I was recently watching the movie “Safety Not Guaranteed”, which is about a man who placed an advertisement looking for a partner to travel back in time with. The advertisement told the would-be time travel partner that they must bring their own weapons, and their safety is not guaranteed. As the movie progresses, they discuss their reasons for wanting to go back in time; his “partner” is an intern from a magazine, writing a story on him for, at least at the beginning, entertainment value. As they sat together and discussed why they wanted to go back in time, it made me wonder if I would go back in time? Would I really want to change the past?
We all have a history. A chapter in our lives that we like to pretend does not exist. A chapter we are not proud of and would, in theory, like to change. Given the chance though, would we? I would like to think that I would not change a thing. I like to think that I can look back over the chapters which I prefer to ignore and accept them as the drama leading to a climax, and an eventual happy ending. My story is only beginning (I hope) and I have found happiness in life and, for the time being, my place in the world. I have found something which I truly enjoy doing, and I am actively working toward making it a viable living. (Thank you Athabasca University!)
Without the chapters I prefer to ignore, I might not be where I am in life now. My path might have gone in another direction entirely. Maybe if I went back in time, with the man who stated “Safety not guaranteed”, and changed the course of my life, I would not have the joy that I have now. Maybe by creating a life free of regrets we would not get the reward of true happiness. We would lead a safe life, take no risks, so have no regrets, and receive no rewards.
In the movie, the characters fight with their own demons from the past. They deal with their own regrets in their own unique way and grow as they do it. I think that is the most important part of regrets. You went into a situation not knowing what to expect, and did not handle it properly?the way, looking back, that you wish you had. Yet, without being in that situation how would you learn? How would you grow and become a better person?
So, if it was possible to time travel, to go back and erase the chapters I prefer to ignore, would I? Would I risk not knowing all I have learned? Would I risk the life I have now over a few chapters? No. While I am not proud of them, I am proud of who I am and where I am in life, and my regrets played their part in getting me here. It is much easier to remember what you have learnt and ignore the rest of the chapter. Take what you can and leave the rest. Besides, have the movies taught us nothing? Go back in time, step on a bug, and destroy mankind. Please, for the sake of humanity, just learn from your mistakes, forget the rest of the chapter and focus on making the rest of your story amazing.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature