"This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down."
Time is a funny thing. It's also a finicky thing. It's something we all must deal with in life. Time changes a lot of things. Time is something we claim to never have enough of. Time can heal, time can divide, time can trickle out of lives through moments and memories.
Time can make all the difference.
If I would time-travel back five years, my past self certainly wouldn't believe anything I could say about my present life. I wouldn't have thought five years would make the difference between attending my childhood best friends wedding or not. I wouldn't have thought five years would lead to finishing college and working a full-time job at a library. I wouldn't have thought five years would bring a new sister and a baby nephew to my family. (Even after nine months of a bouncing baby boy to love, I'm still shocked my brother has a child.)
Time changes a lot of things.
The last five years have strikingly changed who I am and how I live. Ten years is even more drastic, fifteen more so, and of course twenty years is too far back for me to recall. Time is something we claim to never have enough of. I'm twenty-two now. I'm tall. I wear glasses. I keep my hair short. I like stories more than I like people. My brain is filled with "useless" things like the plot of a random episode from that TV show or quotes from books I've read years ago or the names and powers of most superheroes. I spend my free time daydreaming and conjuring worlds filled with dragons, stars, and complicated acts of heroism.
Time trickles through moments and memories.
Time has caused me to say goodbye to people I love, who have now become just another memory. Time has allowed me to say hello to new friends and a very special boy I love. Time has brought grief and joy, gladness and sorrow; there has been anger and frustration paired with laughter and tears. Time has passed, and while I don't feel all that different, I know that when I look back at my 17 year old self, my 12 year old self, and my 7 year old self that I am not the same person I once was.
Time heals, time divides.
I'm still quiet. I still prefer books over most things in life. I get lost in my own head, and I like to laugh at my own jokes. But I'm also more confident. I know what I'm good at. I know I can teach children and I can help people find what they need. I know who I am thought I'm still leaving room to continually define myself as time continues to pass. I've got dreams I wouldn't have thought of five years ago, ten years ago, fifteen years ago. I've written stories; I've read books; I've had experiences I never thought would be possible. And I know there's much more that lies ahead.
Time makes all the difference.