Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Life in Reverse is Backwards

My cousin Daphnie just turned 13 and got to sign up for her own Facebook account. My immediate advice to her was, always remember that what you write on the internet will be there forever. Thanks to the new TimeHop app on the iPhone, we can even get a daily play by play of the things we posted on Facebook and other social media sites on this day last year, the year before last, all the way back to five years ago. A five year play by play of our lives on the internet. That's a scary thought.

Would you rather: Have a rewind button on your life, or a pause button on your life?

I downloaded the TimeHop app, because, well because I was curious, mostly. And I can say - with much certainty - after reading back on my life over the past 5 years, I would much rather have a pause button than a rewind one.

For several reasons.

I don't want to rewind because I don't want to move backwards. My life has progressed, has gotten better, has improved significantly, as time has moved forward - what would I be going backwards to? I mean, there are times in my life - specifically in my childhood - that would be pretty fun to revisit, but in that case, I'd have to argue that whatever that "scene select" feature is called on a DVD would be better than rewind, I'd have to go backwards through all the bad to get to the good I was after. To rewind, I'd have to see all of my fuck ups, my mistakes, my heartaches, in reverse; I'd have to watch it all happen again. Not worth the headache to time hop back to some random fun memory, if you ask me.

I also don't want to rewind because I try to move forward in my life without regret. Rewinding feels like regret; it feels like saying hold on, I wanna do that over. I'm not happy with how I did that. That's what regret sounds like. I try my best to find a lesson or a purpose in the things that happen, the events that take place in my life. Sometimes it's hard to find purpose in the bad, but the reality is, without the bad, I wouldn't appreciate the good. I don't want to rewind because I want my present to be as happy and raw as it is, and changing something that happened in the past would alter the way I am currently experiencing life.

Today specifically, I wouldn't mind a pause feature. Today I feel like life is moving faster than I can keep up with, that people are making decisions and moving forward without me, that I am grasping at air as I fall over the side of a building. I need that slow motion feeling from the movies, where the hero rescues the girl just before she plummets. Today feels like I'd like to pause, mid-fall.

Then again. in the movies, it isn't a real pause; it's more like slow motion. I suppose if I were to really hit pause on my life, it'd be like a stand still. I don't really want my life to stand still...I just want to slow it the fuck down for a moment.

That's the thing about life though; you don't get to speed it up or slow it down. You don't get to back it up or make it stand still. You just have to live it as it happens. And though given the choice between rewinding and pausing I would choose to pause, the reality is I am much more content living my life in regular play mode. #noregrets.