May 1, 2007

Regrets, or What I'd Change In My Life

Once the avalanche has begun, the pebbles can no longer vote.

We've all played the game where we mentally point to a time in our past and say "If Only I Could Change Things, this would be it." The idea being that if we were to change one thing, the present would turn out the way we want it to--

"If only I had gone to the prom with Ernesto Guitterez instead of staying home and getting stoned with Keith Richards I wouldn't be stuck here with five children and no life."

"If I could go back in time and tell myself to be at "X" place at "Y" time I could have done "Z" thing and..."

"If I could go back in time to Coney Islant I'd tell myself not to eat that seventeenth piece of squid, and I'd be able to walk again."

et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.

Living a life is like that avalanche, though. There is an uncountably huge number of factors affecting us each and every day, and a million million cusp points that we pass through, each a decision point that is irrevocably going to change the direction in which our life proceeds.

Just thinking about it makes me want to lock myself in a closet and become a hermit. And wonder exactly where I went wrong.

I wonder why my mother undermines me at every turn.

I wonder why my mother won't listen to me when I suggest the way I'd like my daughter to be treated/raised when she's at her grandmother's (my mother's) house.

I wonder what would have happened if things had been different. And hoo boy isn't that the biggie?

And I know, or at least the calm, cool, calculator part of me (a very small part indeed) that if one thing were to be changed in my past, one decision, one event, the cascade back up the line would crush and main me into something that I wouldn't recognise even if it were me. I'd be something utterly different, and all that promised land of better future would be just as far away as it is now.

And so I just smile and suck it up, and hope that there's some meaning to this existence, some raison d'etre, because right now it sure seems like one colossal cock-up.


Mona Buonanotte said...

Most of the things I want to change happened when I was a child, to college age. Nothing as a 'grown-up'. Not that every decision I've made as an adult has been good, but I'm comfortable in them, there's lots of love here, and that feels good.

If only I'd served the ball a different way in 9th grade volleyball, we could have beaten our long-time rival instead of losing...again.... I can't let go of that one. THAT one I'd change.

Irrelephant said...

But that's the thing! What if Past Mona had that killer serve and won the game? You'd not be the Present Mona we have now, you'd be some sort of living in a mansion with a huge vollyball contract with the Olympic team and you'd have commercials and you'd be somebody utterly different!

Scott from Oregon said...

I actually don't think you'd be all that different. I mean,you'd still be inside your own skin and have the same chemicals in the brain trying to make sense of everything...

Maybe some external things would be different.

But internally, nothing very profound at all.