I’m writing later than my usual time slot today because I forced myself to finish the movie that I tried to watch last night but fell asleep to. This time, I’m going to force myself to actually finish the things that I started. That sounds too late for a 2019 New Year’s resolution and too early for a 2020 New Year’s resolution but we all know that New Year’s resolutions are the biggest lie we all tell ourselves and others. The year has just begun and we’re already pushing through it by lying. If we really wanted to change something in ourselves, we shouldn’t wait for the changing of a year to urge us to make that transformation.
I watched the film Arrival because there is a faint memory in my mind that this film was referred to me by a friend whose taste in movies I trust. I was never a fan of the science fiction genre. Movies about aliens are one of my pet peeves. It’s not that I don’t believe in aliens, I actually do on some level but not completely. I think that they are smart enough to leave us alone with our ancient technologies and backward civilisation but I try to keep an open mind so I gave it a go even if it involves aliens.
The main lead is an expert linguist and the government asked for her help in communicating with the aliens. That’s about it, I don’t want to spoil it if you ever plan on watching it, you’re going to have to do that work yourself. All throughout the movie I was a bit frustrated because all I was thinking about was “teach us how to understand the alien language”, even after it turned out that the movie is actually a love story.
What I can’t stop thinking about is that they touched upon the idea that time is not really linear like we were programmed to believe. And the person I remember saying that is my friend, Albert Einstein. If you are the sort of person whose sense of sarcasm and humour is not fully developed yet, or you are living under a rock all this time, no, Albert Einstein is not my friend. He is actually a scientist who popularised the theory of relativity which states that time is a relative concept and that time and space are not as constant as every day life would suggest.
I like the theory of relativity even though I don’t fully understand it or know all of it simply because what little I understand, I assume works to my advantage especially when I’m speeding through traffic lights in the morning when I’m running late for work. When I know I’m going to be late, I rehearse this speech in my head where in I tell my superiors that time is not really linear, it’s actually relative which means that 6:30 AM for you may not be 6:30 AM for me. But of course I don’t get to deliver that speech because the day might end with me having been forced to resign.
They say time is not really linear, it’s actually fluid. Time is not from womb to tomb; it’s fluid, the past, the present, and the future could overlap. And I guess if it really is true that it’s fluid, then maybe that would explain the déjà vu that we sometimes get from time to time because the future overlaps with the present.
Another idea from the movie that had me thinking was when the main character asked, “If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?” Right now, I would say I wouldn’t because I know there is a purpose for everything and nothing is coincidental. But I wouldn’t be honest if I don’t tell you that there are rare times when I’m not feeling okay, that I wish I could change some things. Sometimes I wish I could take back some choices I’ve made and see if my life would be better than it is now. Those moments are rare, because I’m usually fine with how my life has turned out, but they are there.
Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like if I hadn’t met some people but I couldn’t. That even if I would be given the gift to see time as non-linear, to see the future playing in my mind like a movie while I’m also dealing with the present, I would take it all in as it is, as it should be, I won’t go the other way on the day I’m supposed to meet them even if I know it will not work out, even if I know it will hurt me in the end, I would still go through with it because my life will not be the way it is if I hadn’t met them. Everything I have gone through, everything I have learned, every pain that I have mastered, every wisdom that I have gained would not have been possible if I haven’t met the people I met.
“I forgot how good it felt to be held by you” was my favourite line from the movie because that’s what the main character said when she embraced the man for the first time. They’ve never hugged before but she already has a faint memory of how it feels like to hold him and be held by him because sometimes past, present, and future overlaps, it’s not linear like we were led to believe.