At some point in the last month or so, I started to realize that time is moving really fast.

I suppose this is a realization a lot of people have at one time or another, and it’s not the first time that time’s felt like it’s slipping away from me, but something about the last month has made me frequently think, God, I’m old!

The first few instances happened when I went back to my old stomping grounds. I returned to Calvin for the Festival of Faith and Writing (and saw fellow post calvin writer Emily!) and in between sessions, I’d wander around campus. Quick question: is it a universal experience that the school year after you graduate high school there’s a huge status quo change? A bunch of teachers leave or switch grades, a new vice principal comes in, they drop an elective. That’s what happened to me, and it felt like it was happening again as I walked through campus. The class of 2024, who by the time this post goes up will be ten days into alumni status, is the last class I shared campus with, and when I came back, they were three weeks away from graduation. The first three floors of the library were sealed off due to construction, the early stages of a plan announced in my last semester to remodel the library and one of the dining halls. Also, the Calvin Business School, which they were laying the foundation for when I graduated, is built and in operation.

But I’m only talking about when I was on campus. The time warp feeling has continued since I came back home.

One night, as I laid in bed trying to go to sleep, I started to count off significant events in my life and how long ago they happened. At my last count it’s been:

  • Twenty-four years since I was born
  • Twenty-four years that I’ve known best friend number one Cami. (We’ve literally known each other since we were in diapers.)
  • Twenty-three years that I’ve known best friend number two AJ.
  • Eleven years since I went to my first church camp.
  • Eleven years since my freshman year of high school.
  • Nine years since my god awful first attempt at writing a novel.
  • Eight years since my grandma died.
  • Eight years since my first job.
  • Seven years since I graduated high school.
  • Seven years since I started drafting the novel manuscript I’m still working on today.
  • Seven years since my freshman year of college.
  • Seven years since I met best friend number three Kali.
  • Six years since I studied abroad in Spain.
  • Five years since I met best friend number four Brooke.
  • Four years since I had to go home because of the Disease We Won’t Name.
  • Four years since I met best friend five Rodney.
  • Three years since the wedding summer, when I attended five weddings in five months (Kali and my friend/study abroad classmate Matt’s, my cousin Clint’s, my freshman roommate Mitch’s, my friends Rob and Lexi’s, and two people from my church congregation Matt and Abigail).
  • Three years since I graduated from Calvin.
  • Two years since I began my first post-grad job at City Year.
  • Eleven months since I graduated from City Year.
  • Nine months since I started writing for the post calvin.
  • Nine months since I started my second post-grad job at a coffee shop.
  • Eight months since my younger brother started his freshman year at Michigan State University. (A visual representation of how I feel knowing the kid I can remember coming home from the hospital can vote.)
  • Seven weeks since I made one of the best decisions of my life and quit the coffee shop.

More than anything, what’s making me feel old is the slippage of time in my head. On campus, I saw my friends Chrissy and Jake, who I met in freshman year. That’s when a fact—that freshman year was seven years ago—actually hit me: freshman year was seven. years. ago!

And I’m sure this kind of dissonance between how long ago things happened and how long ago they feel like they happened would be happening to me no matter what, but I also know: somehow the pandemic has exacerbated the dilation of my sense of time. I’ve had plenty of four-year periods in my life: four years of high school and college, the four summers I went to church camp, the four year gap between Robert Eggers’ first movie The VVitch and his second film The Lighthouse. (Shout-out to Isaac.) But for four years, Joe Biden has been the president. It’s been four years since The Disease We Won’t Name ground all of our lives to a halt. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have lain in graves they shouldn’t be in for four years.

And it doesn’t feel like four years!

There’s no point I’ve been driving towards in writing all of this out. I assume as my life goes on and I have more and more life to put in the rearview, this feeling of “That was how long ago?!?” will get worse.

…that’s it. I don’t have a bow to wrap this up in. Time’s moving too fast.

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