Monday, March 28, 2011

How Would You Like A Reset Button On The Last 16 Years?

At least, that was the going theme for the weird dream I had last night. Here's how it went:

For some inexplicable reason (in the dream, it didn't seem to matter how), I woke up to find myself back in 1994. December of 1994, to be precise. Actually, to be even more exact . . . it was just after I had completed my Fall semester of freshman year at college. I was back home for the holidays and reconnecting with family and friends. The funny thing was, my dream self *knew* that I had somehow gone back in time. 18 yr old me had all the memories of 34 yr old me!

Like I said, weird huh?

While I was dreaming, though, this seemed like a nightmare at first. I mean, this meant that I would have to redo all the hard work I had put into obtaining my degree! But then, during the course of the dream (which only lasted 9 minutes in real world time), I started to realize what a boon this really was. It meant that I could do things differently that had not turned out so hot in my past. Decisions which, in hindsight, were not the best ones I could have made. With this redo, I now had the luxury of setting things right!

I'm not going to go into what exactly those decisions might be. That would take a far, far longer post than I feel like writing right now. But it was a heady feeling for me, knowing that I could affect my future since I already knew what was coming.

Curiously, though, most of the dream was actually about me spending time with my brother and my best friends. Basically I came to the conclusion that I should have been doing more of that back then, I guess. But hey, it was a big time for all of us. In 1994, our lives were spinning wildly into the future as we came of age and entered the adult world. I guess a part of me was yearning for a time when we were all still just kids having a blast.

Towards the end of the dream was when it started to dawn on me all the interesting things I could really do now that I was 18 again and it was 1994. I mapped out the remainder of my college years, dropping all the useless classes I really shouldn't have taken and only focusing on the ones I knew were necessary for my major. Gone then was Calculus II, which I absolutely hated and which almost destroyed my brain in 1995. I also added in some classes I had never taken but which I'd always wanted to try at the time. Courses in astronomy and more advanced philosophy, for instance.

But just before the alarm rung for the third time this morning, the dream *really* got good! I realized: Hey, why not invest in all the companies that future me already knows are going to be huge down the line? Imagine all the money I could make investing in such startup companies like Dell and (eventually) Google? Not to mention more established companies like Apple and Microsoft? Now, yeah, I'm completely ignorant when it comes to investing. That should go without saying, for those who know me. But the great thing about a redo to life is . . . you have plenty of time to learn new things!

But, alas. Just as I was about to go sign up for some econ classes, the dream ended. Aww, damn. I could've made a killing!

Well, it was fun while it lasted, huh?

How about you? What would you do if you were suddenly transferred into the body of your younger self back in 1994? Or, hell, what if you could be 18 again, whenever that might have been? Would this be a blessing to you, or a curse? I know some of you out there might not be as enthusiastic about this prospect as I seem to be. Especially those of you with children, since there would be no guarantee that you would have the same exact kids you have now.

But, please, do feel free to sound off in the comments section below. I would love to hear what others have to say on this.


getyourselfconnected said...

Glad you liked the io9 link.

Oh man, too many things would be great to get another crack at if I was 18 again. Still, if anything changed the space time continuum, then I would not be me and most important not be with my wife which is not cool. I don't even know where to start but if I could have 1 thing back from about age 23 I would not have sold a bunch of my stock option at the biotech I worked at so soon. They only went up 5000% from where I sold some the first time, but I caught the rest at all time highs.

Investing is not too hard, even I do ok at it!

Jennifer Hillier said...

This post made me smile. If I had this brain but looked 18... I would have been unstoppable! Hahaha, I'm kidding. Sorta.

David, how are you 34? I thought you were 10 years younger than that!

getyourselfconnected said...

He may well be 400 years old, but is hiding a secret. David reminds me of Roland Gift as Xavier St. Cloud!

Botanist said...

I sometimes dream that I'm back at college again, but those dreams always have a kinda scary touch to them.

I also sometimes wonder what it would be like to re-live those college years but with my older and wiser (? HAH!) mind. I was a shy, socially inept, dorky mess back then. I'm still a shy, socially inept, dorky mess, but the difference is that I now know it and know a bit about how to deal with it.

So, going back to my 19-year-old life with my 50-year-old experience might be fun, but then I think that I wouldn't want to re-live all those years in between. Because, quite honestly, the first significant thing you do differently would change the whole course of your life, and you'd be presented with a whole new set of difficult choices and no better idea how to handle them. You might well end up no better off than you are.

So, nope, I'm more than happy with where I am now and wouldn't trade it in for that kind of uncertainty.

Thanks for the offer, though :D

David Batista said...

GYC -- I met my wife before I was 18 . . . although we didn't get married until much later. So she would still be in my life. But you bring up a good point about screwing up the space-time continuum thing. I can almost hear Doc Brown screaming now. :) Oh, and nice Xavier crack. Don't know about the 400 yrs old bit concerning myself, but I have been told by various people that I have a very old soul. And, you're right: I *do* have a lot of secrets. *shhhh!*

Jen -- All my posts about playing video games and geeking out over genre television must be what fooled ya, eh? :) Although many people tell me I look much younger than 34, I don't believe it. But I thank you for flattering me so!

Ian -- I know what you mean. It's one of the pitfalls I came up with myself about this scenario. But I wouldn't make too many drastic changes to my life. For all the good things, I would make sure I'm exactly when and where I'm supposed to be to ensure they still happen. The only big change would be that I'm fabulously wealthy by the age of 24. Only that small thing, LOL.

Yvonne said...

Wow, 18 years old. I was a freshman in college back then. Had NOT A CLUE about my life. I think if I had the chance to go back and "redo" that age, there would be so many things I would have done differently or not at all. But then I think, my life would not be the life I have now. How did you ever time your dream??? lol 9 minutes? My dreams are never that long. :)

David Batista said...

You'd be surprised how little time it takes for even a full-length dream to play out. Or maybe just *my* dreams are this quick? I only know how long this one was because it happened between snooze buttons on my alarm, which lasts 9 minutes. In that time, somehow, I was able to have a full, enganging, and totally wacky-ass adventure in time travel. Whoa! :)

thE gEOgrAphicAlly blind said...

interesting dream...

The Frisky Virgin said...

What a fascinating dream! If I could go back to 1994, I would go see my papaw. He passed away shortly thereafter...I never got to say goodbye. I dream of him often--he was such a good man, like Santa without the big belly and white beard. lol

I would hold my puppy and not let him go.

I guess I would enjoy being with family, feeling like we have all the time in the world. I think that's what I miss most--feeling like we had oodles of time together.

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