“Insert Coin”

Imagine if life was like an arcade game. Imagine—if you could do it all over again by simply inserting twenty-five cents into a coin slot. Would you do it?

I think about it.

The thought of ever entertaining such a kooky idea seems absurd. But, what—if? Now, I’m not saying to throw all caution into the wind and roll the dice. No, not at all.  When it comes to the prospect of your own existence being called into question, one cannot and should not act hastily.  But, if we’re lucky to ever be faced with such a rare opportunity, would we take it? Would I go back and change crucial moments that later define who I become?

I think about it.

When I was five, a few of us played spin-the-bottle at the school yard, and the bottle landed on me and a pretty girl with brown hair and brown eyes—I could have kissed her. When I was twelve a bully picked on me for the first time, and I didn’t know how to react—I could have stood up for myself. When I was nineteen my friend got drunk and went on a joy ride—I could have saved him.

I think about it.

On the other hand, if I go back and change these events, I could go down an even darker path. Maybe the pretty girl with brown hair and brown eyes breaks my heart. Maybe the bully is lashing out due to problems back home, and as a result takes his own life because I embarrassed him that day. Or maybe, my friend turns out to be a raging alcoholic later in life and abuses his wife, maybe even his kids. Then again, maybe not.

Maybe.

All of these thoughts concern me. But, the possibility of losing myself—that’s frightening! Who I am now will no longer be, if I go back. I can only imagine the endless outcomes that await me. I like who I am; bold, and daring when curiosity peeks my interest. I love an adventure. Even more, I love not knowing. I love being free—I love being me.

I insert a coin.

Photo by Rebecca Oliver on Unsplash