If you could do it all over again...
I was talking to my friend Adam last weekend about life-type stuff and he came out with my favorite line: "... if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing..." which is a refreshing thing to hear every now and again. Especially from people you've spent a lot of time with. I feel the same way most of the time. In fact, this seems like a really common thing to say. People who are content with who they are always say this. These are the only people anyone really wants to hang out with, anway. I'm really, like, PROUD of the jerk I've become. You know what I mean, so I won't analyze this statement to death. I think it's a healthy attitude. Certainly beats hating yourself. Or as someone once said, "It's better to regret things you HAVE done, than to regret things you haven't..."
But, man, Adam brought back some crazy memories. That guy has a mind like a vice (which is really appreciated by a guy like me, who has a mind like a sieve!). I've told the crazy acid story a million times about jumping in front of a train, but it's barely what you would call a memory. There is a galactic-sized fog around my late high school/early college years that Adam helped fill in last weekend. And, man, when I went home after our visit, I really realized how glad I was to hang out with him again and found myself really kind of missing "the old days"... and wishing I could remember them better, too. It's kind of like I set everyone up as a character in my head for convenience sake and lost all the humanity each of these characters really had. I guess that's what people are good at: pigeonholing other people. But, hanging out with Adam again started old memories trickling back. It was sort of like Romper Room (you remember that show?): "I see Jeff and Ally, Terry and Val, Martin and Jerry, crazy naked frisbee man and Tracy, Drunk George and Ira, Kristen and Trish, Spliff and Tim... man, there's a lot of faces I see in my head right now, but I can't remember the names. So many people who were just as fucked up as I was, in retrospect. But, to me, everyone ELSE seemed "normal" and I was on the verge of loosing my noodle. There was a lot of fuckin' people in Potsdam, NY that I "knew" ... but good god, what kind of a lunatic must I have seemed? ("Oh, hello everyone, I'm too high to converse with you at the moment, so I will go outside and smoke to get away from you... or, I will talk about music because that's about as intelligent a conversation you're going to get out of me...")
Anyway, I started thinking about Adam's statement and rolling it over in my twitching melon. If I could do it all over again, I believe I WOULD change things... A LOT of things! I don't particularly CARE if "life experience creates the people we become." I think I could have taken an easier route to the person I am. No? Hmm. Shit. Maybe not. I really am happy with my perception. I'm actually at a point where I feel neither young nor old, but juuuust right. I want to stay here, stop time and live forever, yet somehow learn more every day.
It's so great that we get the chance to realize we're confused and want to understand our situation better. From that point on, it's up to us. You'll never get out of this maze. All you can do is keep trying, keep realizing "shit, that didn't work" and try something else. I guess the best way to do that is to say, "fuck it," and risk making huge mistakes that you'll regret. Hopefully, you learn something and don't "die trying."
But, ya know, I still have regrets:
1. I regret I never had the balls to ask out the "really hot girls" all the time when I was younger.
2. I regret I never had the balls to interview for a dream job.
3. I regret I never had the balls to perform in more bands.
4. I regret I never had the balls to quit my cushy job when the economy was great and risk it all on something far more interesting.
5. I regret I never had the balls to CHEAT ON A GIRLFRIEND. I don't know if it's "balls" or "morals," but I fucking WISH I had cheated on every single one of my ex-girlfriends. What the fuck?