You are given a chance to return to any previous point in your life and change a decision you made, but you will lose everything that has happened to you since then. Is there a time you would return to? If so, would you like to retain the memory of the life you are giving up even though you could never recapture it?
Okay, first off, I would like to retain the memory of the life I’m giving up if I were to decide to do such a thing. Because then I would at least be able to do the thing where I wish I knew then what I know now. And, that being the case, I’d probably go back to high school and do it all differently. I’d still be the introvert that I am, but I certainly wouldn’t be shy about saying or doing the things I’m thinking.
Besides that, how great would it be to walk around places 25 years ago and be like, “See that restaurant? Better enjoy it while you can, because in 2006 it’s gonna burn down.” I guess the problem with that is that your friends would then assume you’re a future arsonist with psychopathic delusions. That’s the risk we run when we know the future. Just ask Sarah Conner.
I know that reliving life from high school on would change a lot of things in a butterfly effect kind of way. There’s no way to predict all the differences that would come. I’m sure I’d still find myself enrolled at Bluefield College, even though I always said the smart thing to do, fiscally, would have been to go to community college for my first couple years. But I met so many of my lifelong friends at Bluefield, I know I’d enjoy reliving that time of my life.
Again, I would just embrace life a little differently. My interactions would be a lot more interesting with my current personality. Plus, I could definitely look into investing in some things that I know will take off in the mid-2000s. Like Facebook. Is that a thing I could have invested in before it got big? Amazon? Google? Whatever… investing isn’t my thing. Neither is betting on sports, but I’d definitely bet the farm on Boston at the start of the 2004 baseball season. No one will ever see it coming!
Should I warn the world about 9/11? Or would that, once again, just make me sound like a delusional crazy person and/or the architect of destruction once it happens?
Maybe this whole going back and reliving life differently isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
In rereading the question, I know it specifically says to change one decision. So I guess that actually means I wouldn’t be reliving my life from the time of that changed decision. I’d still be in the present, but my life around me would change based on that one different decision. Thinking on it in those terms, I can’t think of a single thing I’d want to change. There isn’t one decision that I’d want to make differently… Life happens the way it’s meant to for a reason.
What would you do? Is there a decision you’d want to play out differently? How do you think it would affect your life today? Let me know down in the comments!
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.