Thursday, August 4, 2011

08.04.11 | The Old Me

I tend to fall asleep when I study SAT vocabulary. That is how I came across the piece of paper. (There are too many drawers around me, filled with too much old junk.) It is a page of black notepaper, something that was once very popular (around a decade ago, I believe), like gel pens. On this piece of paper is what seems to be a journal entry by the person who lived in my body five years ago. It goes as follows:
Hi! I can't believe it, but the summer of 2006 is nearly over! Eleven different guests have lived in our house THIS SUMMER! Right now, I am cleaning up my book shelf by messing up my room. Well, the only places that are messy are the doorways. It's such HARD WORK!! I also found the diary of me when I was only about 3 or 4 years old. I was SO cute! My mom wrote it for me.

Oh well, I going to JUNIOR HIGH in two weeks! Time flies as fast as a cheetah can run! Whew! I think my hands are getting tired... I think I'd better stop writing and get back to work...

By the way, we got LOTS of new Lego stuff this summer. AND I got lots more T-shirts.

Okay... That was rather embarrassing. (I had a thing for cheetahs, and I didn't always proofread my work.) But hey, I had only just finished elementary school then. Still, it's always awkward reading things from so long ago—I never remember I wrote it. In a way it's kind of like meeting a young cousin you never knew you had. After reading it so many years later, I think to my(current)self, "Goodness, what a kid I was! I was so immature, and my writing was so awful!" My eyes narrow at the piece of paper as an idea surfaces in my mind. "Perhaps I should respond to my twelve-year-old self and see how my future self will react to my reaction."

So I flip to the back of the notepaper and begin writing (with a chalky pen, the only writing utensil I could find that could write on black). I write:
SUMMER, 2011

Cheetahs aren't as fast as sound, light, and many other things. (They obviously can't travel the distance between San Fran and L.A. — without a plane — in 52 minutes, either.) Also, time can't

Here my pen has become a nuisance. The ink now refuses to cooperate and chooses to stay packed inside its comfy little shaft. I set the pen down in frustration. I type out what I have written and continue my response on my computer:
Also, time can't fly (not even figuratively, unless you somehow distort the spacetime fabric, which I still haven't managed to do): it just continues flowing, at its ever-constant rate. The seconds tick by, and with each tick, you realise that another tiny unit of this thing called "time" has disappeared. Forever. Never to come back again. But funny, isn't it, how this piece of paper captured the instances of me, while I was writing it? Was it the time that was captured, or just my thoughts during that time? Thoughts and time are irrelevant. You could spend an hour doing nothing, thinking nothing, but you could also spend a few minutes enlightening yourself with books or intellectual discourses with your philosophical friends (if you have any — I'm glad I do). Ah, how productive that would be. I could even change someone, too, in just a few minutes, just by introducing him or her to the art of thinking.

It's also funny how people say that time can change people. Oh, how wrong they are. Time itself cannot change anyone. It is, as I mentioned earlier, just a concept that continues flowing at its ever-constant rate. What truly changes someone is what the person does with that time: whom one meets, whom one comes to love, and what one consumes and thus becomes. I myself have changed oh-so-much over the course of this half-decade. So many people and things and events have had such an impact on me. So many inspirations, so many realisations. My clay is slowly hardening, but it is still wet. Unfortunately I'm still not sure what shape my clay shall be in the future. It seems as though most others my age are still more malleable than I am. Perhaps I should try to soften my own clay too.

Oh. College in a year. Good luck to me.

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