IT HAS been decades since scientists have speculated the existence of “dark matter” or the substance that is responsible for the constant expansion of the universe.

This is why someone inside a car views the entire world as slower than him, while someone seeing the car views it as something faster—even if they are in the same timeframe.

Professor José Senovilla, Marc Mars and Raül Vera of the University Bilbao in Basque, Spain and University of Salamanca, Spain, believe that dark matter is an illusion, and time is in fact slowing down.

They said the moment may arrive when time will slow down… and then stop. Forever. It is nice to think that time has a deadline—something to look forward to, or perhaps something to hate.

But for me, it is not a matter of finality or destiny, or setting one’s fate. Neither is it about accepting fate, defying it, or cursing whatever unfortunate circumstance arrived on our doorstep.

For me, perhaps the saddest part is when that moment arrived, and I still have a lot of regrets. The facts dawn at every waking moment—“I did not tell them how I feel,” “I did not quit,” “I was too afraid to try.”

And life has a funny way of reminding me of those things.

It has always been my philosophy to try and control every aspect of my life—my schedule, my habits, my decisions—I always try to have a plan for everything. I multitask and do everything at once, all for the sake of making sure I have enough time to do more.

Some people call it “precrastinating,” and they said it is just as counterproductive as procrastinating, but somehow it always worked for me.

“I’m lazy that way,” I tell others. And then the Varsitarian came.

Deadlines became tenets, and my entire routine was turned upside down. Things were not under my control anymore, and I had to comply with everything. I had to make things work, and I was not allowed to give up.

I was suddenly forced to make friends and try new things. I was suddenly forced into overnights, I got introduced to new habits and I met a part of myself I never thought I had.

I became the total opposite of the self-image I wanted to show: I became spontaneous, social, free-spirited. “Fun,” was not the term, but perhaps I finally became “me.”

It was fate, I always tell myself, that I was placed in a position I did not like. It fitted my “preference”—my style. It was a challenge, too, to make sure I go beyond my limits.

My grandmother always said my trying to fit into everything was my trying to compensate for my insecurity. That my trying to control everything in my life was an expression of weakness—that I knew I was not able to do everything I liked because I was too afraid. So I did the next best thing—I tried to control everything else.

And knowing time is literally running out is almost telling me the past 20 years has not been worth it—because I have been too “safe” and too afraid to take risks.

It is scary knowing that at the end of the day, we really only live once. Death is on the horizon. One day that call for an interview with the Varsitarian interrupted my summer schedule, and now the day has come for me to say goodbye and finally be able to start that schedule I had planned from the start.

Looking back, I could say I have had my ups and downs. I had things I regretted, and perhaps maybe things I enjoyed. I had a lot of things I wish never happened, but at the end of the day, Someone Up There is telling me that everything happens for a reason, and perhaps I finally have to learn my lesson in finality—that I cannot control my life anymore and I cannot make decisions for myself the way I wanted to; that I am not God, it is not my fault that bad things happen, and we always have to say goodbye whether we want it or not.

All great things must come to an end, but I still do not understand why I am not happy.

I am on the verge of stepping into the threshold where time will stop, that my time in the Varsitarian has ended and it is my turn to step into the outside world.

But as I make this inevitable step—this one scary step—I want to take a look back one last time and share the one piece of advice I hoped someone gave me and ask you:

Have you done everything you wanted to do, said everything you wanted to say, showed every bit of feeling you wanted others to feel? Can you tell yourself, with that satisfying exhale, that everything was worth it?

Because I am taking this step, and I am saying goodbye, telling myself it was not worth it. That I wanted to do so much more, but my time has come and my time has to stop.

So before you go, make sure everything was worth it.


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