Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Past Regrets?

I woke in the middle of the night with a driving question for a new story.

Okay, here's the question. If you had the power to go back in time and warn your youthful self then armed with the information you have now, should you do it?

One of my past regrets was not staying at the University of Oklahoma in the early 1980's when I was accepted into their writing program. It was at the height of the romance boom and I probably would be rolling in the dough now if I had. If I has a "do over" I wouldn't have let my money fears send me running back to nursing school. Then again, I helped a lot of people as a nurse and learned a lot about human nature and eventually I did make it back to my writing goal. I just took the long way around.

So I bring the dream question to you. What are some of your past regrets? If you could have a do over, would you really? If you did, how would it effect where you are now?


  1. Boy this is tough. I don't have a lot of regrets but fear keeping you from doing something you really wanted to do is something I think we can all relate to, especially when the fear is money based. After all, who wants to do the irresponsible/reckless/not-practical thing, fall on their face, and be told "Told you so." Gah. But in the same breath... who wants to live a life based on fear?

    Now traveling back in time to warn your past self about something is tricky. Would you be the person you are today if you hadn't gone through it? Would It turn you into somebody you don't like "now?"

    If I could pick a moment to go back to in time, I'd have said forget the practical, logical, "safe" pursuit of a degree in computer science and go for the degree in creative writing. I was just thinking about this the other day and pondering going back to school for it. Totally can't afford it... but I've been thinking about it.


  2. I don't think you'd know what you do about human nature and the human condition without the time you spent as a nurse. You'd never have the "Jazzy" story to tell that made me sniffle from the Acknowledgments on. (Benny Gent had me giggling.) And yeah, then there's the part about how many people you helped, lives you changed.

    I used to think that about my time as a prison guard and all the other craziness I got into when I was younger. I used to wish I'd gone for the degree, but my writing wouldn't be what it is and I wouldn't be the person I've become. I like who I am now.

    Yeah, I've been through some horrible things but they made me strong and made me a better mother, wife, friend and writer.

    Would I go back and tell myself anything? Not a chance. I wouldn't have learned the lessons I needed to learn without the hardships.

    Although, I have to say, I'm ready for the good things. ;)

  3. I have made past mistakes, but I am not at that point in my life yet that I have experienced any regrets I would want a do-over for. I do have plenty of what if's for some of my life's events. The lessons I take from these experiences are what I carry forward with me.

  4. I too would have stayed in College, and I certainly would have been smarter with the men in my life for sure.. I think everyone has regrets, but you can't dwell on them, you just move forward and make the best of what live deals you.. Suck it up is my motto..

  5. Besides, if you could go back and changed the past, how would it have changed what you have today in a negative way?

  6. It all goes back to the whole ripple effect. If you go back in time to play the lotto and win $12 million dollars when you didn't before thinking you'll do good things with that money... Your past self doesn't know that. The Past You could become a jerk. The entire future of you and everyone in your life changed forever. It's funny because whenever you see those time travel movies, everything always works out for the better. LOL.

    But it could work out you're not married to the person you originally were. Heck, it could put off meeting them for longer or maybe sooner. Different jobs. Different attitudes. I think it all depends on what you're going back to change.

    Now, that's not to say I don't think it's awesome have a story where a character goes back and gets that second chance. I think that rocks. I love stories like that.