Reading old journal entries or lyrics sometimes feels like time travel. Not only in the sense that I am remembering certain things about writing the piece. Catalysts I was experiencing at the time, social, internal, irrational, etc. are nostalgic for me, but that’s not really the point of looking back on them.
Nostalgia is a fun distraction, but too much can lead to stagnation and longing for good times that have already passed, instead of forging forward to acquire new ones.
No, the time travel I’m speaking of is more forward. Like I traveled to the future when I wrote it, and returned to my present time after ive finished writing. And it only really makes sense at the time that I re-read it.
Like, at this moment, I have certain realisations that I have come to through experience and the events and foibles of everyday life. We’re always learning. Always. But I tend to write things as if I am answering questions that weren’t asked yet. I like to assume an answer to questions, and just write the answer. The question will be vague, and only exists in my mind. But later – could be weeks, months, even years after I wrote it – I formed the question in my mind more articulately, and the answer I’d written down previously makes sense all the more.
My past self is my future self for brief moments of clarity. It can almost feel like an out of body experience for me. Sometimes it takes me weeks to finish writing something, and those pieces are the ones that make me feel like I am present while writing it. But it’s the pieces that finish in 10-15 minutes and I only vaguely know what it all means that make me feel elsewhere. I was never sure where I was, and I would often not realise I felt this way until a long time after I wrote it. But now I’m willing to think that I had been pushed into the future for those few minutes and came back with the answers to questions I had, though only half-formed.
This is why writing has become a very therapeutic thing for me. I know that I will never know all the answers to every question. But for brief moments, I know that I can time-travel deep into myself to find an endgame of sorts. A goal to shoot for. Over time, I will develop the questions to ask to create my road map to it. These things take time.