Where’d All The Time Go?

My introduction to photography was through film, and it was in those quiet dark room moments that I fell in love with it.  But in recent years I’ve mostly shot digital, and it wasn’t until I came across a vintage Canon in perfect condition and took it home with me that I started shooting with film again. I still have a bunch of rolls of film though, and the other day when I went to open a canister and load the camera, I discovered a used roll. I immediately went out to get it developed, dying to know what was on it. When I got it back, I found only a handful of images came out, the rest were damaged – and I had no recollection of shooting them.  All of the images that survived were taken along Philly’s Schuylkill river save for one, which is of my cat Pearl when she was a baby.  It’s the only indication of when the film was shot, apparently 8 years ago, when I was living in center city Philadelphia soon after graduating from college. It feels like a lifetime ago.

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It got me thinking about time, and how quickly it passes.  It freaks me out.  When I took those photos I was so young, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and I had no idea how much would take place over the next several years. I would live in 7 different apartments, three different cities, have two different jobs, one of which I was at for 5 years. 5 years seems like a long time to be somewhere – but looking back on it now, it’s like it went by in the blink of an eye.  I think about the things I’ve always said I wanted to do, but still haven’t done – like write a book. It seems like we have so much time, but where does it all go?

pearl 2

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I’m a bit conflicted on it.  I believe in living in the moment, being spontaneous, not thinking too much about how I’m spending my time, but simply spending it, know what I mean? But I think it’s an interesting exercise, just for a week, to document what you’re spending your time doing.  How many hours are you sleeping? Working? Doing something you might not enjoy but feel the need to do? How much time are you dedicating to doing what you really love? Are you working to live or living to work? One thing doing this has helped me realize is that even though it might seem like I’m “too busy” to work on something that feels so far-fetched as writing a book, the truth is, I do have time.  Especially now that I’m working freelance and creating my own hours.  It’s hard for me to set aside time for something that isn’t going to have any immediate results, but I’m working on it.  Just a little bit each day, even just a page, can really add up.  8 years from now I might just have a book in my hands. Yes time is fleeting, but if we spend it wisely, there’s so much we can do.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  How do you make the most of your time?

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6 years ago

Sometimes I can’t help but feel like I’m just sitting and watching life absolutely fly by. The more I try to participate sometimes the faster it seems to get away. But I’m learning to take things more easily, pacing myself more definitely. The thought of university used to scare the hell out of me, but now that I’ve broken it down and really started thinking about it…it’s less scary. I guess that’s the trick, finding the pieces you can handle and only taking those at the right times.



6 years ago

(I’ve always wanted to find a place to make a secret “Before I die” chalkboard wall, like in the woods somewhere on an abandoned building that you’d have to be an adventurous soul to find.)

I think I often worry a little too much about my own mortality and my expiration date, so much so that I end up holding myself back from taking risks and really getting the most out of my time! But perhaps the worst feeling in the world is feeling like you’re wasting time, and it gets even worse when you feel like you’re wasting time thinking about how much time you’ve wasted. My biggest goal in my life is to just stop thinking about it and “exhaust [every] little moment” (Gwendolyn Brooks).


6 years ago

I like to take some time out every once and a while and evaluate how I spend my time and what I do. I kinda make a plan, and then I can go off into a life of living in the moment and spending my time how I want, but kind of within the parameters of following the plan. (I’m a student, so a lot of that tends to be “Which classes will I take?” or “What club do I join?” After I’m signed up, I don’t have to worry so much.)

6 years ago

It does fly by, but photography helps so much in collecting all of these beautiful moments. Good to read.

Warm Regards,

6 years ago

I’m usually not one to comment but this post came as prefect timing to exactly where I’m at in my life. 8 years ago I lost my dad and have been on a spiritual journey ever since. Lately I’ve been thinking deeply about time and being very introspective and wondering where am I going NOW? Who am I now? 8 years later. It’s a beautiful journey and I’m reminded to be present for it no matter what the day brings. Peace be with u all!

6 years ago

I think that doing something every day that puts you another step closer to your dreams is important. But also balancing that with down time, family time, and time to appreciate the moment. It is amazing what we can accomplish with the time we are given. <3


6 years ago

Time is really the most expensive essence we have on this Earth. It’s so important to not let it go to waste, and I cherish all the memories I can reminisce of.

6 years ago

Reminds me to get my son’s disposable from a few years ago developped. It was from his trip to visit his great grandfather in NJ. He travelled with my mother and brother to Monticello as well. I so want to learn his perspective at that age.