If you could go back…

I want to follow up my last blog post with this one.  In having thought about growing up and always wanting to be older, I realized that I’d arrived there and frankly, being older isn’t as great as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong – I’m married to my dream girl and I have two healthy, gorgeous girls with another baby on the way. We have amazing friends and are surrounded by great families. My career is where I thought it would be, and I can’t legitimately complain about anything.

With that said, it doesn’t hurt to dream in reverse. Let me tell you why I think that dwelling on the past doesn’t do any harm in this case, and might just give us a little insight into who we are.  I’ve taken some more introspective time to reflect on my childhood and youth and couldn’t help but want to go back to some times to experience them again because they were so elemental, so formative, so powerful and so primal, that I want to just go through that experience again.  Conversely, there are a few times in my life that I would love to relive to be able to change them.  I made a few decisions in this life of mine that I wish I could make again, drawing on experiences and lessons I’ve learned since then.

I have had the privilege of conversing about this with some Twitter friends.  I always value other people’s opinions whether I agree or not and I value their perspectives and experiences just as much.  I hope these folks don’t mind me sharing some of them…

@erikholmlund  I look at my 5 year old and the world through his eyes is the one I wished I lived in. Dinos, superheroes and everything is new.

@kiddogawluk  I’d go back to about Grade 11 (IF I could take what I know now with me)

@BrentWelch  11 or 12 would be my choice… had more girls chasing me than ever

@PoisonLolita  it was all downhill after 3 for me, so I want that back.

@TheBestSportMom  Think I’d go back to my first year of university

Also an interesting question from someone who, as far as I know, is younger than the others who were taking part in this conversation, which I found fascinating because she is looking forward instead of back:
@achromatica  What about being older did you wish for? I’m excited for the career part!!

And finally, I loved the response from @kiddogawluk to @achromatica: The 20s are the Building Blocks of all future decades (sounds corny & cliche). I think 20s shape who u become in future.

I’m going to ask these people, or frankly any other readers, for a favor – if you’re taking the time to read this, would you consider adding a comment below to tell us why you’d want to go back to these times, or experience them again?  I’d really appreciate that – I’d love to see where you’re coming from and how it’s affected where you’re going.  If you do, please accept my gratitude in advance.  And if you’re reading this, please come back to see some of their responses – I think they’ll be fascinating!  On a side note, if you’re not already following these folks on Twitter, you should be – they’re all great tweeple.

I found that others I’ve spoken to, tweeted with, etc. chose to want to return to parts of their childhood or youth based on, most of the time, what great things were going on for them at that particular time, and realized that no one will ever give the same answer for this question.  It might come across as an idiotic question and quite “Hot Tub Time Machine”-ish at first, but I found it fascinating to start examining the difference between others’ and my own responses and consider how these responses may be a reflection of who we’ve become.  These experiences we have went through likely have had an enormous impact on who we’ve now become.

As for me, I’d gladly share a few of the times in my past that I’d love to go back to – and why.

First off, I’d love to go back to September 1982. That was the day I spit at my Grade 3 teacher behind her back at recess, and my dad was driving by and saw it. Strangely, when I got home that afternoon, I saw his face and I knew instantly that somehow he knew.  And the disappointment in me and my actions that he expressed when he talked to me about it stayed with me for my entire life.  I wish I could take that enormous display of disrespect back.

Next, I’d like to relive the experience of going to Germany the first time. The wonderment that accompanied seeing where my people came from, the amazing things that our history has wrought out of earth and stone, and seeing what the good and bad of Germany’s history has written on our souls in one way or another – that was truly a formative summer of my life.  In visiting there 8 times, I always loved being there and always saw and learned new things and honestly, I always felt more at home in Germany than here – but nothing can compare to the pure magic of the first time I set foot there.

I would also like to go back to my university days. I could have avoided a relationship that didn’t do me much good and I would have hunted Aimie down and told her, “Babe, let’s do this NOW because we’re going to end up together and I don’t want to spend any more of my life without you”.  Hopefully she’d accept – wouldn’t THAT suck if she didn’t? 🙂

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly to me – if only I could return to any time in my life where my dad was still alive, I would give almost anything to do it.  I would give so much to just see my dad again, to hug him, to kiss him and to hear his voice.  I would have so many questions that I never got a chance to ask him, and would love to get his advice on things to come.  I’ve seen and experienced so many things since he left us, and I wish I could go back to that time to tell him one more time how much he was to me, and how much I wish he could have seen me as a husband and daddy and how much I would have loved to have seen him as an Opa, holding my babies and hugging my wife.

So in reviewing what people have told me about what time in their life they would like to go back to and the times that I’d like to go back to, I firmly believe we hang on to those memories, those times where life either went really well for us or horribly wrong – and we’d either love to relive them because they were so amazing, or relive them because we would do anything to take them back and go about matters in a different way.  All respectable perspectives, to be sure, but in the end, it turns out that only one thing matters…

It is that we have, in fact, already experienced these times and for better or worse, will never relive them.  We can never go back and experience them again, and we take with us the good and the bad – we love to reminisce because of the happy times and we love to hate the times we wish we could take back.  Yet we can’t do either – we can only move forward and make the best of those experiences, and couple them with our values, our beliefs, our passions and our souls – and be ourselves as it was always meant to be.

If you’ve enjoyed this, feel free to browse my archives tab for other posts.