We all have our little fantasies. I’m not talking about the sexual kind… although, we have those too. No, the fantasies I’m referring to fall along the lines of winning the lottery. You know, the one where you win the lottery and then fantasize about all the ways you’re going to spend the money.
I will admit to having indulged my meager mental abilities along those lines. Though truthfully, the lottery fantasy is not one of my favorites. I start out by thinking, wouldn’t it be great to win a hundred grand. Then I go on to think about all the people I’m going to give chunks of it to, such as my mom and dad, my friends, etc.…. Before long, I realize it would actually be nicer to win two hundred grand, that way I would have more to give away, but more importantly, more to save for myself. Not long after that, I realize I’ve left out a few people and some important charities and now I’m no longer thinking in thousands, I’m thinking in millions. At about this point, I become totally overwhelmed and decide that I no longer want to win the lottery because, frankly, it would make life too complicated.
But I digress… The topic I really wanted to talk about was Time Travel. THIS is my favorite fantasy. This is the one where I get to go back in time and yet retain all the knowledge I have today. It’s a great fantasy, with one exception. I know I would totally miss my kids. However, for the sake of this discussion, I’m going to ignore that fact.
In my time travel fantasy, I suddenly find myself at 5-years-old again. I have the body of my 5-year-old self, the life of my 5-year-old self, but I retain all the life experience, wisdom and confidence of my “real” age (Which I won’t tell you). It’s great because my 5-year-old self can now do everything right. My 5-year-old self will practice the piano every day and not give it up in high school. My 5-year-old self will make exercise and eating right a priority, so in the future, my mature self will look hot. Really, there’s no end to ways I can spend time imagining how much more wonderful my life would be if I could only go back and start over. I would give my parents stock tips that would allow them to retire young and wealthy. Instead of asking for stupid toys, I would ask for money so I could invest in Apple and Microsoft. Then, of course, there would be the people I would never date… and, of course, the ones I would!
But that’s just a fantasy. In reality, time travel sucks. I know this, because I have time traveled, and I bet you have too. For me, it happened at my 10-year high school reunion.
I attended the reunion with my loving, wonderful spouse. I’d been looking forward to it because not only did I look good, but I also had much to be proud of (i.e. brag about). High school for me, like for many, had been less than kind to my ego. It wasn’t horrible, but let’s put it this way—I wasn’t popular either. College, on the other hand, was completely different. While I didn’t date in high school, I dated nonstop in college. Where I was plain and awkward in high school, I was a butterfly in college. So, in returning to my high school reunion, I was excited because I was going to return a butterfly. I believed that I truly did–until I saw her.
The moment I saw her, time stopped and then reversed. She had bullied me in grade school and then outshined me in high school. And until that moment, I had believed that my butterfly status would make me impervious to people like her. After all, didn’t I now know that she had probably been insecure too? Yet the moment I saw her – actually, the moment she said hi to me, (very nicely, I might add) and asked how I was doing, suddenly I was whisked back in time, standing before her in my present-day body, but with my high school mind—or should I say, my high school ego. Exactly the opposite of what time travel ought to be. I had retained the age and lost the wisdom. I was insecure, I was ugly and all I can remember now is babbling something totally incoherent, then quickly backing away.
Imagine being the age you are now, with the mind of a high schooler. Could life get any worse? But that’s time travel. That’s REAL time travel, not the kind you daydream about. And so I leave you with this: Why? WHY would anybody, in their right mind, want to time travel? It sucks!