One of the most popular questions that’s asked in the getting-to-know-you phase of dating is, “If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?”
When I’m asked that question, I feel a strong pull to immediately respond, “Flying, of course! How cool would that be?!”
But when I ponder the question further, I think my answer would have be time travel. I’m not sure if it’s actually considered a superpower, but it’d be cool nonetheless. It’d be cool to move forward in time and see what life will be like. But it’d also be nice to travel back in time and take a peek at how I used to be and to maybe have a chance to right a few wrongs.
In an odd way, I recently did a little bit of time traveling. I reconnected with a person I haven’t communicated with in two years. We had a falling out when I pushed her harder than I should have on something that was none of my business.
The reconnection happened when she came close to running me over with her car while I was on my bike. Not on purpose, mind you. And wouldn’t that have been ironic if she’d run me over even if it wasn’t on purpose?!
Anyway, we didn’t talk at the time, but I wanted to thank her for not hitting me and to let her know I hoped she was doing well. But I no longer had her phone number, so I had no way of contacting her.
Then about a month later, I happened to notice she posted something on a social media site that I rarely open. I’d forgotten we were still connected there. I sent her a message, but I didn’t think she’d respond.
But about a week later, she sent a reply. We messaged a bit and then decided to share phone numbers again.
And that’s when the time travel happened.
I had no idea that when you reconnect with someone by text that all your old messages come back. Proof to be careful of what you put out there because it doesn’t go away. It’s out there floating in space and can come back to bite you in the ass.
Or it can allow you to take a trip back in time.
Because what happened as I read through all those long gone texts was that I caught a glimpse of the person I used to be. I saw how pushy I was and how much I tried to get her to see things my way. And I realized how much I’ve learned and changed.
In the book “Notes on Love and Courage”, Hugh Prather writes that successful marriages are often correlated with how much two partners are willing to let each other be. To accept who each person is right now and let them to do their own thing in their own time frame.
I think the same idea holds true for any relationship. They seem to work best when two people allow each other to be exactly who they are at the present moment.
In reading through my old texts, I caught a glimpse of who I used to be and how far I’ve come. I still have so much work to do because–as I well know–the lessons in life never stop. But I’ve learned a few things for sure.
It’s not my place to tell someone how to live.
It’s not my place to push.
It’s not my place to make someone see things the same way I do.
Although this trip back in time won’t allow me to right a wrong, it has given me the gift of seeing who I used to be and what I’ve learned.
And I have to smile a bit because this trip back in time has prompted the message from that catchy old Virginia Slims slogan to bubble up in my mind.
You’ve come a long way, baby.
acuriousfirefly, © 2021