I would like to preface this piece by saying that Muni Long’s ‘Time Machine’ will probably be stuck in my head for the rest of my life- and I’m… totally okay with that. If you’ve not heard the viral TikTok song by now, it’s a love ballad about a person who wishes they could go back in time and prevent themselves from falling in love with the wrong one and ultimately experiencing heart break. Yeah, the song is catchy but it also raises an interesting question: Would you travel back in time if you could?
Here are the anonymous responses I received when I brought this question to my mutuals across my social media platforms….
“Yeah, I would’ve came out during my freshman year of college. Lowkey been grateful that my journey did go this route because it makes my story more unique and I probably wasn’t ready at the time to be honest. Because when I came out it, it felt uncomfortable but at the same time, it felt like the right time. But I’m still grateful of where I’m at today. I want the message to be ‘Be yourself as early as you can because life continues to go around.'”
“I would go back and never put my all into someone and put myself first. If you have a time machine, please let me know.”
“Could I know the things i do now LOL? Either way i think I’d go back to like the beginning middle school. That was the time period where I started changing myself basically for others. It was impossible to feel comfortable as I was because for starters… being a Black girl in Southern West Virginia is fucking hard to say the least. I would just wanna be softer with my younger self and let her know she didn’t have to be obsessed about her image or change her clothes or dim her light in general.”
“Yes, college. I wouldn’t have went. I would’ve instead went into therapy and fixed myself and did what I wanted to do and saved my money and left.”
“Most of my life, whether good, bad or complete hell, it was a learning experience and I would change NOTHING. But it is one thing that I wish I could change and that was college.. I went and loved it but it was my first time away from home and I was sheltered so I spent most of my time in church. So when I went I thought FREEDOM and now I can do what I want! So I went to class but I partied more and didn’t take it serious enough and dropped out into my second year. I think that if I had taken it seriously, my finances would’ve been better today and I wouldn’t be working so hard to try to catch up now. Although it didn’t stop me from going back later in life after marriage and kids, had I have finished, the life I helped build with my family may have not been such a struggle.”
“I would go back to high school because I played too small and was too humble. If I knew then what I know now about myself, I would’ve stood more in my power earlier and acquired more opportunities as a result.”
“I don’t think that there is anything in my past that I would actually change. I think the biggest thing about my past that I would change if I had a time machine would be my outlook on my situations and how I responded to things that were happening to me…. I think I would have taken a more graceful approach and had less aggressive reactions. I also think that those feelings and reactions that I had to certain situations in my life were the greatest lessons on humility so now in the present I’ve learned to control the way I react.”
“I would prolly get out of Huntington as soon as the opportunity presented itself instead of staying.”
“Oh man! Honestly no. I’m a firm believer in the butterfly effect and even though I’ve been through some major hardships in my life, the way things are for me right now are pretty awesome. I wish I could make more money just like anyone else or that I didn’t have to suffer some of the things I suffered but I wouldn’t want to risk not having my wife and daughter. They are worth going through way worse and I wouldn’t want to live a life without them in it. My daughter’s smile is worth more than a million redoes in life.”
“Would I go back and re-do? Nah, my experience taught me how to be who I am today. If I re-do those experiences, it will alter who I am. The best teacher in the world is experience.”
“Honestly, yes LOL. Specifically, I’d prolly go back to like 12/13 when I had quit dance because I used to feel so awkward and like I just didn’t belong so I just like… gave up and I really feel like maybe if I hadn’t done that, I’d probably have gotten through it and had more confidence that would’ve carried over into other areas of my life. I don’t think I’d be trying to pick up those pieces now LOL. I mean… I know we have no way of knowing for sure and it’s like… who knows where I’d be but dammit if I don’t think about it a lot. And then TBH I struggled with a relationship for so long because I stuck around when I really shouldn’t have. I definitely wish I could go back and have the strength in myself to leave that situation. I could go on and on about how I wish I had the chance to redo some things LOL.”
“Yes, of course, I would go back to re-do some part of my life. That would be when I lost my virginity.”
“I would say no because everything I’ve gone through has taught me a lesson, even if it was absolutely horrible and who knows what taking those things away will make me look like now.”
“I would re-do the part of me coming out as being gay or apart of the LGBTQ+ community. I was bullied, outcasted and teased in many ways . I always worried about what others had to say and even let my family try to talk me out of being who I really am as a person. Being gay doesn’t define just my sexual orientation, but it has helped me in many ways as a person. You have to stand on who you are and stand true to that and I couldn’t do that back then. Being able to go back and have the same fearlessness that I have now would be the main thing I’d change. Fearing nothing is better than fearing everything . Now so many people love the person that I am and it just further motivates me to stay the same . I just wish I would’ve had the same confidence back then, but being true to myself is something I’ve always tried to manage, though.”
“That’s a good question. I think that I would go back in time and re-do my childhood. I had so much fun and honestly I felt like I was my most authentic self back then before life got serious.”
“I would go back and re-do some part of my life. To be frank with you, I would change my experience from high school. The reason why I say that is because I am at the age now where I look back like ‘Wow, some of those things weren’t right and weren’t suppose to happen and weren’t ME’. I look back like ‘THAT WAS ME?’ I was distracted and not focused on being successful. So If I could go back, I would go back to the time I was in high school and take my education more seriously. I would also take my sports and athletics way more seriously than I did. I feel like being that man and making those things happen for myself, I would be in a different set up right now. But am I grateful for where I’m at right now? Ofcourse, I am because it helped mold me and mature me into the man I am today. But if I could go back it would be then.”
“Honestly, I’m glad to say that there is not a time I wish I could re-do. Even though I experienced heartbreak, trauma and ego death, all of those things, and whatever else life throws at me, will only continue to help me shape and mold me into who I am supposed to be. Cliche, but everything happens for a reason. There are times I would absolutely NEVER relive. But at this point in my life I am grateful for the experience, lessons and eye opening I have gained thus far.”
In conclusion, my mutuals are awesome and they always give me the best insight. Whether we long to change elements of our past or find peace in the present, Two things are for sure: Time waits for no one and change is inevitable.