Friday Night Think Tank: Time Travel With A Caveat Edition

Doc BrownHappy Friday, Modern Philosophers!

We’ve managed to make it through another week.  It was a rough one for me, so I’m glad it’s done.  I’m looking forward to our trip to the Think Tank so I can generate some new Deep Thoughts to replace the current ones banging around in my head.

We have gotten very philosophical lately with our Friday Night gatherings, and I’d like that to continue tonight.  As I often like to do, I’ve steered tonight’s conversation down a Time Traveling path.  What else do you expect from a Modern Philosopher who is a protege of Doc Brown?

Grab your Deep Thinking Togas and the keys to your Time Machine.  It’s time to really put our brains to work…

This week’s topic: If you had the ability to be the age of your choice again while remaining in the present day and retaining all the knowledge, possessions, insights, etc that you have accumulated over the years, would you continue your life as a younger version of you?  Keep in mind, everyone and everything else would remain exactly the same…only you would change.

I hope I worded that in a manner that’s easy to follow, Modern Philosophers.  It makes sense in my jumbled mind, but I’ve rewritten that topic paragraph several times now!

keep calmThis is an easy one for me.  I would love to be 25 again, but with all the knowledge I have accumulated over the years.  I realize now how stupid and immature I was at 25.  I should have been doing so much more with my life, but I let my twenties just slip away.  Spent them all in a relationship that was doomed, didn’t chase after my dreams, never took any risks, or let loose.  I was an old man in a young man’s body.

Last year, I found a script that I’d written in my early 20s.  It was HORRIBLE, but at the time, I thought it was the greatest story ever written.  I sent it out to agents, producers, directors, and anyone willing to read it.  I am so embarrassed by that now.  I was clueless as to how unprepared I was to be sharing my writing with people in Hollywood.

How cool would it be, though, to be 25 again and have my current writing ability?  Armed with better writing samples, years of insight and experience with the Hollywood game, more confidence, and a better understanding of what I want out of my career, I think I would be a major screenwriting force.

At least I would take more risks, be more aggressive, and make writing my priority.  What I wouldn’t give to be a young, talented writer in this age of social media.  There are so many outlets for writers now that weren’t available when I was 25.  Maybe Netflix would give me a series, or I could just start my own channel and live stream original content.

I could sell The House on the Hill, and use that money to support myself while I lived in a cheap apartment and wrote all the time.  Maybe I’d move back to New York or give L.A. another shot.  This time, though, I’d be way more proactive.  I wouldn’t have a wife to support, and I’d put my writing career first.  I’d make sure I found a writing job even if it was a crappy one, just to get my foot in the door and start networking.

While writing would definitely be my top priority were I to be 25 again, the Hopeless Romantic in me would insist on making sure I approached my love life in an entirely different manner.  I’d be free of the one and only woman I dated in my 20s.  I’d make sure to meet women, not tie myself down, and keep all my options open.

I know so much more about love now.  I have a completely different understanding of what love means, what I need, what I want, and how to be happy.  During my second shot at 25, I’m going to be a hell of a lot more confident.

Of course, there is still The Girl Who Owns My Heart.  I know I’m talking all big and independent here, but if I were 25 again, I’m sure the first thing I’d actually do would be to go to her.  We’d be the same age, which would be a trip, and 25 year old me would say to her all the things I didn’t say when she moved away.  I would convince her that I was the one for her, and our age difference would no longer be a hindrance to a long, happy future.

Just think how healthy I’d be at 25.  All this running I’m doing now would be nothing on 25 year old legs.  I’d get myself into perfect shape and make sure I NEVER got out of shape again.  I’d enter competitive races and push myself to run a marathon.

I’d also start facing my fears.  I’ve lived my life paralyzed by so many phobias.  I’d drive everywhere.  I’d fly often.  I’d travel.  I’d learn how to swim and finally jump off a high diving board.  I’d stop worrying so much.  I’d make sure I invested my money wisely, so finances wouldn’t stress me so much when I turned this age again.  I’d use my knowledge of how horrible my life has been because I never faced my fears, to ensure that I was never again so limited by my anxieties.

I would have no problem suddenly being way younger than my peers.  There’s no one in my life now who knew me when I was 25.  I am estranged from my family, I never see anyone from college or high school, and I don’t have a wife and children, who would be suddenly freaked out if I woke up one morning as a 25 year old.

I don’t think I’d have anything to lose with this odd version of Time Travel.  I would jump at the opportunity, and tap my past experience to make sure I made the most of this second chance at the best years of my life.

What about you, Modern Philosophers?  Could you do it?  Do you have too many commitments and too many people counting on you to make this change?

Remember, it’s just a philosophical exercise.  Think outside of the box.  Challenge yourself.  Have fun with this one.  See where you Deep Thoughts take you.  I’m looking forward to your comments!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Love, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Friday Night Think Tank: Time Travel With A Caveat Edition

  1. This is such a great post! I love how you’re instigating these thoughts. I don’t know what I’d do! I’m pretty happy right now, so maybe I’d just choose to stay 23 forever…. But I feel like every year gets better… so I really don’t know!!!! Thanks for posting 🙂 I think ultimately I’d just keep going with the flow because the moments in life that make me happy are only happening because of the people in it. And if those people are changing, I want to change with them.

    • Austin says:

      Perhaps you should revisit this post in 20 years and see if you think differently. 😉

      I’m glad you like it. Thanks for hanging out in the Think Tank with us tonight!

      • That’s a good point— I’ll have to do that! Ha! Love it.

      • Austin says:

        I hope you’ll still around and become a regular on this blog. I have some really wonderful followers. It’s a great group of Modern Philosophers!

      • Thanks! That’s really sweet of you to say! I definitely will. I love the provocation of deep thoughts– and your blog is good at doing exactly that. I certainly believe in the power of perspective, so it’s nice to see a blog wholly dedicated to pushing peoples perspectives. It’s really beautiful.

      • Austin says:

        We also get quite silly around here, which is very good for Deep Thoughts. 🙂

    • Thanks for raising such a provocative query! As fascinating as such an excursion sounds, and despite the fact that apparently I have already time-traveled to my past (or rather, at some future point I apparently will time-travel to my past)… I am really happy at my present point in life just as it is. I just did an interview on the topic of time travel, coincidentally, as the first guest on a new show, talking about quantum jumps, reality shifts, and time travel on “Believe Radio Network”! You can check it out at:

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    One CAN…always dream!!!! 🙂

  3. floridaborne says:

    I would be 18, become a flight attendant or go into the military instead of going to college the first time. =In other words, I would plan life better. instead of being swept through life like a rubber raft caught in white water.

    • Austin says:

      I’m glad you are willing to think outside the box and take advantage of this little exercise. Sounds like you’d have fun that second time around. 🙂

      • floridaborne says:

        Definitely! I wouldn’t spend so much time trying to be taken seriously as an adult. One of the things I remember most about being 18 was feeling so “ugly.” If I had understood the way I looked from the vantage point of others, I would’ve had a great deal more fun just enjoying the energy, beauty and vitality of youth.

  4. Once around is enough for me! Thanks for the thought….anyway. 🙂

  5. Wonderful you’re this excited about going back to 25 but with your current knowledge and experience. Me, I am content to stay behind. There isn’t much I want to change. With me, I believe everything is as it should be. 🙂

  6. jerryofcali says:

    I would be 17 again…start college and make better decisions with regards to one of my friends. That way we wouldn’t be broken apart like we are now.

  7. Lorra B. says:

    Well, Mr. Philosopher, the thought is nothing short of enticing! All the pain of awkwardness of post adolescence would seemingly be gone in an instant if I could go back to the 18th year of my life. Let’s face it, if I knew and felt and sensed all I do now, back then, life would have been very different indeed.

    I had to grow up pretty darn fast, having left my home at the tender age of 15, and made plenty of mistakes. Working my butt off, going to school and having a social life would have been much easier under the conditions you have set forth for sure! Let’s face it, I wouldn’t have married the much older man who completely took over my life, wouldn’t have waited until I was 28 to go to collage and would have stood my ground and my position on so many occasions!

    Ah, the temptation would be great…if only! But, alas, I don’t believe I would do it if given the opportunity, though being allowed to sample the body I detested at that age (and now realize was actually pretty damn nice) would be amazing! 🙂

    My recollection is that, even at the age of 15, I was an old soul, mature beyond my years. How lonely a place it would be if my “old” me, the 18 year old, was met with all the knowledge and life experience of the me of today. I mean, I was always a goof ball and loved to laugh, still do, but already being an old soul, who would be able to relate to me that was my age. Unless I simply hung out with all the old folks…ahem, ahem…what, other than writing, would I be doing with myself for entertainment? Have you hung out with eighteen year old girls lately (no offense to anyone! It’s just that us old farts don’t always giggle the way we used too!)? LOL!

    If I could go back and change anything…Hummmmm? I guess it is the old cliche of “I am who I am because of all of my past experiences,” that has me held captive. Now, If I could go back in time, bring my 18 year-old skin back, and wear it like a “Lorra Suit,” now your talking!!

    Have a great night and thanks for the fun discussion topic!

  8. Eli Pacheco says:

    21, 23, 30 … They all sound great. But can you imagine the knowledge of a 42-year-old – in a preschooler?

  9. ashleyomelia says:

    Usually when I’m offered a time-travel opportunity, I have to go back to the same situations that actually occurred at that age. So I’m delighted with this idea of yours, because I feel like my dreams are coming true, I just wish it had started happening earlier! Like you, I would pick 25. Just young enough that my kinds wouldn’t have made my forehead wrinkle yet, but not so young that people wouldn’t respect what I have to say.

    • Austin says:

      I’m glad I could open up a door to a new kind of time travel opportunity for you!

      Thanks for joining us in the Think Tank tonight. I hope you’ll become a regular. 🙂

  10. I’ve given this a lot of thought, Professor Philosopher. As much as a do over sounds amazing I think I’d have to pass. All those choices we’ve made along the way have been for a reason. This I truly believe.

    Embrace the here and now, do what I regret now…sooner than later. It is never too late. Haven’t we all heard that a million times. We are forever ignoring that voice. Choosing to walk away from opportunities even today.

    How about instead we say yes, I will. I don’t want a do over, I want to do better now. Embrace the age we are and love life. Screw the idea of heading back there…something tells me we’d fall for the same stuff all over again. Won’t there always be temptation sucking us in?

    The idea of being better suited for 25 years of age sounds appealing but I may miss to much of the blessed mistakes I’ve made along the way. 25 was only 15 years ago…I can catch up quick. Just comes down to saying yes…I will.

    • John says:

      I feel the same about this, think the important thing is to never do things that feel drudgerous (I know that’s probably not a word but I like it), top of that list is get a job that pays the bills (even if it only just pays the bills) but which stimulates you, there’s no escaping having to pay the bills but there’s no reason to resent every moment you earn the money to pay them. Second to that make all your hobbies progressive: exercise, then exercise more, write, then write better, cook, then cook better… you get the idea. I follow a system of incidental and incremental changes, I change things about my life in tiny ways all the time but I make sure those changes are leading me to where I want to go. I don’t have a life plan I just always want to be better than I was 🙂

    • Austin says:

      But you wouldn’t lose any of those memories or experiences. They’d still be all there. You’d just be younger. You’d still be here in June 2014… Just a thought…

  11. List of X says:

    Yeah, sure, I was probably in a better physical shape at 25 than I am now, but I can’t think of anything I’d do differently. Except that I’d have to spend a lot of time explaining why I suddenly look younger and how I managed to grow back my hair in my bald spot.

  12. If I had my druthers, I’d choose to be 19 again, knowing what I know now. and reverse my decision to marry the man I did. It was a huge mistake for both of us.

  13. karen698 says:

    Gosh, Austin. This is such a big question, and I love it. Perhaps at 18, I would have benefited the most from the knowledge that I have now. Which includes, among other things: 1) 18-year-old bodies are pretty sweet, 2) people don’t expect that much from you, so calm down, and 3) trust your gut instinct – it might just be correct. That said, my current family might be freaked out if tomorrow my 18-O self popped out from under the covers. Some would like it more than others, me being first on that list. I have pictures from that era, and I was way more hot than I realized. What a waste.

    • Austin says:

      I’m glad this post has got you thinking. I’m intrigued that you picked 18 as the age for your “rebirth”. I don’t think I’d want to be that young again…I’d be inclined to do foolish and immature things again. 🙂

      If you want to post pics to prove your theory of how hot you were, please feel free… 😉

      • karen698 says:

        Well, “hot” is relative. I think we all look back at our younger selves and say, “Man, I just didn’t know how good I had it.” I was young and foolish then – too afraid to try to rule the world. Now I am just too tired and jaded to try.

      • Austin says:

        I understand. I guess I’m just trying to recapture my youth, and maybe pretending I can be 25 again is helping me with that… 🙂

  14. ksfinblog says:

    By most people’s criteria… I have wasted the first thirty years of my life…. I chased after all my dreams, did not get married at an appropriate time, became a non believer in religion (Still don’t) and generally was a mad scientist (Still guilty), experimenting on each and everything….. (including people)……… It has bought me the greatest knowledge and happiness…..Even when people looked at me and shook their heads in despair, I could smile and that has given me everything to live for………. good luck

  15. John says:

    This is a weird one for me, I’m a parent and so of course I’d choose to have a younger body (hell anything that’d give me some more energy) but this little exercise makes me realise that a lot of my current age hasn’t got anything to do with biology. Sure I could turn 19 again and ship off back to university or some other challenge but to be honest I like the life I’ve got. The only real perk for me would be the extra energy, health and a few extra years on this planet (I’m assuming the jump back would have an effect on life expectancy). Otherwise I think I’d keep doing what I’m doing now, working in a job I enjoy to pay the bills, running philosophy night classes and writing course material to keep my philosophical skills sharp, and writing fiction in my spare time (that is one thing, could I somehow get back all the wasted spare time I had in my early 20s? that would be massively useful). Thanks for this little puzzle, I’ve got a different perspective on myself now, Cheers

    • Austin says:

      I’m glad you took the time to give this one some Deep Thought and found a different perspective on yourself. Glad you enjoyed this little philosophical exercise. 🙂

  16. There are so many things I could have done better in my past. The one thing I did right is my current relationship. Therefore, I wouldn’t want to be younger and leave those I love behind.

  17. I think we all think this would be a great idea, but there’s a higher power reasoning to this mess we get ourselves into everyday. My choice: I would get to watch my life as a movie (as continued as my younger self), but I would come back to the ripe old age of 29.

  18. markbialczak says:

    I’m staying put at my current age, Austin. I think a lot of your time traveling jones comes from your attachment to the Younger Girl Who Has Hold Of Your Heart. My Dear Wife Karen is a few years my junior … OK, make me two years younger, and consider me a member of your Time Travel Friday Night Think Tank this time around.

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