I was wondering if people that are preoccupied with time travel are people who live with regret all the time. It crossed my mind because I often catch myself wondering how I’d do things differently if I had a Delorean with a Flux capacitor, a facility that can send programmable cyborgs back in time, or even a mysterious hot tub. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there who does this. Maybe it’s the power of pop culture that my thought processes sometimes go in a direction that assumes that time travel is a plausible scenario, or maybe it’s just a concept that humans have been obsessed with since the beginning of time.
There are probably two basic reasons why people want to time-travel: to change the past to alter one’s future/present (not too distant time-travel), and to research or experience what it was like in a different time period (distant time-travel). I’ve never really wanted to live in the middle ages or anything, so really my time-traveling daydreams revolve around changing the past.
Here are some things that I’ve thought about changing:
- Learning to skateboard at an earlier age, instead of spending most of my teenage years playing Sonic and Mortal Kombat.
- Not breaking up with that girl that I went out with.
- Not wasting so much time pining for that girl that I broke up with, and not passing on relationship opportunities during this time.
- Not giving up the opportunity to be made full editor of that magazine I helped started, because I wanted pursue a career in animation instead.
- Persuading my younger self to pick up animation from the beginning.
- Sending a Terminator back in time to ensure that the Black Eyed Peas never get formed, one way or the other.
- Sending a Terminator back in time to tell me to send the previous Terminator after Sean Paul instead… or maybe both.
Looking at that list, it’s mostly about wasted youth, and job or relationship issues. I’m gonna hazard a guess that most lists would revolve around those areas too. I mean, what else could someone seriously regret about to the point where they would want to time-travel to rectify their choices? Well, maybe if you decided not to invest in Apple stocks or turned down the chance to star in The Matrix because you thought it was a stupid script. But for common everyday folks, I’d bet that it’ll be relationships and careers.
Well, I might regret a whole bunch of bad decisions I’ve made in the past, but one thing I’ll never regret is marrying my wife. That said, our marriage might ironically be the one thing she does regret. Ah well…
(Note: That previous paragraph started and ended with the same word)
What would you do with a time machine?