Have you ever been in one of those moments that you wish could have lasted forever? Sometimes you know you’re in them when they’re actually happening. Sometimes you don’t realise until afterwards, when whatever it was that made you feel that way isn’t there anymore. If you’re lucky, you might have a photograph of it… maybe it’s a beautiful place that you only got to visit once, and now it’s the lock screen on your phone. Maybe it’s a meaningful text from someone who meant a lot, screenshotted to be re-read long after that relationship has drifted apart. Maybe it’s video footage of a winning putt in a tournament, a reminder of the adrenaline you didn’t know it was possible to feel.
We get a bad rap sometimes for photographing things too often. For forgetting to actually experience our experiences because we’re too busy taking pictures of them. It’s a valid point when people do it purely for the ‘look at me look where I went look how cool my life is’ image they attempt to paint. But a lot of the time people photograph things for a genuine reason… they want something to help them hit rewind when the buzz has gone.
The problem is that those freeze frames, whether you have them physically or on a screen or in your head, they aren’t real. Life isn’t a series of pictures and videos and memories for us to play back when we want to remember, it’s what actually happens to us every second we’re breathing. Pictures can’t put us back in those moments. Because what we really want isn’t to look at the picture and remember, it’s to be back in that place, at that time, with those people, feeling those feelings and thinking those thoughts. We don’t want photographs, we want it again. We want a rewind button.
I’m not sure if it’s cynicism or maturity to know that nothing lasts forever. I think a lot of people have that fear of never being that happy again. The problem with letting something, or someone, make you happy is that you can’t always control whether that gets taken away from you. Life moves on whether you want it to or not. What I do know is that allowing that to hold you back is a mistake. It’s an understandable mistake – people go through painful experiences all the time, and perhaps the more painful the experience the more likely it is to make a person unwilling to be put in a position to feel that pain again. But if you never have any pain, you don’t get to appreciate just how good the good is. Knowing it could end is bittersweet, but not having it at all would be worse. Some people would rather spend their whole life treading water because they don’t want to hit the rocks at the bottom after they’ve stood atop the highest diving board. But once you’ve had a taste for that highest diving board….
I’m not a scientist but adrenaline is the reason I can’t see myself ever giving up on golf. There have been times I questioned whether the highs could really outweigh the lows, and that’s something that applies to a whole other world as well. But the adrenaline, the high, the happiness when it finally comes through… it is so worth it. We might not be able to press pause on certain moments in our life or to put that feeling in a bottle to take out anytime we need it. We might not be able to protect ourselves from crashing back down to earth sometimes. But if we’re willing to try and touch the clouds, in whatever sense that might be, the grazes from the rocks at the bottom really don’t mean a thing.