No matter how good you are at crunching numbers, regardless of how much your feet are dipped in the river of time, you will always be surprised when moments come to pass. Life is an unreal experience. You find yourself in the middle of a moment, and despite all your imagination, only then do you know what it feels like. All your estimation is a poor proxy for experience. For most of your life, you will be caught off-guard by the unexpected happiness around you. You will sit around people and laugh, knowing that you knew you would get here somehow, but that all of it would happen like this was beyond your wildest imagination. No plans can prepare you for joy. It is one of the sweetest pleasures of being alive: to feel alive in a way you did not know you could.
Time feels like a substance we do not comprehend yet, or perhaps, never well. It bends over on itself. The shock of it passing and yet, staying still in more ways than we can count is not something we are never prepared for.
I vividly remember episodes from my childhood as I sit in a blanket on a hazy day irreconcilably far from it. No understanding of relativity will ever make this easier to digest. The sheer confusion of being old enough to handle myself and yet, knowing that I am still the same child in more ways than I can name right now causes a lump in my throat. I swallow reality with a gulp. It all makes me feel more alive, if nothing else.
But what has brought this onslaught of happy terror, this barrage of glorious surrender to time? A coincidence. I had a day impeccably similar to a day I had so many years ago; I would have to stop writing and do the mathematics to tell you the correct number. They were so alike, so happily alike, that I could have sworn for a second I forgot all this time had passed and that I sat there looking like how I do today. I could have sworn, for a second, I did not know when the clock stopped ticking. I blinked on a day all those years ago, and suddenly, I was here today.
It is always sudden. We call it passing as if it is a slow, gradual shift, but when you look back, it is always sudden.