“Would you live your life over again if you could?”

I get that I’m supposed to say “yes” as a way of expressing the feeling that I have no regrets, but this is a dumb question no matter how you slice it.

If I could live my life over but I wouldn’t know that I was reliving it, what would be the point of that?

If I could live my life over and I knew I was reliving it, but couldn’t do anything to change it, I suppose that would be all right for the good times but when it came time to relive the parts that sucked, HOO-boy, I’m not sure I’d survive it the second time around. I’m kind of a nervous wreck to start with. That’s just the personality I’ve had the luck to draw. Coupled with that, I have one of those memories that makes me relive the parts of my life that sucked at random. “Hey remember that time you did that really embarrassing thing that everyone saw you do and they all said ‘geeze what’d you have to do that for?’ and you’ve never been able to live it down? Remember that?” If you’re around me and you see me grimace or hear me say “oh shit” out loud for seemingly no reason, that’s what’s happening to me. There are especially cringey episodes of my life that I have relived in memory several thousand times. If I were to literally relive my life, I’d probably ruin the good parts of it getting tied in emotional knots as I waited for the sucky parts.

Now, if I could relive my life and I knew I was reliving it AND I could change it, I’d definitely jump at the chance to enjoy the good times, maybe make a few more of them, and to iron out the bad times so maybe they weren’t so bad, or even to eliminate them if possible. Who wouldn’t say yes to an opportunity like that? But that’s not the point of asking the question, is it? The point of asking the question is so that I can affirm I like my life just the way it all turned out. But if I were to literally relive it in a way that allowed me to change the cringey parts, well, it wouldn’t be the life I had, would it? It’d be a completely different life because everyone has regrets they’d like to correct, and if I went back and corrected mine, I’d go down an entirely different path than the one I went down originally.

It also has to be said that if I could relive my life and I could make changes to it, I’d probably generate a whole new set of regrets that my neurotic brain would randomly force me to recall over and over, on top of the old memories of the previously-committed cringe moments, which I’m pretty sure I’d still have to recall even if I managed to make them less cringey or even if I overcame them. I know my brain pretty well at this point and I don’t see why it wouldn’t keep bringing up shit like that even if it didn’t happen the second time around, because it did happen the first time so I didn’t actually erase it, see? See how that works?

So no, I wouldn’t relive my life over if I could. Living it just the once was plenty satisfying for me, thanks anyway.

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