Here’s the idea: you get to return to your freshman year of high school knowing everything you know as of this moment, but be otherwise as you were at that time of life (the mind of a 32-year old man in the body of a 12-year old boy, in my case).  Not an overwhelmingly original idea (plenty of movies have covered this in one form or another).  Still, what do you do with your life when you know how the game could turn out 20 years later?

This line of thought has played out in my mind for a few days now and in an email thread with a particularly awesome person who lets me go on about it a bit.

One of the most interesting things to think about so far is that I know where all of my future friends are already.  It would be easy to seek them out earlier in our lives to see what happens or just let things play out mostly as they had only changing choices that would not affect my chances of meeting them again, so far as I could tell.  Some could be a bit strange, such as friends I have today that were two years old when I was a freshman in high school.  Others I may never meet at all in this parallel life without intentionally finding them.

This isn’t an exercise in finding regrets, though it could quickly become that if I let it.  More it’s made me realize many of the chance encounters and choices that have led to today and the shape of today.  There are choices I would rather I had made differently or come to the same conclusion for better reasons, but those have led to amazing encounters that I would hope would repeat themselves or become better on the second chance.

I put in an email earlier today that I’d make sure to bring a ton of peanut butter with me to (re)meet one particular friend.  For some reason that comment inspired me to share, as well as the image above this post, courtesy of Robert Bahn.