If you could go back time, would you do it?
If you could change your history, would you?
What moment would you change?
What would you want to do over?
I have been thinking about my life a lot during Lent this year, as you will likely know from my previous Time For Tea post. Ah, thinking about my life. Sounds quite profound, existential…does it not? Funny.
Honestly, there are a few big moments I have been thinking I would go back to. Sometimes, it is a do over. Other times, I just want to experience it again.
The furthest back would be the day I had my first encounter with Harry Potter. It started out traumatic, sure, but looking back it was also a defining moment in my life. Besides, I want to relive the magic of reading the book for the first time again. Something I cannot get back… And hey, if I lived my life over again from then? Pretty much a clean slate.
The next moment would be when I started high school. I do not think I would choose a different school, but there are many things I regret from my years there. I wish, for instance, I had taken more of my courses in French. I pretty much had the minimum to get by for what I wanted. Besides this, I wish I had opted out of certain extra curriculars—I think this would have changed a lot. I think it would have, at least, made a couple of my years happier. I stayed far longer than I should have.
The third…university. I remember in my first year I had a really rough time at one point. My living situation was horrid. I was missing home. I tried doing things, like joining a sorority. I thought it was a good idea, and it was. Until I found out about the fees involved. I could not afford them. I thought the girls I had met in the process would keep in touch. They did not. I was by myself again. I do not talk about this a lot, but I thought many times about getting out of my university and going home. I would not abandon my studies, but perhaps just relocate them. What would have happened if I did? What would have happened if I had chosen another university? Where would I be now? Would things have been easier for me in my first year?
Sometimes I do not think I should have chosen differently. After all, I have made some really close friends and I cannot imagine them any other way. But at the same time…part of me wishes I could go back.
My reflection is a twisted one. Not evil, but full of turns, doubts, choices. It spins around and around.
I guess this is what happens when you think all the time. When you are terrified of saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing…When you are chilled to the bone thinking about the future, growing old…dying. It has cropped up in my mind now and again, but more frequently so during the past couple of weeks. I have to tell myself it is just the anxiety talking. I have to, otherwise I know I will crumble underneath the pressure.
I know I do not go to church anymore. I know this. But I still believe, in some form. I have to. It lets me cling to the idea there is something after this is all over. I do not expect everyone to share this. But if I can convince my anxiety-ridden mind there is something…I should be okay. I will take steps in that direction.
Of course my mind is also a funny place to inhabit. If I deal with one thing causing anxiety, chances are there is another waiting for me around the corner. For instance? Being alone. That is yet another terrifying though and yet, I fear, part of it is my fault for not going out enough. But then again, I have always been the one cast aside in the past, so what would the point be?
See what I mean?
I know what I want. Love. Children. Life. But I have no idea how to get it. Any of it. They are not things I can force. They are all out of my control.
For now I will focus on the small things. I will drink my steaming mug of tea. I will enjoy my new boots. I will read all the books I have available to me and transport myself away. I will write my own story. I owe it to myself. I keep the promises I make to other people, but I always seem to forget myself.
No one can change their past, no matter how much they might want to.
All we can do is move forward and make the best of things.
Even with everything trying to get me down, trying to tempt me, I have learnt I can be stronger than I might think initially. A small example? There is still time left in Lent and though it would be so easy for me to eat some of the treats I have stashed away…I will not do it. This is a small measure of strength, sure, but it is still strength. It is still something I can control.
I know myself. I know what I should be doing. The only thing left?
Actually doing it.