All These Things That I’ve Done

I bet a fun thing would be to go way back in time to where there was going to be an eclipse and tell the cave men, “If I have come to destroy you, may the sun be blotted out from the sky.” Just then the eclipse would start, and they’d probably try to kill you or something, but then you could explain about the rotation of the moon and all, and everyone would get a good laugh.
– Jack Handy

I recently saw the preview for the film About Time, and it made me wish that time travel was a reality rather than a fantasy. There are so many moments I would love to relive, redo, change, or just witness it again. The beauty of the past is exactly that. It’s in the past – we will never get it back again. But the past also holds a great level of nostalgia. From the times we regret to the times that are filled with joy, the ability to travel back in time is just a cool idea in itself. I’m not talking about Time Traveler’s Wife where he has to avoid another version of himself and definitely not anything resembling The Butterfly Effect. I would hope that my choices and anything I changed wouldn’t result in anything like that movie. For me, it’s a more romantic notion – probably because I know (sadly) that it will never happen. Learn from your mistakes, fix your broken hearts and wash away any regrets, hug your parents a little longer – time travel is a wondrous thing. An impossible thing. But a girl can dream…

I’d go back to the first time I called my mom a bitch. My own mother, the very woman that gave me life. Of course we were in some sort of argument, and of course I didn’t mean it, but God, someone should have smacked me. Mom, I wish I could take away the tears from that night, the hurt I caused. I was in a dark place back then, but you had nothing to do with it. You were never to blame. You were my rock. You still are.

I’d go back to that moment where I broke your heart. Scratch that, I’d go back to the two moments where I broke your heart. Maybe my mom isn’t the bitch, but I definitely was. You loved me at my best and at my worst, and you had me at my best and at my worst. Actually, you brought out the best in me. I brought out the worst in me all on my own. In those moments, even though I was hurtful, even though I said I didn’t think you were good enough, you had such grace. The kind of grace that if I went back in time to those moments as the person I am today, I think I would fall in love with you all over again. I know you still don’t believe me, but I really did love you once. And if I still felt the need to end the safety and security you brought to my life, I would be kinder – hold your hands in mine, kiss your cheek, rest my head against your chest as I had done so many times before when I needed someone to lean on and you were only a phone call and a five-minute drive away. You’ve always saved me. My rescuer.

I’d go back to the day we fought. To this day, I still don’t understand why we did. And I still can’t wrap my head around how we became so distant. We had a solid, thirteen-year friendship and in the span of about a week, we became strangers, which is ironic given the fact that we live thirty feet away from each other. It’s been two years since that fight, but I would go back and tell you I love you and I value our friendship and that no fight should come between this brunette and blonde. Presently, I look back on the millions of memories you and I shared and it’s more than enough to make me cry. The countless sleepovers, the days of watching movies and gossiping about boys, the times where you yelled for me when I was too weak and you had always been so strong, I’d give anything to get that back. I’d give anything to get you back.

If I could, I’d go back to the night of your barbecue. I’d be the smart, reliable girl I had always been. Except that night. I was so stupid. Flirting with you had always been a rush, and I thought sleeping with you would help me get over my ex. But it didn’t. Instead it made me feel even more worthless than I already did. And I knew then and I still know now, I’m not the hook up, one night stand kind of girl. I thought I could have emotionless sex, but like I said, I was pretty stupid that night. I’m at least proud to say I’ve never been that stupid again.

I’d go back to that day in Santa Cruz and just sit back and let the day unfold. It’s still one of my happiest memories – a day with two of my best friends, one I just happened to be madly in love with. From the beach to ice cream to taking the silliest pictures until the sun set over the boardwalk, I was on a high. Maybe it was from the sun, the sand, or maybe the two of you, but either way, that entire day still warms my insides. I wouldn’t change a damn thing.

There are plenty of times that I would change, though. I would take away a lot of the hurt I caused, I would hand out more apologizes, forgive faster, and take on a glass half full kind of attitude.

I’d go back to every single Christmas, the birthdays, the family get-togethers, the sleepovers, the “girls nights,” many of those memories I wouldn’t change. It would just be something wonderful to relive. Right now my only power is in reminiscing. In remembering. In making sure I don’t forget how joyous those occasions were, and knowing that the rest of my life still holds many more moments of perfection. Many more moments where I will learn, grow, and become a better version of myself. So I guess the future has its own beauty, too. We will never get the past back, but we still have our future, and there’s always the present to be had.

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