Admit it…you want one.
You know you do!
And there’s no shame in that, because believe me when I say, you are not alone!
But why? Think long and hard about why you want one. Are you looking to relive a moment, or a series of moments? Do you think that if you go back and change one crucial decision…one crucial turn to the left…that everything in your life would be better now?
Or maybe you just want to know definitively who killed Kennedy.
Whatever the case, whatever the reason or desire, consider this…the very fact that you want to travel through time probably indicates that you’re already there. And for all intents and purposes, you’re stuck there. Whether you’re thinking about the future, plotting and planning for every moment to come, or whether you’re dwelling in the past, lost in thought about that one time…that one moment…that last kiss…or the time you stormed out of work…you’re already there, caught, trapped, forever spinning in a temporal loop of hope, anticipation, sadness and longing.
Time is on our side…or so they say. But I submit to you that time is one of our greatest enemies. It’s our Lex Luthor, our Darkseid, our very own Dr. Doom, and it looms over us, heavy and commanding. Our minds get stuck in a constant state of “what if” moments. We look at our present and our emotions get clouded and we wonder why we didn’t try harder that one time. We think about the job we let slip through our fingers…or the girl…or the scholarship. We think, “If I had just gone home that night, everything would be alright now”.
The truth is, we’ll never know what would have happened. Things are the way they are for a reason. We are on the path we’re on for a reason. An even larger truth though is, the more you dwell on those moments long ago, or think about the moments to come, constantly mapping and scripting, the more you miss…everything!
We all have a “temporal loop moment”. Or, if you’re like me, you have several. Some are specific, and some are very general, but we have them. For me, it’s the summer of ’85, the summer of ’88, August of ’91 and ’94, and March 8, 1998. Honestly, there are several more. I could list dates for days on end that I’d like to change, and several that I’d love to relive, but to do so only means one thing…I’m holding onto…clinging to…the past. I don’t need H.G. Wells or Doc Brown because I have my very own time machine running in my head.
And it seems to have an unlimited fuel supply.
For whatever reason, a part of me…well…parts of me…are forever trapped in the past. My own temporal loop is looming over me like a specter. It’s kept me from taking chances, from committing to things…from living. It wasn’t fear of the unknown that kept me from moving forward, or in some cases…moving on. It was the past, handcuffing me, keeping me bound in a time and place that was joyous, painful, or unresolved. It was the past begging me not to leave it behind…not to forget.
Or perhaps it was fear.
Fear of being forgotten by those I shared those moments with.
And so the challenge now, for me and for you, is to question ourselves when our minds form that one crucial question, “what if?”
The proper response should be, “Things could have been different. But whether they could have been better or worse, my choice led me to this moment, and in this moment I accept what’s happened in the past and I cannot continue to allow it to affect my present”.
As is the case with many things, it may be easier said than done. But that temporal loop has to be broken.
Otherwise, we will continue spinning in circles, wondering, waiting, longing and reaching, either for a time long past that we cannot change, or a time yet to come that we may never reach. We have to stop letting opportunities for happiness pass us by because we cannot let go. Don’t forget the memories. Don’t let them slip away into an abyss. But don’t let them have the keys to the asylum in your mind.
Cover up that DeLorean, throw it in storage, and take a walk and experience life.
You may just discover, that this world…this time…ain’t so bad after all.