I watched “Project Almanac” last night. It was a decent little time-travel flick – got bogged down in the middle with too much focus on teenage love and party time. The flick was typical in that regard – clueless geeky boy pines after hot popular girl, eventually winning her over in spite of himself. But they made up for it with the fun, natural banter between the group of friends. What I really hated, though, was the found-footage hand-held camera filming style. It was hard to watch. Anyway, it wasn’t some cinematic treasure. It was a decent movie with an interesting take on the time-travel genre.
I mention the movie because it made me ponder: What would I do if I could turn back time? What would you do? Let’s put aside the simple and obvious answers like the ones demonstrated in the movie – going back in time to win the lottery or get the girl – I mean, let’s say we’ve taken care of any material needs so you can stop focusing on that. And let’s get into the meat of who you are and what you want. What would you do if you could go back in time? (We’ll also pretend there’s no such thing as impossible paradoxes and negative ripple effects, for the sake of this exercise.)
Okay. Super serious time. Here goes.
If I could turn back time…If I could find a way…I’d:
- Go back and punch that bitch who made my life miserable in second through fifth grades. Fucking Other Stephanie. I’d be The Stephanie after putting her in her place. Wonder what that would have done for my self-esteem.
- Encourage a certain someone to put more worms and bugs in her mud pies. Then encourage her to eat them. Would make me feel better later in life about the kind of adult she became.
Okay, okay. I’m being ridiculous. In all sincerity, my list would look more like this:
- Insist on spending more time with my mamaws. Learn from them important things like: how to be a woman, how to garden, how to sew, how to think critically but without judgment, how to be graceful and gracious. Things like that.
- Take school seriously in junior high and high school, times when, in reality, I totally dropped the ball and lost out on scholarships because of it.
- Refuse to spend any time with him and not allow him to infect my life any more than he had when I was a child.
- Figure out a way to stay in art classes when I was a kid, despite it being cost prohibitive for my family.
- Pick a good major and stick with it, instead of switching and switching and settling on fine arts degrees that cost a hell of a lot more than they were worth.
- Dance with that boy in fourth grade who probably did not have a sinister motive for asking.
Yeah, those are the sorts of things I would go back and change. Things that build good character and positive self-esteem. Things that would have made me a better person and more successful adult. A better human being. Things that would have made me less paranoid in my fellow man and more optimistic of my future.
What about you? If you could turn back time?