I always find that train journeys are great thinking times. Today as I was travelling I thought about this past week and got caught up thinking how quickly life goes sometimes. I decided to attempt to articulate that feeling of life going too fast here. So this blog post is a little different to usual, as it is almost a stream-of-consciousness from this morning.
This week I came back to Cambridge to start work – working firstly as a Cambassador on some ‘Experience Cambridge’ events (ahead of changing tomorrow to work as a Programme Assistant for Pembroke College on their Nihon Special Lecture programme). There have been lots of things of the past week that have highlighted to me the frequency of change. Seeing a sign college have put up where the porter’s lodge used to be, going to church in a different building because they’ve temporarily relocated, and also hearing about Siân’s first week in Germany and continuing to process that this year will be a year lived in different countries. Even the weather got the whole ‘change’ memo, switching from rain and grey when I arrived, to sun and warmth, and then to cloud and wind.
After thinking about this past week and the different changes happening in my life I suddenly made this jump to wondering how it was that each day feels like it goes by slowly and yet it feels like getting here to this point at the beginning of August – where I’m 19 but don’t understand what happened to 18 – has materialised so quickly. It seems so strange that, although I’ve had an absolutely great year, the year’s done now and there’s no re-living it and was sixth form really just a year back? Because there are friendships that haven’t quite kept pace and my grip on them is loosening. And life is so wonderful and exciting and there are new places to explore and opportunities to take hold of and meals and days and laughter to share with friends but sometimes I’d like to be able to pause a few moments and linger there a while. Because I know that, just as life has moved on from a year ago, life will move on again, and I’d like those around me to know how grateful I am for letting me feature in their lives before I miss the chance to tell them, and I’d like to be able to fully enjoy the blessings of the present before I miss the chance to do so because life has already passed by.
I also think about how I’m learning that there are many things in life that aren’t right or wrong but exist on a different spectrum of wise to foolish. There are still more things that are held in tension – like when I have these moments of reflection and I’m caught between the beauty and the gift and sometimes the safety of the present versus anticipation and excitement for all that the future holds. To me this feeling is a little like sitting in a good lecture, wanting to hear what is yet to be said but occasionally experiencing moments where I’m still in the midst of processing the last bit of information that was said but the lecturer has already moved on and it takes me a moment to catch back up. There are moments in life where everything suddenly seems to escape out from underneath me, moments where I decide I’d like to revisit the moment that formed that faint memory of being seven and hearing the sound of my Dad getting home but I realise instead that it’ll only get fainter and the day when I can no longer remember what it was like to look in the mirror and the see the face I see now only gets closer.
I think to myself that the problem is that at any given point in time I have to acknowledge that I’ll never be this young again but simultaneously work out what I’m doing, in spite of the fact that this is also the first time I’ve ever been this old. My conclusion to this whole train of thought (pun intended) is that, really, I am glad that this is all part of living life and that in the midst of the change of life I know a faithful and unchanging God. And, with this thought, I step off the train.