Remember Time Cop with Jean Claude Van Damme? Unfortunately, I do (look it up after you read this, but you’re probably better off not having watched it, unlike me). That is a movie where time travel doesn’t have the happiest of outcomes at first, and not one of Jean Claude’s finest films, although that may not exist at all. Maybe Back to the Future is a better example of the time travel. Hijinx ensue, but at least it’s fun and not so dire.
As much as you would like to, you can’t go back. I can’t either, just to be clear. I don’t want you to think I’m trying to rub it in or something. And I don’t think I would want to go back. As much as I wish I did things differently the first time, I wouldn’t change anyth…much.
Here are a few things I wish I could change or would have done differently if I had the chance:
- I wish I learned to play an instrument
- I wish I worked more overtime when I had less responsibilities/people counting on me being around
- I wish I was more disciplined in school
- I wish I took more chances
- I wish I held back more often
- I would not have sent that mixtape
We don’t like making wrong choices, and sometimes it is hard just making any choice at all. I used to go shopping, pick up a number of items I wanted, know I could only afford half of them, but I couldn’t decide what to keep and what to put back. So I would end up just putting them all back and walking out of the store with nothing. The few times I would only get the one or two things I could get, I felt like I was missing out and would go back a couple of days later to get the things I put back anyway. I couldn’t live with the regret of buying the wrong whatever it was. Then later would regret I bought any of it after getting the credit card bill.
Even though I wish I could change some things or would do or say something different in certain situations if I could, I am glad that I can’t. I don’t live with regrets, necessarily, I just wonder how events would be different. As annoying as the cliche “everything happens for a reason” is, I agree with it. I know there are lessons and wisdom gained going through the experiences I have been through. It has all shaped me in some way. I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.
My past work experience, for example, helped me trick my wife into thinking that I was a good sales rep, or that I was a sales rep at all, even though I faked my way through that whole phase of my career. We both worked for the same company but in different regions and slightly different time periods, so we knew the lingo, knew some of the same people, and had an understanding of the business; a foundation for our relationship to build on. The facade came crumbling down when she would explain certain sales techniques, and I would look at her like I heard a dog whistle. Occasionally when the topic comes up, she shakes her head and calls me an “imposter rep.” It all worked out. She still married me even with my imposter status, so she has no one to blame but herself.
Anyway, not only is that wisdom for me to use in the future, but it is knowledge and wisdom I can pass on to my kids. Most of the time growing up, I thought my dad just had crazy stories of how the world worked. However, there were a few nuggets in there that have always stuck with me and am thankful he was able to share them with me. Hopefully, I can do the same for my kids (be the dad whose kids think he’s crazy, that is). They already do, but why not add more fuel?
There is still time for me to do stuff I missed out on earlier in life. I just need to focus and try not to be lured away by the seductress known as Playstation. For some reason, I came up with the brilliant idea that I need to learn to play the drums. Since my kids are taking karate, the dad of my daughter’s friend was encouraging (egging me on is more like it) to do something like go hiking, or camping, or shooting guns. You know, all the stuff men would do. I said no to all of it, but I thought I should join my kids doing karate (I’ve been watching for years, I could totally take some of those kids out and show them who the real sensei is). So soon, there will be a blog post about me kicking out the jams on my drum set with the use of the Crane Kick made famous by Daniel-son.
No, I’m not entering a mid-life crisis. What are you talking about? Oh, and I’m trying to talk my wife into buying me a sports car. But I’m fine.
A couple of the pearls of wisdom I hope my kids eventually appreciate are:
- Enjoy your youth
- Make the most of your time here
- Do your best, always
- Live free and take a chance
- Be yourself, know yourself
- Protect yourself
- Let go of mistakes
- Live in wisdom
These are all cliches, for sure, but there can still be value to them. I certainly enjoyed some of my youth, but I also squandered portions of it. It can be hard to know what is best in the moment. You just do the best you can with the information you have available at the time, which is what I will tell my girls.
There are things of youth I cannot do much of anymore. I can’t still play soccer. I learned that after I could barely walk after playing in my first game in an old-man’s league. I was never much for the nightlife, but I am definitely not in shape to stay up past 9 P.M. now. There are plenty others things I can’t do in my mid-life crisis age. It would be too sad to list them all here.
I can still be super silly with my kids, however, as well as be a source of knowledge and wisdom when the situations come up. Having the mentality of a 13-year old sometimes is helpful when it comes to kids. I still embrace adulthood and do my best to teach my kids responsibility, maybe a little too much. They are a little young for me to get too in depth about hopes and dreams and goals and accomplishments and consequences. All in due time.
In the meantime, just keep dreaming, just keep growing. Be young, wild, and free.
Is there anything you would change?
What was painful but glad you went through?
What wisdom did you gain and hope to pass on to your kids?
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