If I were back in school I'd do much better

I'm 28. I just had my 10 year high school reunion. High School seems a long way off. So does college. When I was 16, or even 20, I didn't care. I didn't think about the future, about what my life would be like in 10 years. Maybe I did think, but I didn't think with the clarity of someone that is actually there.

If I could go back I would do better, much better. I'd work my ass off in school, make the grades needed to give me more choices. My grades weren't bad, but they weren't great, and getting an invite to MIT or Harvard or some fancy school abroad would be most flattering.

I'd do better socially as well. I wouldn't hide in the library in grade 8, knowing that I was safe within the walls of books from the bullys outside who would love to throw lunchmeat on my glasses and then have a good laugh at it. I'd still read as much as I did, but I'd know why bullies are the way they are, how one gets respect in school and not be afraid of doing what was needed to get it. I'd wear what I wanted without being afraid of showing up in something other than the same jeans and t-shirts I did every day. I'd manipulate the system against itself.

I now know what women want, and how to manipulate them. If I could just back into highschool now I'd have more girlfriends. I'd have a girlfriend. I'd go to the school dances. I'd have more interesting experiences. I'd still go out with the friends I did before, and I'd still get stuck out in the backwoods after playing mailbox baseball when the car broke down and we all had to walk back to Drew's place in the middle of the night.

When that girl kissed me at Dans party I'd be sober enough to kiss her back well enough to pop her shoes off, regardless of if she really knew what she was doing at the time. I wouldn't hear about how I drooled all over her" in the morning.

I'd see what my choices were before accepting the first program in college that accepted me. I'd see if maybe I could have made it as a creative writer, or a photographer, instead of being a Computer Guy. I'd still learn all I could about computer and technology, but I'd not restrict myself to that.

I'd make less mistakes with online relationships, but I'd still have them, and I'd still fall in love. I'd fall in love more. I'd love more.

I'd still cry for lost love.

I wouldn't get myself stuck in a job with no future. I'd take the knowledge I have now of business and the business world and start early to make something amazing. I'd build something that would allow me to sit back in a big office, with a nice car that's not still three years from being paid off, and not require me to do real work.

I'd change the world.

If I could jump back ten or fifteen years I'd travel the world. Not just to England but all over. I'd probably still do it with the girl I did the first time, if my earlier antics still led us to meet up. I'd also go alone. I'd be a euro teen.

I'd backpack in Italy.
I'd walk through Stonehenge.
I'd learn to speak Russian and spend time in Moscow in the winter.
I'd eat sushi in Japan.
I'd learn to scuba dive much earlier and dive the Great Barrier Reef.

If I couldn't afford these things I'd work as I went along. I'd grow strong and lean. I'd roam from town to town and country to country without a care other than which direction to go in the morning.

I'd do all these things before I got old and had a (almost) wife and three cats tying me to one place. I'd be single for longer, or I'd love and leave.

I'd climb harder. I'd work on it and never stop. I'd live in Squamish instead of just going there every weekend, and then every other weekend, and then eventually a few times a year, if that. I wouldn't let the computer take over my life and I'd live again. I'd feel alive again.

I would know that the anchor was bad and stop Lawrence from falling, and he'd be completely uninjured instead of injured, and we'd complete the day in joy instead of getting him to the hospital to get his busted up ankle and compression fractures in his back fixed up.

When I think about how I'm doing today, with a girlfriend that loves me, pets instead of children, a decent job as a programmer and a nice car that is almost paid for I can't complain that much, but this 20/20 hindsight keeps bringing me back to everything that could have been, if only I'd known a bit ahead of time.

Is it too late to start?