A group of young college students sit next to me at a restaurant. They must be anywhere between 16 to 19 years of age. Their constant chatter, their liveliness, their carefree personalities are like the smell of freshly baked chocolate chips cookies that drift towards me. I am transported to my college years, my friends, my troubles, the small joys and the losses.
It was a time when if things were going wrong, I could just walk out and immediately find myself among friends. They were right there. I could spend days doing nothing and life would still be moving ahead. Or I could spend my days drowning in project work because life really had to keep moving ahead. The only job I had was to do well in school/college, be alive and be well! A simpler time there never was.
I ask myself, when did life get so complicated? It almost feels like the day I graduated and stepped out of my college, life whacked me on the head and said, “Welcome to the dark side!” But then again, life had welcomed me to the dark side a long time before stepping outside college. We just seemed to have walked further into this labyrinth.
Now, when I sit down to think about that time, with the indulgent chatter of young students next to me, I’m nostalgic. I am nostalgic for a time when I thought my biggest problems were parental issues and relationship break – ups. I am nostalgic for the ability to just wake up and go for a holiday. I am nostalgic to bring back a time, which now, in hindsight, seems simpler.
If I had a time – turner, where would I wind up? What would I change? Would I want to change anything at all? Or are these life lessons? Does thinking of them as life lessons help me cope? If they are life lessons, then what are my learnings? So many questions, so few answers.
So, if you had a time – turner, where would you end up?