Saturday, November 13, 2010

If you could meet your younger self...


When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

Alexander Graham Bell

I often wonder what my life would be like if I'd done things differently.

I've made quite a few bad choices in my life. But if I had the chance to go back and tell myself not to do some things, would I do it? Would you?

Thanks to Oliver's unholy fascination with Doctor Who (and to the fact that I'm a product of the 'Back to the Future" 80s), I know that changing any event in history is bad news. But apart from the ripping-apart-the-fabric-of-time-itself thing, what could possibly happen?

Obviously, if I could travel in time, there is one thing that I would definitely change. I would spend all of the night of the 21st of December, 2009, sitting beside my beautiful son's bed, waiting for the moment that I could save his life.
What consequences would that possibly have? Well, we'd still have him, which would be awesome.
There are some good things that have come from this tragic event (if you've been following the journey this year, you will know what I mean). Would they still have happened if we didn't lose Sam? I'd like to think so, but I don't know....

What else might I change?
Well, my whole life, I've wanted to be thin. I resigned myself to the fact that I never will be. But in the back of my mind the wish is still there. If I could visit my 16 year old; perhaps 10-15 kilos overweight but curvaceous and healthy self; would I tell me to just be happy the way I am? Would I let me know that by the time I'm 36, being 15 kilos overweight is actually OK, and much more acceptable than it was in the early 90s? Would I tell me to get to gym and get rid of it now before I have kids and it becomes impossible?

But what would happen if I did? Would I have ended up with Anthony, who actually liked more 'realistic' women? Or would I have stayed with some of the horrible boys who told me I'd be 'the one', if only I was skinnier?

Or what about if I'd done all the travelling I now desperately want to do? If I went back in time, would I tell my 18 year old self to travel now, while I had the chance?

If I'd done those things, I may never have ended up with Anthony. Then I wouldn't have had Sam or Oliver. I wouldn't have the home I have now. I probably wouldn't have gone to uni and got my teaching degree either.

Come to think of it, maybe I would tell myself to study more. To go to uni earlier than 27.

Would I tell me to stop some of the self-destructive behaviour that accompanied me through my late teens and early twenties? Surely that's one change I could make that wouldn't affect too much!

Would I tell myself that buying all those VHS tapes was a mistake? Or that ruffle skirts really were  a mistake? That I should have paid more attention that night I met Dave Grohl and the other boys from Nirvana? That I should have put more on my mortgage (which would have been well and truly paid off now if I had)? Or that school really was the easiest time of my life and I should just enjoy it?

We all have regrets. But how much would we actually change? What would you change?

Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.

Jonathon Larson 


Oh, and thanks to Blog This for the post idea.


  1. Mel's Dad/Sam's GrandadNovember 13, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Dearest Mel, what a can of worms you have opened! The other day, I was asking why I had come to Canberra. Why hadn't I stayed in Sydney where I had friends, a job, etc.
    When your Nana and Poppa said they were moving here, I said I would go too.
    To this day I can;t recall why I decided to do it, and never even thought they might want spend the rest of their lives together in a new place, without their children. I was 20, happy(ish), but I now realise I would have had nowhere to stay, as they had sold the family home. So, had I not made THAT decision, you and your brother would not be here! I wouldn't have met Mum, my life wouldn't have changed, and I wouldn't have had 40 years of a pretty good marriage, and of course, my kids.
    I used to do a lot of "what if", and think just like you are doing. Now, and maybe that comes with age), I realise there a probably very few things I would have changed, because the chance to change any of those things may have resulted in a whole new set of "life's problems". When I think of it now, I don't really regret anything I've done. Of course there are things I now wish had never happened, (and you know what they are), BUT if someone tapped me on the shoulder tomorrow, and said I could change whatever I wanted in my past, the decisions would be too great to contemplate!

  2. Well Mel, it's 2am and i have been laying in bed not able to sleep, thinking about this post! (the power of word hey?) What would i change? I am not prepared to risk losing the great people and experiences that i've had to change something. I have many what if or if only moments but without them would all the great things change too? I don't know....there are so many stupid mistakes that i have made along the way (esp financial ones) but if I didn't do them, wouldn't I have missed the learning and growth that comes from making them and gone on to do them another day anyway? Who knows. But I do know that if I was in your shoes, I too would be next to that bed. As always, thanks for your thought provoking words Mel. Good night! - Ange

  3. Thanks Dad and Ange! (and I hope you got some sleep!)

  4. You met Nirvana!!!??!!!! I'm speechless 8~o

  5. I would probably tell myself not to take life too seriously, but then again, would my younger self listen??? Laura


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