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I had a dream...

Last night, I had a very bizarre dream. I dreamed that I woke up into the body of my fourteen-year-old self with the memories of my thirty-three-year-old self. Oy. I have to admit, if that ever happened to me, it would be a nightmare. I *like* my life the way it is. It could be better, of course, but I like my career, my husband, my friends, my family, my house, and my pets the way they are. If I had the chance to do it over, the only things I would really want to change are to do better in school and to join theatre my freshman year instead of my sophomore year. That's it. But I wouldn't want to change a single thing if it meant losing what I have. I wouldn't want to take that risk. I also would not want to have to live through my romantic entanglements again. After finding the right one, I wouldn't want to date anyone else. Yuck! But I would have to, in order to learn the lessons I needed to learn to get to the right one.

That gave me an idea. So often in stories, it's "be careful what you wish for." It's pretty common for characters to want to go back in time to change something that they think would make their lives better only to discover that they really liked their lives the way they originally ended up. Peggy Sue Got Married, Wizard of Oz the movie, Mr. Destiny, etc. But what would happen if a character, who has come to terms with their past mistakes and is happy with their life the way it is, ended up going back in time with their memories intact? How would that change the storyline? Because the character might have some things that they can change, but would they want to, if it meant they might not get the life they had in the future?

I don't know if I'll write this story, but I thought I would at least write the idea down. After all, it is a little different than most things I've heard of. And it is an example of the "fish out of water" story. After all, a character who loves their life the way it is would be paralyzed about changing things, but would end up changing things by accident, simply by having the foreknowledge. Who would they tell? Would anyone believe them?

In my dream, I did tell people. I told several of my friends what their lives would be like in 2017. And in dream logic, they believed me, without any of the consequences that can come with knowing how things are supposed to go. Just knowing what's going to happen can change the event.

It's just a dream, most likely inspired by all the references to 1984 in my Facebook feed lately. (1984 was the fall play when I was a freshman.) I think that's what inspired this dream. I really can't think of anything else that would have done it. Especially since I'm not the type who wants to have my teenage years back. I did enjoy them. I had a lot of fun in high school. But it was good that it was then, to paraphrase an old Jewish proverb. I don't want to return to it. As I said, the only things I would want to change are to take school far more seriously sooner than I did, and to join theatre sooner than I did. That's it. That's all I would have wanted to change. I had too much fun to want to change anything else. And I really would not want to change anything if it meant I didn't end up with the life I currently have. Yes, it has its problems. It's not perfect by any means. But I'm happy with it, and I'm working towards making it even better. Which is all anyone can ever do.

But I did like the story questions I came up with after having this dream.


I'm that way too. Even the worst parts made me a survivor, made me care about the things I care about, and in many cases led directly to some of the best things in my life. I wouldn't change them.

The story variant that strikes me from your post is this: could you knowingly walk right back into the worst situations of your life to repeat them, for the sake of knowing what surviving them gave to you? I wouldn't take back the most painful moments of my life, no. But could I endure them again, just for the sake of not wanting to change my future?
Exactly. I was trying to get at that, with my mention of the guys I dated. One of the guys I dated had the potential to turn into a physically abusive relationship. Another turned into a stalker after I broke up with him. And the one I dated before I got with my husband was verbally and emotionally abusive. I don't know if I would want to endure all that crap again, just to get to where I am today.