At every semester end, usually right before or during my last final, I suddenly receive a burst of wisdom and clarity. I think, “Hey, I should have made a flashcard for possessive adjectives” or “It would have been really helpful if I kept my notes for psychology in pristine order.” At this point in time, my thoughts are valid and helpful…and about two months too late. So what is this? Why this abrupt leap to heightened acumen? …am I turning into Captain Hindsight?
All kidding aside, this South Park skit is scarily relateable. Who doesn’t know the feeling of helplessness and irritation when looking back over wasted or misused time? I surely do. When I really think about it though, why am I so quick to label my time as ‘wasted’ or ‘misused’? Partially, I believe it comes from living in a society that quickly labels things as worthwhile or not. Studying? Always worthwhile. Working? Always worthwhile. Shopping? Always worthwhile. Stopping to give yourself a moment to think? Not happening, just drink some more coffee.
But I digress.
Back to the point of this post, hindsight is always 20/20. The past is always less complicated when looked at through the lens of the current day. Present Me will always laugh at Past Me and say,
“Silly, why didn’t you do it right the first time?” Then Past Me will argue,
“But I did the best that I could. What gives you the right to be arrogant? I did all the work, you’re just sitting back and pointing your finger.”
Life is meant to be lived once, without revisions. It will be full to the brim with forgotten homework assignments, slept through alarms, burnt food, and spelling errors. There will be many “Ohhh no” moments, along with the occasional “Aha!” moment. All we can do is sit back, behold the grand, tangled, yet beautiful mess our course of decisions and actions have produced and say, “Hey, that’s mine…isn’t it wonderful?”