If you could return to a specific moment in your life and start over from there, when would it be? Would you go back to your high school sweetheart and ask her to marry you and live happily ever after? Would you return to the man who was kind and intelligent but not so attractive and give his personality a chance to win over your heart? Maybe you would revisit long deceased relatives or friends and tell them how much they impacted your life (or cuss them out for dying before paying back the money they owed you). Or possibly you would take revenge on the fourth grade bully who tormented you and shattered your self-esteem beyond repair. I know exactly where I’d start over. I’d return to my earliest memory of life.
I’m in my crib. The bars are cold to the touch, slippery. I pull myself up to stand erect against them. There’s a spicy aroma in the air that I will later learn is called Patchouli. It’s mixed with the smell of something edible. My legs are a bit like rubber under me yet I manage to swing one of them across the top of my barred cage. Pulling up and heaving myself atop the wall, I am airborne. The room is spinning. My cheeks are flushed with the thrill that I would one day relate to riding a roller coaster, a high-speed chase, a near escape from death. Adrenaline is pumping so hard that I barely notice that I’ve landed on a mutated rainbow of clouds. They’re pillows, all strategically placed below my bed. They’ve broken my fall and are now hugging and praising me for a job well done. I’m free! “Now go forth and explore your world,” they tell me. As I’ve made up my mind to do just that, my Mother enters the room. She’s speaking a language I don’t yet understand but in a sing-song tone that defines her love for me and puts my heart at ease whenever I hear it. She gently picks me up from my safe haven of pillows and places me back into my crib. I experience my first feelings of anger, maybe even rage. Okay, well I’m definitely frustrated. All my work and efforts have been erased with one quick, loving swoop of my Mother’s arms. I’m back at the starting gate peering through the slabs at what could have been.
Yeah, that’s exactly where I’d return if I had the choice. Only, this time instead of resigning myself to waiting for someone to retrieve me from my cell, I’d escape again. No more complacency for me. Yes, I’d return to that moment of frustration, that whirlwind of emotion. And this time I’d bring fight with me. This time there would be no giving up, no giving in. In fact, after I’ve landed on my mark, I’ll roll under the bed out of sight just to shake it up a bit. I think I’d give everyone a taste of what’s to come with my new and improved outlook on life.
This is the moment at which I’d choose to return carrying strength, fortitude and resolve on my shoulders. This would be my re-start on life. Yeah, this is my “do over” moment. I’d begin again from here with purpose and rewrite history…my story.