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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Time travel and other paradoxes

  • I was reading a book the other day that was marketed as a love story with some time travel thrown in. It really turned out to be more of a time travel story with a little love story thrown in, but since the time travel was what appealed to me, I wasn’t bothered.
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  • I was reading a book the other day that was marketed as a love story with some time travel thrown in. It really turned out to be more of a time travel story with a little love story thrown in, but since the time travel was what appealed to me, I wasn’t bothered.
    The story starts off with the main character being visited by his future self, and his future self tells him he must not marry the women he is engaged to.
    It made me wonder, “What might I tell a younger version of myself to change if I could go back in time?”
    There were all manner of things.
    But then I kept reading, and the main character just kept getting visits from himself, each version from a new future caused by new paths he’s being led down. It starts slowly, and then snowballs. They all have advice for him. At first it’s advice like, “Date that girl at work. You’ll like her” or “Your novel sucks. Try writing comedy instead.”
    Eventually the advice turns into things like, “Take up running,” “Learn the guitar,” or “Go sky diving.”
    It became comical, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but think, “He should have ignored all of these guys.”
    Because the thing is, his future selves didn’t have their lives figured out either. Being older didn’t mean they had all the answers.
    That got me to thinking a lot. What if I did go back in time and give my younger self advice? I can only imagine the roads I might send that girl down. Maybe I’d say to take up music, marine biology, dance, art or law. I imagine those pursuits would probably end in frustration, and I’d be going back again to say, “You know what? That other future self that visited you? She was a moron. Don’t listen to her.”
    Because, honestly, I don’t have any more idea of how to navigate life than my younger self did, and that’s OK.
    So this time traveling to the past to give myself advice thing? Forget it.
    That’s not to say I wouldn’t time travel. But if it were ever invented, I’m sure there would be much more interesting people to talk to than myself.
     
    Tina Bridenstine is a page designer for The Shawnee News-Star.

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