If I Were to Go Back in Time, I'd be Miserable

The New Year is always a time to reflect upon what one has accomplished, what one has yet to do, and what one has wished he hadn’t done.

During one cold, snowy evening, I found myself contemplating what I would do if I were to return back to fourteen years of age knowing what I know now. I fantasized about righting my wrongs, and avoiding the girls I should have avoided. However, my thoughts kept leading me to one conclusion: I would be miserable.

I can’t remember the source, but there is an equation that states that reality divided by expectations equals happiness. The rationale is that the lower the expectations, the higher the happiness. If the expectations of an individual equaled zero, then one’s happiness would be infinite.

I contemplated the above equation when I thought about traveling back in time. If I knew everything I know now when I traveled back, then my expectations would likely be approaching infinity. I would know what was “expected” to happen, and I would expect that modifying certain things would make me happier when I arrived back at my present state. However, that would not be the case.

As much as I regret certain choices I made and certain paths I took, I can’t help but thank God that I am where I am at today. I have a good job, good friends, a good church, and a good locale. If I modified my choices, I would likely be disappointed that the best friend I have now wouldn’t even know me. I will have laid different foundations and chosen a different path of life. I may be disappointed when I find out that I didn’t have it so bad after all. The same opportunities I had that led to the present may not be available if I had to choose all over again.

In hindsight, I’m glad God has never answered my prayers when I asked Him to let me go back. My expectations would be sky-high, and I would just be setting myself up for miserable disappointment.

Writer and software engineer Ronald Huereca has been a developer at notable agencies like iThemes and 10up. His varied background has him working with WordPress since 2006, eventually creating his own plugin which, of course, lead to more. He spends quite a bit of his time volunteering with the WordPress project as a core and polyglot contributor. With all of his passions, writing has been the way Ronald expresses himself best. He has written both technical books as well as fiction. Some of his works include Project Mayhem, Mindefusement, and WordPress and Ajax. “You can only delay the inevitable” is his favorite quote. Ronald enjoys reading Stephen King and John Grisham. When he’s not writing, Ronald dreams of building websites filled with cats yawning, disclaimers his strong opinions, sings karaoke, and advocates for empathy surrounding mental health.

2 thoughts on “If I Were to Go Back in Time, I'd be Miserable”

  1. lol. This is an interesting post. As a fellow Christian, I take an optimistic look at how God responds to our prayers. Instead of thinking about it as God didn't answer my prayer, i believe he did in fact answer, but he just said "No." or "Not right now" looking out for our best interests. Well, I just thought I'd share that with you.

    Later : )

  2. Thanks for the optimistic attitude Ashlee. Sometimes I forget I'm a pessimist. You're right. God didn't ignore my prayer. He probably responded with something like, "I don't think so. I know what's best for you, and that is not it."

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