A Song About Love and Thoughts About Time

I have recently introduced myself to the utterly glorious wonder that is Charlie McDonnell.

Charlie McDonnell is a 23-year-old vlogger and doer-of-other-general-internet-things from the UK. He also happens to be a fan of Doctor Who and John Green and appears to be someone whom I could have a lot of fun talking to (as well as looking at). Anyway, he has a video from 2010 called “A Song About Love” and as I absolutely LOVE it, I am going to copy down the lyrics and talk about them a little bit.

This is a song about love, and not a very good one.

I don’t know enough to tell you about heartbreak

but I know it’s there and you can’t avoid it by listening to your head.

Which is just what I’ve done

and it isn’t perfect but look what I’ve done instead,

instead of falling for you.

I’ve never really been in love and that is fine by me –

I’ll sit at home and refine the person I want to be,

cause I’m still young and not prepared to waste my time

on chasing girls who have yet to fully form their minds.

And I know that there’s a woman waiting but she’s not a woman yet.

So I’ll wait and make sure I don’t do something I’ll regret.

This isn’t just about love,

cause that’s just one pixel of the image I’m speaking of –

the one of the relationship that we share.

It’s much more important that I learn to like you too,

though I guess before that it’s probably vital

that I try and look for you –

and at least look for me.

I’ve never really been in love and that is fine by me.

I’ll sit at home and refine the person I want to be

cause I’m still young and not prepared to waste my time

on chasing girls who have yet to fully form their minds.

And I know there’s a woman waiting but she’s not a woman yet.

So I’ll wait and make sure I don’t do something I’ll regret.

I could tell that I love you all you want, until I’m dry,

but I can’t force myself to love you so why should I try?

I’ll have to wait and hold my chin up

and plug away at other things until she comes.

And I know that there’s a woman waiting but she’s not a woman yet.

So I’ll wait and make sure I don’t do something I’ll regret.

Ahhhh. First of all, this is a beautifully done song (it is searchable on YouTube – the video is called “A Song About Love,” Charlie McDonnell sings it and his channel is charlieissocoollike). Secondly, this is a BEAUTIFULLY DONE THOUGHT.

He’s like 20 in this video, and instead of being obsessed with getting laid or getting a girlfriend, he’s there, alive and single, and mostly okay with it for the time being. I don’t know what Charlie believes, but this is a pretty incredible demonstration of faith – if not in God, in at least the universe or in SOMETHING happening, someday.

I know a lot of people, myself included, who might benefit from this beautiful song.

The other thing it made me think about was John Green’s beautiful line from The Fault in Our Stars: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once,” and how I often speculate that I have never been in love. I could analyze the crap out of my past boyfriends and past Close Encounters of the Dancing Kind (nifty little category I invented for the two times I got to dance with guys I had a huge crush on) and my relationships with all four of those, but the point is I’m really not sure that I’ve ever been in love. And that is fine by me. If Charlie McDonnell can be twenty and not sure he’s ever been in love, then I can be eighteen and not sure I’ve ever been in love.

Besides, TIME is not the boss of you, as the immortal Doctor says (somewhere near the end of Series 5, I think). You will get where you’re going eventually. You are bound to get somewhere sometime. And whenever that is, you will arrive precisely when you intend to (Gandalf is great). Whether or not you think you arrive when you NEED to. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to arrive somewhere if you weren’t ready to be there, now would you?

And that reminds me of the part of the lyrics which say “And I know that there’s a woman waiting but she’s not a woman yet. So I’ll wait and make sure I don’t do something I’ll regret.” Aside from this being a very impressive statement coming from an adolescent in the twenty-first century (or any adolescent for that matter, I suppose), it’s a cool thought in relation to time and Doctor Who and whatnot.

In the Series 1 finale, which always makes me bawl like a baby, there’s a scene after Rose has gone back to her present, leaving the Doctor to face the end of the universe sometime in the future, and is sitting in a diner with Jackie and Mickey, and Jackie says something about “If it’s 500,000 years in the future-” (or however many it is) “there’s plenty of time, isn’t there?” (I’m paraphrasing wildly.) And Rose retorts with “But it’s not! It’s now.”

I love this line because for her, yes, it is in fact NOW, happening RIGHT NOW, and that’s cool because it indicates that maybe, everything that we perceive as past, present and future is all happening all the time (which puts me in mind of that theory that everything we know is just the entire universe experiencing itself), and then I think of Charlie’s lyrics and think that somewhere in what would ordinarily be perceived as the future but is in fact happening now, the woman he is waiting for is there, and she is a woman now. Not in the future, not “not yet,” but now.

However, as Charlie (so far as we know) doesn’t have access to a TARDIS or a DeLorean or any other sort of time-traveling vehicle, he’s not arriving in that particular now before he intends to. And why would he want to?

When time passes really slowly, in the right order (series 7 for anyone who’s wondering), at least you know that you’re getting there, if you’ll excuse me for making a glorious and inexcusable pun, on time. That’s why it’s so dangerous to mess up your own personal timeline. That’s why you never read ahead in the book (also series 7). If you stumble into part of your life when you’re not ready for it, who knows what else you might ruin.

Thus I think you have to be patient and follow the timeline (though asking if your timeline includes crossing your own timeline and if that happens to be on the schedule just blows my mind – all the wibbly wobbly timey wimey going on here), and realize that you will get where you’re going (please excuse my horrible pun once again) in plenty of time.

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