The Change In My Perception Of Time

If there is one thing I have noticed since being out here, it’s that time feels different.

What do I mean by that, exactly? When I look back on my life before moving to Cambodia, things were safe and familiar. So, day to day life was lived within these familiar, repetitive cycles of 9-5 work life, family and friends and whatever else you have going on.

You step out of that into the unknown, and that’s when things start to change. Actually, your whole experience of life as you know it changes, dramatically. With culture clash and all of the other challenges that come with living in Cambodia, you are most certainly in a different frame of mind. That is required, because no longer do you feel that sense of familiarity.

This really wakes you up out of your normal patterns. Some things reveal themselves and they aren’t necessarily pretty, but that’s not the point. You quickly realise that not everything in life is pretty – this realisation comes from witnessing the chaos of poverty in Cambodia and the chaos of my own internal mind during times of isolation, addiction recovery and all of the other complexities that come with being a human being.

Being in this different state of mind, you lose track of time as you know it. The thinking mind has its own sense of time, but there are states of mind where perception of time either changes or ceases to exist. Another example of this is what they call, flow states. A surfer, for example becomes “one with the wave”.

The uncertainty of life and the things I have experienced since being out here, it feels like I have been here for many years. You experience so much in such short amounts of time and it makes your time feel a lot longer.

When I frame time like this, it encourages me to want to continue living a life rich with experience. The amount of years you want to live to may be important to you, but it seems to be all about what you are doing with your time right now.

How engaged are you with your life? I feel like, the more engaged you are with the things going on in your life, the more you lose track of time.

That’s when one year starts to feel like three.