Anyone else play the Revisionist History game? It goes like this...
"If I could go back and change something - anything - in my life, what would it be? Which one thing could change the entire course of my destiny?"
This is a problematic game when you have kids you adore, because you always have to add in the mental caveat that no matter where you end up in your life you'd have the same kids, which is impossible, of course, because it takes two specific people to make a specific kid and if you're rearranging your life in such a way as to make one of them, um, non-existent then it doesn't really make much sense. But that doesn't matter. You can change any one thing you want, but the kids stay. It's the unwritten Mommy Rule.
(And here's a small thought, while I'm discussing making certain people non-existent. Why, when I've gotten both the apologies and the closure I wanted, why, when I'm more grateful by the day that I don't have to put up with crap that drove me nuts and made me feel completely insignificant for years, why, when I can't help but see that he's finally trying to step up to the plate for his kids - in the best way he's capable of - why am I still so pissed off at the man? It still continues to come in waves, totally unexpected when it arrives and not missed at all when it leaves. I tried to ask a divorced male friend about it today at work, but he lost me when he told me not to be surprised if the FX and I end up in bed at some point just for old time's sake. I told him that I'd gnaw off my own foot before that happened (and his too while I was at it for even putting that mental picture in my head to start with), and the conversation kind of went downhill from there. I've felt a little sick to my stomach all day since that, but I have only myself to blame. I should never have asked in the first place.)
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Introspection. Revision. The mythical ability to go back and change the past. The problem is, the more you think about it the less tempting it looks. Because one change in the past can change so many things in the present, both good and bad. Would you still have met the people who are so important to you? Could your life have somehow gone down the tubes? What if you made a different choice and it made your life worse? Then what? (A pointless question, because how would you even know?) It's like quicksand...the further in you go the more it shifts. And it can be very hard to keep your balance when you start thinking it through.
I think if I had to make one change it would be this: I would have gone to UCLA like I was supposed to instead of the school where I ultimately met the FX. For lots of reasons, extending far beyond him, this has been a real regret of mine as I've looked back, completely excepting the other day when I watched them get handed their shorts in a real piece of March Madness brutality and thanked my lucky stars that they were only my imaginary alma mater.
If this post does nothing else, it should at least illustrate the spaghetti piles in my head at the moment, the piles I'm unravelling one by one. This may (or may not) be the only time in my entire life that overthinking may (or may not) actually be a good thing.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM