I was watching flash forward on Monday night and it made me think. If you were given the opportunity to get a glimpse into your future would you? What if the flip side of the coin enabled you to go back and give advice to your younger self, would you take that option? Which one would you choose, forward or back?
The going back option comes after spending the weekend with my parents and helping my mum clean out some of the boxes we pulled down from their roof space (Americans would call it an attic) to allow the insulation people to do their thing this week (Install insulation!). In amongst this stuff in the ‘attic’ was old shit from my school days including a letter my mum had written in relation to a dispute I’d had with a teacher when I was 13. (I don’t have any real memory of this, however she filled in the blanks he was a very vindictive person, and basically had it in for me.) This lead my mum to tell me a story of how ‘happy’ I was as a young child (At primary school) and once I started high school and was unfortunately exposed to this ‘evil teacher’ who sucked out my soul and made me angry, bitter and suicidal. My life was altered.
I asked her if she had her time again what she would have done (with the knowledge she has now) she said she’d have either moved me schools or she would have requested I be placed in a different class away from this particular teacher.
Hindsight allows us 20/20 vision – someone smart came out with the description of the way we look at our past mistakes and if only we were given another chance at them how we’d handle them differently.
Would I go back and offer my younger self advice to perhaps steer me into a brighter future? My head says yes, but my heart says no. I’m the person I am today because of the life I have lived thus far. I’ve learnt plenty of life lessons from the path I’ve been on thus far. If I was to change one point, then others would fracture off and may never happen. My brother for instance may not have married the girl he did and I wouldn’t have the two beautiful nephews I have today if I was to change something from my past.
Which brings me to the future. If offered the chance to glimpse your life 10 years from now. Would you? My answer is yes. I’d love to know what the future holds for me, if anything to allow an ease to the pressure I feel in my life right now. Has my degree helped? Am I working in a job I’m happy in? Or am I miserable or maybe even dead?
We can’t change out past, nor can we change our future, even if we were granted the gift to see into it. I’m a firm believer that everything does happen for a reason, and once your number is up it’s up. Some of us live a long life, others short – but that’s just how it has to be. I’d be happy to make it to 50. I don’t however want to be old old (80+)
It breaks my heart each time I go to see my Nan in the old age home. She doesn’t know who I am anymore, she’s delirious in dementia. I have no idea what goes on her in mind, but she is aware she’s safe, and to her that’s was all that ever mattered. When she was living in her own home, she knew eventually the day would come where she would have to go into a care facility, and she always said she didn’t mind as long as she felt safe, that was all that mattered. Some days I’m the nurse who fetches her a drink, other days I’m someone who reminds her of her youth. I’m no longer Sal her granddaughter though, as for her, that moment, that experience, that memory of the event of being a Nanna is yet to happen.
Glimpse your future? Or advise your past? You decide
That’s all I’ve got.