The thing about the past.

by MW Cook

I used to regret some of the choices I made.  I looked back on my high-school days and wished that I had been as clever and socially awesome as I am today.  I looked back on college and wished I had asked better questions.  Relationships I could have saved.  Sufferings I could have prevented.

This is not a fish.

That’s the thing about the past; even though it didn’t even exist, it could still make me sad.

But what if I had had a better time in high school?  Would present me—the only me that even exists—be better off?  I suppose not.  I suppose the only reason I regret any of the choices of my past is because I empathize with the younger Matt making the choices, much in the same way I empathize with the characters from my favourite movies and novels.

So I didn’t do all the things I would have liked to do as a child, as a high-schooler, as a guy in his 20s.  But that’s fine because Matt the child and Matt the high-school and Matt the 22-year-old don’t exist.  Only I exist.  And there’s no point in feeling sorry for those Matts because they aren’t around to appreciate it.