Why it's important to explore the arts and culture of Hamilton
How stopping to explore the culture of Hamilton helped Volume 93 A&C Reporter make up for lost experiences as the world kept turning
Time is argumentatively linear. By that, I mean it continues to move forward even if you don’t realize it. Even when you try to keep yourself awake a little longer to make the day last longer, 12:00 a.m. will always mark the beginning of a new day.
The reality that time doesn’t stop at one's will is something people spend their entire lives accepting. It isn’t that the mass population believes they can stop time, but rather a sad feeling knowing there will always be time that can’t be returned.
These kinds of thoughts never plagued my mind growing up. As per the average child, I was just happy to exist. I found easy happiness in holding my mom's hand as she walked me to the big yellow school bus that would always stop over the same bump and made all the kids yell.
However, in recent years, I have fallen victim to the hope that time will pause with me. I know it is truly unrealistic to hope for such a thing, but alas I am one of the billions of people who cycled through a pandemic and now I'm one of the many third-year students at McMaster University who sometimes forgets which direction on Main Street West will take her to downtown Hamilton.
Though the glaring lack of knowledge about their university town isn’t uncommon among university students, the degree to which it affects people is different. When I brought up my own fears to my friends about how little I have explored within Hamilton, they admitted they didn’t necessarily have the same worry.
To them, it was a given that they didn’t explore Hamilton as much as the average student. Though it is more than fair, it was hard for me to accept how little I knew about a city I lived in.
My worries of not knowing much about Hamilton became more prominent through my position as a reporter for the Silhouette. For almost the past eight months, I have been learning about how robust Hamilton is. Every week I have had the privilege to talk about the arts, thriving businesses and new events prospering in Hamilton.
It wasn’t as if an external person was keeping me from the plethora of culture in Hamilton, but rather the glaring eye of time. As a third-year undergraduate student, so much of the year was spent trying figure out my next steps and classes, I felt as though I would lose time if I enjoyed myself.
The first time anxious knot in my stomach had begun to unravel was for a piece I wrote earlier this year. I had thought the interview was meant to be done through Zoom, for an upcoming exhibition. Instead, it ended up being an interview that was meant to be in-person, at the exhibit. What had been a miscommunication between the interviewee and me, ended up becoming a secret blessing.
With limited opportunities to leave the confines of McMaster this year, visiting the exhibit in-person for the interview offered me a unique chance to experience art in real-time. As I walked around the exhibit, with the artist who had spent years creating the work, I found myself truly connecting. When I was able to put aside my initial hesitancy regarding the underlying fear of losing time, I was enjoying myself. The simple mistake made me realize how fulfilling it is to explore; how even if I may lose time in one aspect, I am enriching myself in another.
The chance to view my own life beyond the confines of my own fears would not have been possible if not for my time on the Silhouette. The undeniable reality is that time will continue, no matter what we do.
As someone who up until recently was consumed in the fear of never fully using my time correctly, I urge you to take a chance. Visit the art exhibit showing up on your feed, go to the concert even if it seems far away, stop by the street fair that pauses the traffic and let yourself be present. Let yourself take back control of the time you fear you’ll never get back.