This is a question that theoretically puts an old head on young shoulders but it’s thought-provoking. It was asked in an online forum I follow devoted to knitting and crochet; the question appeared in the General Chat section, along with recipes, cute pets and cranky neighbour stories.
Some of the responses:
My first job when 16 was in the railways which I left after about 9 months. By staying after turning 18 I could have learnt to be a train driver.
I’d work harder at math and science and become a veterinarian.
I would go to a dream I have had since a little girl, to study English History. I have always been fascinated in it and my love has never waned.
I would be a surgeon.
I wouldn’t change a thing. As rough as the path has been, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
I wish I had gotten an education, then my options would have been better. But, no complaints, life has been good.
I regret my whole life. I cannot figure out why I never matured like everyone else. I never made the right choices to get ahead. Always just took menial minimum wage jobs. Even after marrying the second time, why could I not see I was just a ‘meal ticket’. In making the bad choices I did, I was just ‘band aiding’ my life together. Oh, if I could just do it over…
I am pleased with the career I have. I regret some of the life choices I made but they were lessons I had to learn to become the person I am.
I am still growing.
My mother told me I didn’t need college because I would end up cooking, cleaning, and taking care of people. Being the rebel I am I went to college and I have two college degrees. She was proud of me then. I would do everything the same way. I loved my career and am now retired.
I am a happy person, but can think of a few pivotal moments in my life when I wish I had chosen ‘the other road’.
I’m content with the end result. If I changed it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, warts and all.
I have not done a good job; two out of three children will not let me see their children and they won’t speak to me. I really hate my life and feel like a big failure. If I only had a chance to do it over…
I would stay home with the kids instead of working. But Women’s Lib was hot and heavy in the early 70s and I thought I needed to show them that women could do more than be a homemaker. I was wrong: being a homemaker is a noble profession. But I would have included raising dogs as a sideline!
As for me, I echo one writer: I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m right where I’m supposed to be!
Do you daydream about what might have been, if only you had—what?