I’ve spent a good part of my adulthood wanting to start my life over again, fantasizing about how great everything would be now if only I had done something differently then. I can’t tell you how many hours/days/years I’ve dedicated to wishing I could go backward. I know with crystal clarity that I’d spend my younger years being more social, travelling and living abroad, getting good grades, going to school for a different degree (or not getting a degree at all), saving/investing my money, choosing boyfriends who weren’t total assbags… If I knew then what I know now, I would DO IT UP! I’d be successful and happy and rich as fuuuuuuuuuuuck.
Up until a few days ago, I thought I’d jump at the chance to travel back in time and change my life (you know, assuming that kind of magic is possible). But then I saw a post on Facebook that said (I’m paraphrasing), “If you could choose between starting your life over again at 10 years old, knowing what you know now, or jumping forward 10 years with a multi-million dollar payout, what would you do?”
The reality is, there is no financial gain from the future scenario. You could easily make billions by travelling to the past and pulling a Biff , betting on sports and playing the stock market. When you take that into consideration, this hypothetical “would you rather” becomes the same question I’ve been asking myself since I was old enough to waste 4 years of my life on a University Degree I don’t use: “if you could start your life over again, would you?” Fortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to immediately realize that financial freedom would be mine regardless of which option I chose, and that oversight altered my perspective forever.
Upon first read, the question seemed as if someone was offering me riches beyond my wildest dreams NOT to go back in time. Not only could I be wealthy, I could skip the part of parenthood that I consider difficult and tedious (these early childhood years that test my patience daily), to jump straight into the empty nest retirement phase of my life with all of the freedom in the world. For the first time, I really thought about throwing myself into the future, rather than the past.
Future me wouldn’t have to sacrifice all of the friends I’ve made, which has been a major concern of mine with this whole time travel thing from the start. I’ve thought of ways some of my friends would remain the same (maybe I could have spent even more time with my high school friends if I sought some of them out sooner, or maybe I could engineer ways to begin relationships with the people who would have no context in my “newly remastered” life otherwise). However, no matter how many schemes I come up with to meet my current friends again, it’s absurd to think that I could keep everyone I’ve come to know and love.
It would kill me never to speak to my best friends again, and my little family would be gone. Even if I had kids (in my time travel fantasies, I have to admit, sometimes I don’t), they wouldn’t be Bean and Sprout. And as much as I miss being able to do whatever I want whenever I want (in silence!), I’d miss those tiny farts more. For better or for worse, I love my girls more than life itself and I couldn’t give them up. What’s more, I wouldn’t even jump 10 years into the future because I wouldn’t want to miss a single, terrible and wonderful, minute of their lives.
One stupid, poorly written Facebook post made me realize I would give up millions of dollars to be exactly where I am right now. If that’s not a life changing thought, I don’t know what is.