Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Perception of Time

The longer I have been living in SVG, the more I realize that my concept of time has drastically changed.  I really don’t even know how to explain it.  Time goes by extremely fast here.  Even when I am waiting for hours for meetings to start, or for a van to come, in lines at the bank, post office, supermarket, or for any other various reasons that I am left waiting for something to begin/end, time goes by fast.  Time even goes by fast when the sun sets at 6pm, and I have many long hours to myself waste reading, perusing the web, cooking, cleaning, and doing random stuff before bed.
Like the nerd that I am, I did some research on the perception of the passage of time.  What I have learned is that time seems to go faster when you form positive memories in relaxed environments.  Time goes slower during stressful situations.  Additionally, time goes by faster as fewer memories are formed.  Adults tend to perceive the passage of time as faster than children, because they are not creating as many new memories.
All this contradicts how I feel and the situation I am in.  I am making an incredibly large amount of new memories, and I'm still relatively young. Additionally, I would call Peace Corps a “stressful situation”.  So why isn’t time going slower? Perhaps the passage of time here seems to be flying by because in the back of my mind I know I have limited time here. I need to savor every day, every minute, every second I have here. Perhaps, I’m not as stressed as I thought I was?  Perhaps, since I have so much down time, I'm really not making that many new memories.  Although, I don’t think any of this is the case.  I am constantly doing new things, trying new foods, meeting new people, learning new names, and learning new things.  I am usually always stressed about something (I actually prefer the feeling of being stressed); whether its money (or lack there of), work, things going on back home, etc. So, I can’t really conclude why time is going faster. It must be because I am closer to the equator?
I have noticed recently that more and more people (both in SVG and at home) keep mentioning that I don’t have that much longer in SVG.  Why do people keep pointing this out?  I am really only half way through my service, as I have just completed our Mid Service Training.  I still have half my service left, and a year to go, technically.  I do not want this experience to be over, and the fact that people keep pointing out that my time is limited, is stressing me out.
Just Let Me Be.
It’s interesting because different people have different perceptions of time (obviously).  But its fascinating to note who finds my remaining year of service to be “only a little while” and those who think or thought, that two years is an eternity, and the remaining year an equally long time. I have always asserted that two years really isn’t that long.  I find now that it is going by even faster than I had originally thought it would.
We talked a lot about perspectives at MST. Perspectives and how it pertains to reading comprehension, perspectives in service, etc.  I think time fits into that concept very well.  It’s all about your perspective.

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