Writer’s Workshop: At Seventeen…

At what age would you like to restart your life? What would you do differently?

I guess this is a follow-on to the question from last week about what I wish I could do.

Since my stroke and the subsequent events that have led to me being retired on disability, I’ve given lots of thought to these questions. Probably too much thought, actually. Brooding over past mistakes is a highly-addictive and unproductive use of my time. Fortunately, I’ve learned to limit it to the hours when I’m in bed and have been awakened by a full bladder, which usually gives me a few minutes before I fall asleep and wander the hallways and highways of my dreams. There are so many things I’d do differently, and they all happened at different stages of my life.

Image by b0red from Pixabay

I’d like to restart my life on March 25, 1973, the day I turned 17. This was the end of my junior year and start of my senior year of high school. My mother and I had a difference of opinion about where I should go to university, and I didn’t fight hard enough for my choice. As a result, I ended up going to a school I didn’t want to attend. My first two years at university were a disaster, and I didn’t care. I don’t like myself when I’m passive-aggressive like that, but that was the person I was then.

There was a lot of good that came of that, though: I ended up transferring to one of the schools I did want to attend, where I met the love of my life, I graduated a semester early, we were married and have lived happily ever after. Had I gone there to start with, Mary and I probably would have ended up being two ships that pass in the night. Divine Intervention works in mysterious ways…

(That was short. That’s a record for me.)


I and a group of very nice people, let by the lovely and talented Mama Kat, do this Writer’s Workshop thing every Thursday. Kat posts a list of a few prompts to her blog every Tuesday or Wednesday, from which we select one and write on it, then share our essays with the other folks doing it (and, by extension, the other readers of our blogs). It’s tons of fun and Kat told me she doesn’t mind if I invite other people to join in. If you’re interested, click the icon below and read all about it.

17 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: At Seventeen…

  1. This just proves to me that you still did the right thing. No changes should have been done because you not only learned from this experience but you met the love of your life as a result. I could go back to November 2002 and I literally remember the the choice and looking both ways but I am still glad I made my choice because, as painful as it was, I was meant to take that route.

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    1. Life is full of choices, each of which take us down a different path. I wish there were a way to test the theory of parallel universes and see what each choice led to. But yes, I’m kind of happy with the way things turned out. It’d be better if I weren’t a cripple, of course…

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  2. It’s crazy to think how much of the outcomes of our lives can be determined or changed by a single decision. And yet we make them every day. It’s probably a good thing you let your mom strong arm you into the college she liked after all! 😉

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    1. I subscribe to the parallel universe theory, where my life takes different paths in different universes based on my having made different decisions. An infinite number of choices made in an infinite number of universes… that would be fun to think about, wouldn’t it?

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  3. I’ve spent time wondering about how things might have been different if I’d made this or that decision, but it’s crazy how things work out. Just like they worked out for you and your wife.

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  4. I wouldn’t. Without the knowledge of the future I’d just make the same decisions and have to live it all over again. There were events too painful to ever want to go back and live them again.
    If I did know, and made different decisions, I wouldn’t have my wonderful children, so there again, wouldn’t.

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    1. It’s always a matter of “If I knew then what I know now…” If you hadn’t made mistakes and had to live with the consequences, you wouldn’t know what you know now.

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  5. You’re probably right about missing her if you’d gone earlier. I met there were life lessons important to learn from the Divine perspective even at a university you didn’t like before you got to the one you did.

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    1. I can’t say that the years I spent at the wrong school were wasted: A number of my friends from grammar school and high school went there, and I made a bunch of new ones. If it wasn’t for the whole classes and grades thing, it’d have been perfect.

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  6. It has taken me 64 years, but I can now view things in my life that may have seemed bad to me, as a possible catalyst for good in someone else’s life. I have also managed to put my old story aside and live fully present in the here and now. I really enjoy your blog by the way.

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  7. There may not even be any wrong choices. We might just use the wrong choices to make other choices. I dunno, man, I’m not a guru, but I think it works out well — especially for you and Mary 🙂

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