I Exist Outside of Time

We all stumble through life creating various versions of ourselves. Fourteen-year-old Allison was, after all, a much different person than 20-year-old Allison is, and both of those Allisons are so, so different than four-year-old Allison, who had few to no priorities except maybe downing an entire bag of Goldfish. Now that I think about it, Goldfish are still a priority for me, but that’s not the point and really not important here.

I talk about myself like that all the time - I’ll tell a story about “how dramatic middle-school Allison was”, or remark that high-school Allison wouldn’t believe where I am now. I think most of us do, and it seems pretty normal. That is, until it leads you down the rabbit hole of existential thought and before you know it you’re having a crisis because, which 'you' is the real you? What’s the interval for declaring a “new Allison”? Is it every two years? Is it ridiculous to even consider that something this abstract would have concrete time limits? At what point do you change just enough to be considered separate from your past selves? And how many selves are there? Is this what Jordan Peele was alluding to in Us?


Quick, before you also spiral into existential despair - stay with me! This is going somewhere, I promise! Hang in there!


Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how our selves are all connected. Because honestly, no one can truly change everything about themselves. My mom tells stories all the time about things I did as a baby that manifested into distinct personality traits or quirks now. I may have much more going on now than I did at four years old, but that little girl was still me! She still had many of my likes and dislikes, and was 100 percent, irrefutably me. Soon, even 20-year-old me will be a past self, and while that’s a weird thought, it comforted me to think maybe those similarities across time are what define us as really, truly ourselves.


I think that’s my answer, though to take it one small step further, I propose that I exist outside of time - well, what makes up “Allison” as a whole does. I am Me, and I exist here and now. But in ten years, I will be Future Me, and you will be Future You, and we can reminisce about our 2019 selves over a cup of coffee while flying cars zip by overhead, or whatever. But even then, at 30 years old, that won’t be my Final Form, so to solve this problem, I think our true essences are timeless. Just like those similarities that our past selves share.


I’m no philosopher, and I’m definitely no scientist, but even if you rolled your eyes through the whole article (if you did, then I seriously applaud you for reading the whole thing, thank you), you gotta admit, it sure is fun to imagine. I mean, nothing will make you feel quite like an epic sci-fi space heroine like this sentence:


I exist outside of time.