was deaf and who drove me bonkers because after I’d mumble something very personal about myself that I needed her to analyze or fix or whatever I was paying her to do, she would stare at me and go “I’m sorry sweetie, can you say that again?” and I’d lose my fucking mind and shout my emotional baggage at her over the sound of the air conditioning unit in her office and then would scowl until she refilled my Lexapro prescription) once explained to me that this is because I have this insane idea that I need to be in absolute control over everything, otherwise I’ll shut down. She pointed out this is why I reject religion, am scared of space, am uncomfortable around food, and why I never talk about my problems or decisions with anyone else (even if it impacts them). The idea of time being a spiral is relaxing to me, though, I’m not quite sure why.

I was thinking about this when I was walking down Canal Street to meet her because we hadn’t seen each other in three years. I was thinking about everything that had happened in three years and whether any of it was remotely appropriate to bring up first thing at a reunion. Not really.

I’m fairly convinced I haven’t fundamentally changed in any capacity since I was a kid — not that I’m not in desperate need of improvement, but just because I still hang out with the same people I hung out with when I was 14 and I literally live with someone I met when I was 10 and I still hate juice and I still hold my pen incorrectly and I still fall asleep with all the lights on and I still need a moment to do a multiplication problem in my head and I still get irrationally jealous of people who have a thing that they’re good at and comfortable being good at and love being good at blah blah blah.

But life is a spiral and everything repeats and there are ghosts of what’s already happened popping up everywhere and it’s all just repeatedly circles over and over and over again. So when I saw her — and talk about not changing in three years, she looked and sounded exactly as I remembered her — I thought about how this was a full loop and when we had left each other at the airport three years ago (she was very hungover and I had no idea that the next couple of months for me were going to make up the lowest period of my life so far) and now this was the circle closing. Or something, I guess that’s not how spirals properly work.

But this was a significant overlap. And I guess I just think about all the good things that happen to me (the things that I really don’t spend much time thinking about, unless I’m being nostalgic) and how those will overlap again too. TC mark

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