Now What?

By Kathryn


I don’t have any real way of knowing, but I’d venture to guess that I spend more time thinking about time than the average person. I’m obsessed with the past in a lot of ways, and I spend too much time wondering about what I’ll be like in the future and if I’ll even remember who I am right now. I often find myself trying to run through memories in my head, attempting to satisfy the nagging in my brain to fully devour previous moments before I allow myself to keep up with the present. In fact, one of the few instances when I’m not thinking about time is when I’m incessantly engrossed in a specific activity of some kind for an extended period.

For example, being completely absorbed in the universe of a book or spending hours devoted to watching a TV series all the way through. In these moments, I could care less about how fast or slow the clock is ticking. However, when I find myself on the last page or the final episode, those many hours crash down on me all at once and I find myself thinking, “Now what?” The day after, the last page, the season finale. They always sneak up on me.

I recently stage-managed the fall musical at my high school. I spent two months helping to build the set, learning cues in the script, and making friends with the cast and crew. All of that work had to amount to the actual show eventually, and now that closing night is long gone, I still miss watching from the wings and getting to cue the lights from an annoyingly unreliable walkie talkie.

When you’re committed to one thing for a long time, it can be a bit of a shock when it ends. As someone who’s addicted to binge-watching shows on Netflix Instant, I’m too familiar with the feeling of developing relationships and connections with characters and not being ready to say goodbye at the same time as the producers or networks that they were broadcasted on. I must not be the only one who feels this way, or else fan fiction and most of tumblr wouldn’t exist.

At times like these, when I close the book or pack up my suitcase, I find myself at a loss for words. So much time channelled into one thing can feel almost like a habit that I’m forced to give up point blank. The only thing that I can do is move on with my life, a difficult feat for someone like me, who places sentimental feelings in time instead of just objects.

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