Live life to the fullest without looking back

Did you ever notice that sometimes life is weirder than weird? You’re cruising through life at warp 69 one second, drinking, partying, sleeping (doing the things NIU students seem to do best) and Shazam you’re blown from your hedonistic course by an asteroid of deep philosophical consequences. That’s right just when you thought you knew it all, Zowie, all the rules are changed.

Life isn’t fair. Add/Drop (need I say more.) It’s a lesson everyone learns several trillion times. The first girl/boy friend (pc) that dumped you. The F that you got on the paper you worked on 16 hours a day for three weeks. The party that you puked at after drinking two shots of Tequila, a beer and a shot of whisky (stupid move, you deserved it, but it still wasn’t fair.)

My revelation came after I went to see Billy Bathgate (good movie but it needed more Bruce Willis) with a close friend. We were heading to Micky D’s after the movie to grab some food and beverage when he popped the question that threw me for the loop.

We were talking about new happenings and old times. My friend and I met as counselors at a camp in Michigan called Owasippe. In a lot of ways, you could say we grew up together.

“If you could go back and change something in your life, what would you change?” he asked me.

Okay, granted, it sounds like an essay question you had to answer in sixth grade. I had it too. But, the weird thing was that I hadn’t really thought about that question since I was eleven. I glanced at my friend at shotgun. “Is this a quiz?” I responded sarcastically.

He repeated the question. I thought for a minute (more like an hour) and answered half jokingly, “Everything …. “

“Really?” he asked.

I was going to say I was joking, but I knew it was half a truth. “I guess I would change me,” I said. “I mean how I was as a kid. I wish I could go back to when I was nine or ten and change my personality to the attitude I have on life now. I wish I hadn’t been such an uptight (dork) kid.”

He said my answer was pretty deep and in reflection he was right (I even impressed me.) But, I don’t really think it was the answer he wanted or needed.

My friend would probably be the first to tell you that I’m not the most socially perceptive individual at times. However, the question did stick with me for three weeks teasing the little voice in the back of my head.

The little voice told me we all have regrets in life; things we would do differently if given the chance over. However, as another friend recently reminded me, one should think twice about screwing with fate—one thing changed in your past could change your present. Perhaps, though, if given the magical opportunity, we would go back and change something.

Unfortunately this isn’t Disneyworld, it’s NIU (close but no cigar.)

The best thing we can do, to quote Robin Williams, is “seize the day.”

One of the worst mistakes we can make as people is to believe that a regret is a mistake. It’s not. A regret is only a mistake if we have failed to resolve it before existence ends.

Carpe Diem