If you could go back to when you were a child, with your current memories and knowledge, would you?

We’re assuming here that your mind somehow goes back in time to your child self, so unless/until you start changing things you grow up again with everything happening the same way you remember. (And yes, this does sound a bit like a bad fanfiction trope).

My first thought for this is yes, since there are a great many things I wish I’d done when I was younger. Streched myself more academically, for example, or tried my hand at acting. There are ways I’m sure my life would be better, or would have been better at the time, if I’d been more confident and quite possibly more bulshy and annoying when I was bored in school. Also, I could have avoided doing a couple of things I feel rather guilty or embarassed about now…

On the other hand, part of me is telling me that it would be boring as hell. Imagine having to live through a time again of other people being in control of your life, of “learning” boring and easy things that you already know, having to go through puberty again and get used to how small and different your body was, of not being treated as responsible, of adults not taking you seriously… I hated that enough when I was that age, and it would be worse over again.

I reckon that if I did it, I’d get very frustrated and lonely, but would hopefully have the opportunity – and particularly the time – to try things I’ve never had a chance to, and maybe the mindset to get a lot better at things that I have done – the instruments I play, for example. I could fix the points where I regret not doing more work. But in some ways it would feel like cheating – I would have an advantage over everyone else “my age” in whatever I was trying to do, and I would have knowledge of the future (unless I made major changes, that is, and while I doubt I could/would want to avoid making minor ones, I don’t think I’d manage to change anything particularly large – I don’t think I could prevent a war, or an economic collapse, or anything) – and there would be a certain temptation to use some of that knowledge to my advantage, although I don’t think I’d remember enough detail to, say, play the stock market perfectly or win the lottery. Let alone some of the things I experienced in school where it’s only in hindsight that I get angry about just how bad they were – I would hate to have to go through the same again, or I would explode and yell at a lot of people, and alienate myself in doing so.

There were some times, particularly as an mid-older teenager, that were really quite good, and I rather miss some of things I could do then. I’m not sure it would be the same though – making friends would be…interesting…given I’d certainly have a different mindset to others and if they were people that I remembered it would be somewhat difficult to create the same sort of friendship given what I know and given that it took time to get to the sorts of interactions that I know expect and enjoy with my friends.

Essentially, I’m really not sure. I think I wouldn’t, because it would be hard and horrible to actually do, although if I could go back and change a few things without actually having to live through it all again there are some things I would change.

So, would you go through life all over again?


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