Monday, 10 August 2015

现实 | In search of lost time

Posted by: Ryan O'Riordan

Another week, another post where I just have a bit of a moan.

Before I get going, I'd just like to announce that with me posting late for the second week in a row, and Dom not getting round to his most recent effort until a Wednesday, thunk has officially entered the race for 'Least Punctual Blog 2015'. Going for this wasn't an easy decision, but hopefully with your support and our continued laziness, we'll be able to triumph.

Neatly, I'm posting this late and the topic for this week's post is lost time, so maybe it was meant to be after all. Actually, yeah I like that quite a lot... so this post isn't a day late because of laziness, it's late because I'm committed to the symbolism and themes in my writing.

Lately I've been feeling, for want of a better word, rushed. All the time. Between work, school stuff and freaking the fuck out mentally preparing myself for exam results day in a healthy way, I've had a lot less free time than I would have liked this summer holiday and to be honest it's been quite a weird experience.

This is mainly because up until now, the purpose of my summer holidays has been to basically do nothing for weeks after a hard year of school. Summer was the time when you asked yourself questions that the school system just wasn't equipped to deal with. Questions like "how many episodes of Friends can I watch before I develop multiple personality disorder and start acting like them?" I mean, could there be a better way to waste a summer's day?

But this year I have approached something close to how adults seem to spend the summer months and it has been terrifying. If this is the future, I would like to get off the ride, please. I think that the deprivation of my holiday time has impacted me negatively, and I'm sure someone, somewhere owes me compensation for it.

The moment I realised what was happening to me was around two weeks ago. For work I have to commute into London every day and although this was initially a new and exciting experience, there are only so many trains you can get on before 7:00 AM without asking yourself where it all went so wrong. Anyway, I was on my way home on the Tube and all was well. I was on time, I'd managed to get a seat, and I hadn't made eye contact with anyone - the greatest crime of all on public transport. However, as I got off the train and turned the corner to get to the escalator, my bubble was burst. In front of me was a large group of people with suitcases, taking up the whole escalator so no one could get past. In the grand scheme of things, this is a tiny annoyance at best, but in that moment there was no doubt in my mind that every one of these people hated me. Having studied my movements over the previous days, they had worked out that this was exactly the right moment to strike, and delay me by one whole minute. The bastards.

Later, as I sat on the train home I found myself staring out of the window. The seemingly endless blur of the landscape, each stretch indistinguishable from the next, is very similar to how my life appears to be going at the moment.

No doubt this general feeling of being constantly pushed for time has led to me become a bit stressed, which is normal I suppose. Looking back on it, I kind of doubt those people with suitcases were sincerely out to get me.

But it seems like I was doing my exams just the other week and now I'm on the verge of getting the results. Similarly, the long, relaxing summer holiday I've become used to over the years simply hasn't materialised this time around. Before I know it I'll be done with school for good, and who knows what's in store after that?

It's definitely hard to strike a balance between the natural stresses and pressures of everyday life, and the just as natural desire to slow down every now and then, but it's essential. If you never learn to walk this tightrope and find some time for yourself, I think it's very easy to be consumed by the day to day. Perhaps your whole life would become like the surroundings of a train journey, no part distinguishable from the next. What kind of life would that be?

Ryan's listening to: 'National Express' by The Divine Comedy

Read my previous post here.

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