I wish I knew before...


Time traveling could be a hassle, but I’ve decided to attempt one. I’m not sure whether it involves boarding a machine or simply taking a walk down memory lane, but we're doing this either way.

I’ve packed a few things for the road; A camera to capture my favorite moments, moments I want to turn into a reel in my mind, the ones that make me ugly smile when I catch sight of my snapchat reminders. A blow horn to startle me, one that is loud enough to disrupt my balance and make me sit my bad decisions out. A notebook to record every little achievement that I was too “cool” to celebrate, with endless pages for the complaints I was too timid to voice. Finally a bouquet of flowers to mourn the shedding of my old self and welcome the new. Here goes nothing…

There she is. 

Watching my younger self with almond shaped eyes that glisten with hope through the replaced opaque lens I now possess, I begin to see everything more clearly. The world wasn’t full of colors nor did it revolve around me, I didn’t have “haters”; my cat’s death wasn’t my fault etcetera. It’s not a crazy revelation but it’s surely enough to make me wish I had known better then. I wish I trusted my mother’s intuition and obeyed more. I wish I didn't restrict my taste in everything just to impress that boy. I wish I took one more big whiff of the sharp scent of benzene as my father filled the tank during a gas station stop; watching my sister's raindrop outrun mine on the car window in the rain. I wish I knew the before right before the after. I wish I knew it was the last time before realizing time wouldn’t last. 

At last, I know now. Watching my happy old self tiptoe her way apologetically through the occupied football field to join her girlfriends on the other side brought tears of joy to my eyes. It would be cruel to intervene. So I unzipped my backpack  and dropped every item I carried with me, the camera, the blowhorn, the notebook, and the flowers. I traveled my way back to the present where I belong carrying nothing but certainty that she will bump into the objects I scattered for her on the ground. She’ll know what they mean.

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