I have learned an awful lot of things this year. I have learned that the moment you leave your hometown and your mind begins to stretch past the old familiar skylines, the world somehow shrinks to the size of a tennis ball and yet expands until an ocean seems like a lightyear wide, I have learned to savour the bittersweet tang a goodbye leaves in your mouth, I have even – although this took much longer – learned not to flinch when perfect strangers move to kiss my cheeks. But above all the many things I’ve learned this year, I have learned about time.
When you begin to pull together the bricks that make up a new life from nothing, time becomes a strangely malleable shadow to your life: people used to say to me, you’ve got loads of time! But I knew that if time kept charging on the way it had in the first few months, I didn’t have much time at all. Time becomes such an abstract concept – how has it been two months, five months, ten months already? And yet how has it only been months? So much has happened, so much has changed, enough experiences to fill a lifetime in such a short span of time.