Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time Machine

I was talking to a friend, talking about the past, when he exclaimed, "When my child grows up, I will tell him to think carefully of every decision he makes…and that there is no time machine."

It resounded in my brain over and over again. Of course, I already know that we can never change what was or what had been. There is just something so sad about how he said it, or the context when he said it, that his sentiments reached me. The optimist, or the rational, will tell you that you should not dwell on the past. As in every lesson in life, it is easier said than done. And perhaps more than half of the world's population would go back to the past if given the chance. I for one had been trying to ignore the lingering feeling that I wish I could travel backward. But it is more difficult to suppress the feeling that I wish I could just leave the present and stay in the past forever.

And no, this is not just the sentiment of the pessimist or the irrational. It has always been the desire of people to go back and correct their mistakes, albeit in different degrees. It can be as light as claiming that Visa reward card or eating the last piece of cake or as heavy as marrying for love or pursuing your dreams. It would be utterly, if not really, impossible that people live without regrets. We are bound to make mistakes, just as sure as we are bound to feel pain. And whenever the mistakes seem impossible to remedy or the pain feels unbearable, we dream of the past, wishing we were there. Hadn't we seen Superman fly super fast around the globe to rewind time? I wonder if Superman could still do that now. I bet he would, if he still can.

We always hear of the golden past; it seemed this golden age never becomes the present. We are miserable because we always tend to forget that in a timeline, there is a past, a present, and a future. But who's blaming? It's easy to forget the future when it seems vague or predictably dark. It's easier to look back when all you see is smiles…when the blue sky shines just as brightly as the sun.

No. I am not saying that this is the right way to live, assuming there is a right one. I am just stating a fact as I see it in people's eyes, or in the eyes of those around me. What have we got to gain in looking back? Learn from mistakes? Maybe. Or just maybe, we learn nothing. We just for a moment try to feel the time when we aren't this miserable. The setback, we get more miserable after that. Who cares?

Oh, yes. It is difficult to dwell on the past. People say you wouldn't move on. But it is not true. People can still move on, even holding on to the precious moments of before, desperately grasping the time when mistakes had not been made. Would it be better if you forget about it and move on? Maybe. Who knows? Absolutely, there is no choice but to go on.

It is quite hard to speak for the world, although it is not as hard to observe it. As for me, if there is a time machine, I will take it. The question is, if I would still go back here. And no, this is not a lesson to learn. I am just presenting a reality as I see it. This is just a sentiment written.


witsandnuts said...

Napaisip ako ng husto sa post mo. What if there's a time machine? Not that I really regret some pieces of the past, but I'd probably go back to make some portions better. But at the end of the day, when I think about those "candidates for editing" chapters, I resolve that I'd leave them like that na lang. Kase masaya naman ako/ masaya na naman ang mga taong involved. :)

kayni said...

I agree with wits. Things happen for a reason and if I were given a choice, I wouldn't go back or change anything in my past. The past has made me who I am today.

mordsith said...

There are just circumstances that make one long for the past. And I am very happy for people whose lives, despite whatever happened in the past, have become happy. :)