There is always this one instance where you kind of regret something you’ve done. Knocking over a glass of milk on the carpet, skipping breakfast then becoming extremely hungry by lunch, or even sometimes, larger events with larger consequences. There is always that nagging wish to return to what was been. At least for me, anyways. But of course, we have to face the horrible truth…
This truth, that our past cannot be re-written. No matter how much the Doctor insists on rewriting time, that, is science fiction. If it is science fact, it hasn’t been invented yet (or has it been?). What’s done is done: you’re going to have to get an old rag for that spilled milk on the floor and you’re going to have stomach cramps until lunch break. But sometimes, our wishful thinking gets the best of us when we regret the things that have happened, and we hope, there is a chance to return to what was.
What’s done is done. Time is a tricky thing to conceptualize. The eventual future of me publishing this post, the present where I’m writing it, and the past when I thought of it will all be moments of the past once all those actions are done. And as I am writing in the present, each word that flies out of my keyboard becomes a moment of the past, and each word that will fly is the future. Confusing, but also frustrating. It is as if time slips from your hands the longer you look at them.
When you have larger things to regret for, like getting poor grades, losing a friend’s trust or having a family member get mad at you, we think about not only what might have been if the event didn’t happen, and also what we could have done to prevent it. But what’s done is done. As said in this quote by Fitzgerald:
“I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past.”
“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”
He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
“I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,” he said, nodding determinedly. “She’ll see.”
~ The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
It is simply impossible to go back to the way things were. One might argue it is possible, but not really. You can’t forget a past experience that makes difficult consequences, and in the end, you have to get up and move on, and live your life with that knowledge of the past, and try to work on it in the present. Maybe we don’t put the milk so close to our arm next time. Maybe we try not skipping breakfast the following morning.
Next time, next time. Unfortunately some situations don’t call for a next time. Some become ingrained, hard to recover from. It will take a while, or even never. There are some moments when we don’t really know.
But trust, that in time, things will turn out alright.