Butterfly Away

On my not-a-date with Captain (there was no lobster involved), we spoke about our high school experiences, and I asked him if he would go back to when he was 15. He asked if he would have the memories he had now. I changed the question to if he would want to go back as a spectator. He very quickly responded in the negative, with a look of horror, saying that he wouldn’t want to watch himself do all the stupid things he did the first time. So my next question was whether he would want to go back and watch himself, but this time he would have the chance to change one, and only one, thing about his past.

He mulled it over, and ultimately decided that he liked the way that he is now. For all he knew, the one thing he changed could lead to a worse life than the one he has now. So even though he cringes at the though of all the dumb things he has done until now, he wouldn’t change a thing.

I thought over the question for myself, and there are definitely things that I regret doing in my past. But ultimately, they lead to me being where I am now, and being with MrFodder, so it can’t have been that bad.

Instead, I started thinking whether I would have met MrFodder anyway, if I had changed some of the decisions I made.

One of the things I regret is choosing software engineering over something like accounting, which I’m starting to think is much better suited to my personality. What would have changed? I would have spent a lot less time in the comp sci building at uni. I would probably still have joined the games club, however, would the games club have been what it was when MrFodder and I got together? Would there even have been a games club? I’m not sure what my involvement in all of it was. If I hadn’t met QCN (which I probably wouldn’t have, given I would be in the commerce building all the time), would she have gotten together with her boyfriend at the time? Would they have formed the games club together? Would I have joined the committee if I hadn’t been friends with the existing committee members – because let’s face it, the vote was more of a popularity contest than a judge of someone’s skill? Plus, QCN was the one who introduced us to each other in the first place.

Here’s another interesting one – would I have met MrFodder if I hadn’t played World of Warcraft? So through WoW, I ended up with Charmeleon. He was the one who pushed me to get over my fear of spending the rest of my life with someone, and wanted me to find someone. That someone ended up  being a guy who already had a girlfriend (though I didn’t know it at the time). I became an almost-homewrecker. But because I was feeling mopey, when QCN invited me to the MSO concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, I decided to try and get out of the house. That night was the first time I remember meeting MrFodder (we realised later that we had met earlier, but didn’t remember).

Or a combined one: if I hadn’t studied programming, AG wouldn’t have been so down on my choice of career. I wouldn’t have reminded him of his ex so much, and maybe we would have gotten along a lot better. If we hadn’t broken up, I probably would have spent more time at the chess club, and not had time for the video games club. Breaking up with him was what spurred me to finally level my shaman in World of Warcraft to level 60 and join a guild. Which led to me meeting Charmeleon, etc.

It’s actually a pretty fun thing to do, and makes me feel better about myself. I remember when I was feeling particularly down about something, Michael said to me that to regret your past is to regret who you are now. Not the most helpful of advice when you do regret who you are now, but it does help put a positive spin on some of the stupid things I have done in the past. I’ve been reading some of my old blog posts, and it’s interesting to see how emo I was at the time. If I had know that things would turn out OK in the end, I probably wouldn’t have done most of the things I did, and paradoxically, maybe things wouldn’t turn out OK. Life is funny like that.

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One Response to Butterfly Away

  1. GP says:

    Yes, you would still be with MrFodder. Because of me!

    As we’ve just so recently established, I have a link to both you and MrFodder, independently of your relationship. These links are also completely independent of your university choices – we (you and I) met before you went to uni, and while the content of our discussions and meetings over the years would be changed, I doubt there would have been anything that would have made us not friends (if you’d done commerce).

    Similarly, my link to MrFodder is completely irrelevant to any of your choices, and, as a matter of fact, to any of his choices through having not met yet. I mean, I’m painting with broad strokes here – maybe he marries someone else because he doesn’t meet you and moves away to another country. But still.

    Additionally, I haven’t yet met MrFodder through my link to him. But still!

    The links are there. Such small links, almost insignificant…but imagine the universe moving like rubber – it can be stretched, but it bounces back. Look at it another way – we’re not just the sum of our actions, but the sum of all the actions of everyone else in the world. In fact, one could argue you’ve got even less control than you realise. If you only changed one thing about yourself, the world would still be flowing around you, guiding you down a path.

    Example: despite your degree change, you’d likely still be in the same carpark in the same uni on the same night as when you were attacked. Despite your degree change, you’d likely still be a blogger, so I would read about it and be inspired to take you to Krav Maga, thereby elevating our relationship from acquaintances to friends.

    Perhaps MrFodder, being unmarried, is encouraged by his friend to go to more parties, thus spending time with more people, such as my friendship group. He starts coming to movie nights, and we become friends, and then both he and you and invited to one of my famous coming back/going away parties.

    And boom. The universe stretches, but it bounces back. Despite your best efforts, within reason for your upbringing and environment…your path is predictable. Each of your choices matters so much…but it really doesn’t matter at all.



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