Obviously this is impossible (unless you're Ashton Kutcher in "The Butterfly Effect"), but it's still something I ponder, as unhealthy as that is.
I know I can't relive the past, as hard as I try when I go a bit overboard with my nostalgia (you can find me reading all of my old journals pretty much every time I go home to visit my parents). But there's something about examining my history, my choices and my past self that helps shape who I want to be in the future. I look at a lot of my journals as "how to" guides - or not how to, in many cases.
This past weekend I attempted a do over by traveling to Oregon on a road trip with one of my best friends. The last time I was in Oregon post-college was last year, and it spelled D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R in capital letters. In a nutshell, I traveled with the wrong people (person, really). The other person with us and I were forced to go home early - specifically we had to rent a car and drive 10 hours home well into the wee hours of the night. How unfortunate, considering how much I'd looked forward to exploring my old stomping grounds and showing my "friends" where I'd gone to school.
Last weekend, my alma mater held a special alumni event for PR students/grads. I thought this would not only be a great chance to see my school and some old friends, but to also replace that bad memory from last year.
The trip was spectacular! I saw 3 of my old dorm buddies in Portland and had the best time at the PR event. Oregon is as gorgeous as ever - being there reminded me why I chose it for college. And being around my fellow PR peers was even more amazing than I'd imagined - what a change to be in a town with mostly 20-somethings, and to be around people who care about the same things I do! I talked school, work and politics with a group of people at the event, and it was so refreshing (it helped that Eugene runs blue, I might add). This trip was just what I needed.
My fellow road tripper was Christina, and we had a blast together. After my event, we stopped by one of the popular bars near campus (one that I'd never been to! Hey, I was only 21 for like 5 minutes before I graduated). I might add that Christina gets a lot of attention when we go out - and on this night, we happened to be in our dressy clothes since we'd just left the event. Clearly we stood out amid our North Face-donning peers.
Some random guy began talking to us, and I thought, "Here we go again." He kept complimenting Christina's makeup, saying that she was like a Bond Girl. Okaaaay. Then he said his girlfriend looks like her and that he can't wait to "fatten her up" so that she has more of a build like Christina's. Okaaaay. Then apparently we find out this girlfriend of his is 19, they've been together 2 weeks, he already tells her he loves her, and she's dating some other guy that she's using to do her homework.
All right, time to leave.
I love meeting weird people when I go out. You know me - I normally lie about my name and make up some random details. But on this night, I didn't get a word in edgewise. This character was too busy drooling over Christina, with whom he later asked to take a picture (before inquiring how much she charges for photos. What. The. Hell.).
So in sum, my clusterf*** of an Oregon trip last year has been replaced by the good memories of this past weekend.
I know I can never go back and change the past, but at least I can make the present something worth remembering.