I don't know where times goes when it leaves us, but before I know it it is Monday morning and I'm not at school for two reasons. 1) I have now finished school, and 2) because it's study leave so I'd be off school anyway. It feels strange all the same. The timetable I've neglected to learn all year dances in front of my mind throughout the day, what class I would be in and who I had it with. I miss my friends. I miss the little kids. Mondays won't be the same without them. Without people to play monsters or read stories or paint with. I've learned so much from them this year.
During study breaks I devote my time to blogging, updating my template and buying my own domain. I read over my blog posts from this time last year and marvel about how much I've grown, how much has changed. I'm reading back my words and wondering what happened to that girl, knowing that one day I'll read back here and wonder the same (hi future self). I love being able to see how I got here, to have documented the last year so vividly. Now I can pinpoint to certain days and recall events knowing this is me becoming myself.
I'm studying like crazy for English and all I have is a knot in my stomach and a mess of notes. I'm pretty sure there is nothing they could ask me I haven't practised, but I'm still nervous. My exam is on Thursday and after a nightmare about being late and not being allowed in, I wake with the dawn and get ready. I'm in my uniform and we're waiting in the library and as I look around I find it hard to believe that our time at school is up. I feel like I've got so much more to do, classes and subjects I never took that suddenly I want too. I don't regret my choices, but I wish I could've made more of them sometimes.
I fit so much into this last year that it makes me sad I didn't cram full all the other years too. But I've got no time for sadness because we're reciting quotes to each other as we go upstairs, into the tiny classroom our exam is in. I'm in seat 11 and it's at the front of the room and the invigilator is always standing near me and it makes me nervous. But when I open the paper I realise I've nothing to be nervous about. The essay questions are good and I'm writing well. I ask for more paper and I finish in good time. But then the unimaginable happens.
The invigilator comes over and whispers 'are you finished?' I nod and her face grimaces. She says, 'You're not going to like what I've got to tell you' and I laugh a little because I'm thinking what on earth could she have to tell me that I won't like? It turns out she's given me the wrong answer booklet, and tells me she can't submit it. It's over nine pages long, over half my essay is in this booklet, and I'm given no choice but to spend the last half hour of my exam not checking my essay but rewriting the majority of it into a new booklet. My hand is aching and I want to scream. Welcome to the ridiculous world of SQA invigilators. Incompetence at it's absolute finest.
I don't have another exam for a few weeks so I tale the weekend off to chillax. I go visit historical places with my aunt and we wander around grand staircases pretending we're in downton abbey and calling each other lady. My mama is away on holiday tomorrow so it's back up to me cooking dinner each night. I'm spending more time with my brother as we share riddles, watch documentaries and laugh together at comedy sketches.
All I've been thinking about this week is time. If I realised anything it's that it's not so scary that we can go so easily from someone’s everything to someone’s nothing. What is scary is that it happens so seamlessly we don’t even notice it happening. Not until we’re on the other side. The gap is too wide. The distance is too big. We’re too far gone. And by that time it’s almost always impossible to get back. But it’s not like one day we were close and the next we no longer were. The truth is that distance grows every day. Each time we put off texting back. We cancel dates. We don’t answer or return that call. We change plans. We prioritise something or someone else. We think we’ll do it tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. When we get paid. When we have a spare hour or two. When we’re less tired. The trouble is we always think there’s more time. And more time will keep coming. Endlessly. Timelessly. Miraculously.
And yet time doesn't work like that. It works on moments. And when moments pass we don’t get those moments again. Why don’t we see that? We think we’re different. Our time is different. Our chances of working out are greater. We’re immune to distance. To growing apart. To separation. To ending. The same way every other friendship or relationship did before it died. And yet we’re not. The truth is we don’t go from everything to nothing. We go from everything to something to nothing. I think I know where time goes when it leaves us. It goes back to the moments we spent apart, to the chances we didn't take, to the pile of time we wasted, spent with the wrong people and prioritising the wrong things.