I WAS reading a story about time travel last week. A 32-year-old man makes the trip back to 1981. Unlike many other stories where it is the whole person, body and mind, that goes back in this story the brain of the 32-year-old man replaces the brain of his 12-year-old self in the 80s. This gives him the opportunity to change his life using the knowledge he has accumulated.
So I was thinking about what I would change if my brain was put in my body as a 12-year-old beginning Year 7 in 1998. I had expected/assumed the thoughts of how I could personally improve myself would have flown into my head. Instead all I thought of was I wish I had have got my parents to properly sign my swimming permission form. What happened back in February of 1998 was that my Mum or Dad, I can’t remember who now, had filled out the top half of the form, but not signed it at the bottom. And I had to spend a day at school doing work as punishment. It makes me laugh that this is the biggest thing I could think of changing. I get the opportunity at a do over and all I would do differently is say, “Oh Mum, sign here as well…” On further reflection not having my permission slip signed was great, because I didn’t want to go swimming. If I went back in time I’d be forgetful and change stuff and then realise that I should have left things as they were.
I was probably a little unfair on myself to choose 1998 as the year I would try to think of things I would change. For a long time I regarded it as the best year of my life. The beginning of high school was a great time of maturing, making new friends, being in a new place, a fantastic camp and enjoying many of my classes. Now it’s 10 years ago and I don’t remember it so well. Though it was that year we got the internet, which led to my first encounter with net porn. I can still remember the odd violated sort of feeling I had the next morning as I was driven to the bus stop.
Overall I think it would be great to go back and live in my 12-year-old body, in 1998 with the knowledge I have now. But I can’t help wondering how much would really change in the really important areas? Because every new day now, in 2008 I get another chance to do life differently and often I don’t. I fall into the same patterns of mediocrity that seem to chase me continually.