Every now and again I imagine what it might be like to go back in time in my life. Like, just to visit for a day, not to live. But the thing I get hung up on in my imaginings, is whether I would like to go back as I am now – with my current knowledge, ideas, self, etcetera – OR would I like to go back and be the person I was as I experienced the moment the first time around. I simply can’t decide. I realize it’s not super-important to make decisions about fantastical notions that ain’t never gonna happen, nonetheless I get fixed on this particular question. Given a choice, which would it be? I can see advantages to both.
Supposing I wanted to go back and relive a day in high school. It would be fun to be the girl I was then and see my old friends and exist in that skin. Because as years roll by, it gets harder to remember how it felt to me at the time, as well as other points along the way. What was I thinking and feeling at various times? Particularly at a crossroad? Or in a relationship? Maybe I’d like to go back to the last time I did a certain thing or saw a certain person, not knowing then that it would be the last. On the other hand, it would be so informative to go back knowing everything I know now. I could be useful to my younger self, although I’d feel kinda bad to tell her some of what I know now. Would she believe me anyway? Even if some of what I had to tell her was factual (and not just sound or pointed advice)?
There’s other moments I’d like to re-visit. A particular day at the ocean. Or when certain people were still alive. Like that. Again, not to stay – I am not the sort of person who wants to go back instead of forward or who repaints the the past as better than it was, safely blotting out the parts that weren’t so great. Remembering is a kind of “re-visiting” but I’m talking about something much more literal, the way it sometimes happens in movies. And it’s MY life in particular I want to see, not 1840’s Paris or something.
Yesterday when I was ruminating about going back in time, it suddenly occured to me I never contemplate visiting the future. I never imagine “visiting” a day in my life – assuming I’m still here – 5, 10, 15, or 20 years ahead. Part of the problem there is me; I suck at looking ahead in general and always did (that’s another subject). The other part is more practical and/or uncertain: what if I don’t like a day in my life in the future? What if I’d rather not know? It’d be nice if I looked down the road and pictured a fantabulous future sitting there for me, but in truth, that’s not exactly how I imagine. I am hopeful about the future but not overly fanciful, let’s say. I’m tentative. Tentatively hopeful? But not optimistic enough to charge forth shouting, “Bring it on!! Let’s go now!”
Ooooh, here’s another little notion for me to consider. What if somebody (whoever doles out these things) said yes, you may go visit a day in the past of your choosing BUT you must also agree to visit somewhere in your future? And you can even pick which one, name a date. Now THAT would be tough.