Traversing through life, how often do we look back wistfully at our past and wish we could go back, wish we could live it all over again, just one more time? Each time we witness the young around us enjoying life, enjoying their freedom and pursuing dreams with an enviable vigour, how we wish we could swap places! Sigh.
A few days ago, I happened to have a chat with a 23 year old cousin. Excited about her future and the plans she had chalked out for herself, she had quite a lot to share with me. The sparkle in her eyes and the enthusiasm in her voice spoke a lot about how eager she was to embark upon the path she had chosen! Her enthusiasm was, indeed, contagious, for it left me yearning to turn the clock back and re-enter that age I left behind almost 2 decades ago.
Were I to find Aladdin’s lamp, I would ask the Genie to transport me back to the past I so wished to return to. A past I would relive, albeit a tad differently. A hundred things I would rectify, make better decisions, make wiser choices, but most of all, live for myself for some more time.
Of course, it does not mean I have not enjoyed what I have received in life, or found happiness in the decisions I made, but a tiny part of me does rue the fact that there are some things I could have done differently…should have done differently!
We accept all that life hands us at every step. We feel grateful when we are handed something that adds value to our life, raises our self-worth, but feel let down when we are dealt a tough hand. And at other times, we look back at how things could have been different had we made some other decisions than the ones we actually made! Are we ever satisfied by what we receive?
In spite of understanding how the mind works, there are times I feel, that was I granted a chance, I would go back into my past and change quite a few things – right from being a better daughter, to making better career choices and even giving myself some more time before taking the plunge into holy matrimony!
I would do things that seem appealing to my much more mature mind now, than they did to a young, carefree me back then. But, as a friend pointed out, that for all we know, things that appear promising now might be the exact opposite of what I imagine. I have to agree with that!
True, I wasn’t able to achieve things I fancied all these years; true, life threw a curveball and caught me unawares, but all of that did make me a different human being than I had ever thought of being. Different, and may I say, better? Blogging as a hobby, and a possible profession, and which was something I had never imagined, happened, because I made the decisions that I did back then. Decisions that, at times, I repent having made! This leaves me feeling grateful, for sure.
There are, of course, a few things I would have loved to do, but can’t do so now, as my youth has passed. Although I don’t consider myself a 40 plus woman, certain things are best done when you have no responsibility towards another soul, isn’t it? Like travelling alone to places far and wide and exploring and experiencing the world first-hand, or, making career choices that may not appear very glamorous, but may actually be beneficial in the long run. Sigh. The train has passed, why rue about it now?
All I can conclude is, that I made certain decisions that tested my patience and endurance, and transformed me into the person I was destined to become. A much better version of my past self, perhaps. All I should conclude is, that life handed me lemons and I made lemonade! It’s a proverb I would puzzle over in my youth. Age taught me its meaning.
So, would I still want to turn back the clock? Probably not. Or, maybe a wee bit, just for a short while, so I could see how things would have been if…er, no, I think I will leave the clock in peace.
Life’s good. Or, maybe better than expected!
Have you ever wished you could go back and change a few things in your past to see how life shaped up? I would love to hear!