Most queries, I can answer.
I’m not saying it’s always the right answer, but I can usually pop off with a thought that, on occasion, winds up being the correct one.
However, I recently saw one for which I had no answer.
The reason why I couldn’t answer is because I don’t remember what I did on my 21st birthday.
Stop … stop … stop … I know what you may be thinking. “That must have been one hell of a 21st birthday if you don’t remember any of it!”
Except … I don’t drink, so being able to do it legally didn’t really mean anything to me.
I’ve had a few memorable birthdays. When I was … maybe 6, or maybe 7, we had a party at the local Burger King? Or maybe it was McDonald’s. I can see the building, but I don’t remember which was which and which was the one further up the street.
When I was in school, Memorial Day meant marching with the school band in multiple parades, including the year the holiday fell on my birthday (like it does this year) and it rained all day.
It was actually a little beforehand, but there was the surprise party for my 18th birthday, and the ballgame I went to a few years ago not because 46 was an especially important number, but because I actually wanted to do something on my birthday.
But 21? Since we were all home for the summer, I wouldn’t have celebrated with my college friends. I was living with my parents and my brother when I wasn’t in school, so we probably did presents, cake and ice cream.
I’m sure I enjoyed it, but it was probably pretty much like any other birthday.
We’ll see what this year brings.
“What if you could travel back in time to a key event or turning point in your life and do things differently? Would you do it?”“Rebooting the Franchise,” The Return of the Modern Philosopher
Austin’s latest tale of my favorite guy who doesn’t or is to afraid to get it and his way-too-patient best friend posed the above question, and I actually do have an answer to this one.
It’s a tempting thought, but I’d probably say no because of all the ripple effects.
When I’ve thought about it, I usually do so in terms of college, since I didn’t have a ton of choices to make before that.
If I went to a different school, I’m sure I would have made plenty of friends, I probably wouldn’t live 20 minutes from one of my best friends, or maybe I would, but it would be a different friend, and I can’t imagine him or any of my other friends from that time not being there.
And maybe going to a different school would have led to an even better career, but I wouldn’t have made the friends I made in the one I’ve had, and most importantly, I wouldn’t have met Suzi, and that’s just not a thing I want to contemplate.
So if not a reboot, maybe a choose-your-own-adventure book, where you turn to page 36 for one option, and if that doesn’t work out, you go back and turn to page 45?
The problem is that I like the page I’m on now. What if I turn to a different one and it’s a disaster and I can’t go back?
I’d be more amenable to possibly watching different choices from the safety of my current life, like they were a film … especially if they confirmed that everything is as it should be right now.
It’s not that I don’t ever think “What if …?” I just find that it’s best left as a thought.