Is there such a thing as “Starting Over” 

I’ve pondered that question for a very long time, especially now because it seems so much more appealing in my current situation. I always play the “what if” game about my life, especially my past. What if I decided to go to University of Washington instead of Washington State University? What if I decided to major in business instead of communication? What if I went to University of Oregon for my master’s instead of Northwestern? What if I decided to stay in Chicago instead of coming back to Washington? The “what if” questions are endless, and sometimes it becomes my little guilty pleasure during the day. What if I was Bella from Twilight? What if I was 16 again and I met Justin Bieber at Toys-R-Us? (haha) The point is, I’ve played the “what if” game all my life, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not really contemplating between two choices I’ve made in my past. Instead, I’m asking the same question – can I start over? If so, how?

You see, when people start digging up dirt from their past or our present life isn’t going exactly the way we planned we start wondering what life would be if we took the “road less traveled by” (thanks R.Frost) and eventually the thought of “starting over”, or essentially starting a new life becomes extremely fascinating. So, people have attempted to create their own time machine in an attempt to “start over”. I’ve known people, including myself to do outrageous things to start over. Rip up old pictures, burn old diaries, delete phone numbers, create new Facebook accounts, or move away from your hometown. Whatever it is the outcome is the same – you can run but no matter how fast, you can’t run away from yourself.

Given my experience, I’ve learned that no matter how hard I try to forget my past-self it always finds it’s way back to me – mostly through Facebook but sometimes through music, pictures, letters, or all of the above. What is the point in running away? It doesn’t change the fact that your name is still the same. The idea of “starting over” doesn’t exist, unless you are starting over with all your baggage – your past mistakes, regrets, old acquaintances, old friends, etc. You have to acknowledge your past to better understand your present life. It is like curing cancer – you have to discover the cause of the problem in order to cure the problem. You can’t just mask the pain and hope it goes away. If you embrace it all then you can honestly start anew. And, what about the people that like to judge, point fingers, and doubt your ability to move forth? Well, they’ll still be there. You can’t change people. You can only change yourself. No matter where you go, you’ll end up meeting the same type of people that you’ve desperately tried to run away from and the catch-22 is, you’ll still be who you are. You can’t run away from yourself. Think about it…. has it worked for you so far?

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