About Time

I found myself awake at 3:30 of yesterday morning, because the night before that, I went to sleep at 8 PM and I couldn’t get myself to sleep more than 7 hours. With all the time in the world to do nothing, I finally decided to clear a few movies off my bucket list (which seems to be an endless list, seriously) and I went with a recent recommendation from a friend, titled “About Time”. He told me it’s a love story where the guy is able to travel through time, and it’s kind of true, but the main theme of the movie really is time rather than love. It’s actually based on a concept that I had thought of about two months back, and I really wanted to write something about it, but I was never able to put it firmly into words.

I remember when I tried to start writing that piece, I said “the concept is like [the movie] Click, but not really”. Funny enough, this movie also reminded me of Click, but again it’s not really the same thing. In Click, the main character fast forwards through his life to get to all the successful highs – completely neglecting all the small details that make life what it is. The ideas are definitely related, but what I have in mind is more than that. I feel like Click talks more about career v.s family (and health, other aspects of life), and skipping the important lessons you learn in the process when all you’re hunting for is wealth and power.

The main character in About Time is able to travel forwards and backwards through time, but he never uses his ability to make himself rich or particularly successful. Instead, he uses his ability to change small things; to fix his embarrassing moments; to save his sister from a car crash after a heartbreak; to go back to a moment before his dad died, and give him a kiss. Through his time experiences in time travel, he also learned that some things just can’t be changed. He can’t make his first crush fall in love with him, no matter how he did things differently. He can’t save his sister and still accompany his child through a happy childhood. He can’t prevent his dad from dying of cancer.

Before his dad passes away, he leaves behind a bit of advice for the main character:

Live every day again, almost exactly the same; the first time with all the tensions and worries that stop us from noticing how sweet the world can be. But the second time, noticing.

Slowly, he starts to notice all the beautiful things in life. Good, bad, happy, sad – it’s all part of an amazing journey. And in the end, he says this in the closing dialogue:

The truth is, I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day. I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day; to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day, of my extraordinary, ordinary life.

We’re all travelling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is to do our best to relish this remarkable ride.

All in all, the movie wasn’t amazing, but that last segment really was powerful. How much better can this represent my feelings from the bottom of my heart? Every day is beautiful, and that includes all the seemingly boring bits in between. The bad parts make the good parts shine out brighter when they come around. The embarrassing parts give us moments to laugh about when we reminisce. The scary parts are gentle reminders of our silly old selves. You know how there are things that are perfect because of their flaws? Well, life just happens to be one of them.

2014-05-03 18.14.12

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