Blogposts former culture blog The Outlet

What Would I Do Over if I Could?

Posted by Melisa Resch at 1/3/2008 5:49 PM
By Natazzz

This question made me list all the things I regret, everything I could have and should have done differently. I did not just recall events from the past year, but went back 10 years, 20 years and even farther. 

I am one of those people who tend to remember everything, including every little stupid thing I have ever said or done. I am also the kind of person that enjoys making lists. After thorough consideration and deliberation, I came up with my most crucial, or what I like to call my If only’s.

If only I had joined the other kids playing in the sandbox in kindergarten when they asked me to, instead of shyly remaining stuck to my mother. Those kids had such friendly smiles, not to mention cool little sandbox toys.

If only I had come out when I knew I was gay at age 17 or 18, both to myself and to the world, instead of waiting until after college. Those supposedly best years of my life were wasted on keeping my distance from both guys and girls, and worst of all, on actual studying.

If only I would have taken the time to think before I spoke, or at least counted to 10. This applies to numerous occasions, too many to specify. I probably would be a lot less outspoken today, but I also would have pissed off and unnecessarily offended a lot less people along the way. 

My first if only example, me as a 4-year-old on the playground, would be the ultimate do-over. I would go back in time 27 years and do over that first incident I can recall when I refrained from doing something I wanted to do because of shyness. I would find out in kindergarten what it now took me until high school or even college to learn, that the world is not such a scary place, and simple human interaction will not kill you. In fact, sometimes it can be very enjoyable.

But you know what? Even though I’ve made mistakes, and there are things I could or should have done differently and things I would love to do over, the things I did wrong helped make me who I am today. Going back in time to do over the things I don’t like about my life might ultimately result in changing not only my life, but also changing who I am. 

The truth is I love who I am today, faults and all. So even if I had the power to go back and do it over, I would keep everything exactly the same. 

The Trip That Changed My Life

Posted by Melisa Resch at 3/6/2008 12:13 AM
By Natazzz

When I was 17 years old, I went on a hiking trip in Wales with my best friend. I’m not sure why I agreed to go with her. I was completely uninterested in endless fields full of sheep, and time has not changed this. We were planning to hike every day for about 20 miles, or however far it was to the next camping site. 

This would not have been too bad, except for the fact that Wales was experiencing a heat wave for the first time in 15 years. On top of that, the camping sites were a little more “basic” than I had anticipated; often it was just a field near a farm, without so much as running water. Before long, I started to complain, blaming my friend for suggesting the trip in the first place.

After a few days of hiking, we visited some of her friends. They had a lovely little house at the end of a narrow, winding road. Next to the road was an abyss, about 70 feet deep. While we were there, my friend decided she wanted to learn to drive a car, and that she would learn under the guidance of her 17-year-old friend, who did not have her driver’s license. And stupid me got in the back of the car. To this day, I still don’t know what made me get in the car.

My friend was driving slowly along the little winding road. She was doing well; she paid attention to what she was doing, and did a fine job avoiding some sheep. All of a sudden she accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the clutch, and the car raced forward. Both girls in the front panicked, started to scream, and if things weren’t bad enough already, my friend let go of the steering wheel. 

I can picture myself sitting in that car so vividly. I grew very quiet, and watched as the car sped faster and out of control off the road, heading straight for the abyss. I remember thinking, “I cannot believe this is happening”, and “I am going to die.” I was waiting for my life to flash before my eyes, but nothing happened. Then again, at 17 I hadn’t accumulated very much life.  

Instead of falling down into the abyss, we crashed into the one lone tree standing on the side of the little winding road. In fact, we wrapped the entire car around the tree. Lucky for us, the tree did not break, and even luckier that none of us were hurt, besides my friend needing four stitches in her chin. But that was the extent of the damage to us. 

I had never been so scared before in my life, and I had never been so glad to be alive. I can honestly say that this hiking trip in Wales changed my life. Not only did it teach me to never again do something so stupid, but it also made me value being alive in a completely new way. It has been 14 years since that hiking trip, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.


Bio: Natazzz is an academic researcher, with a PhD. in psychology, a love for the written word, sarcasm, cute girls and anything geeky. She is currently living in Germany, but in the midst of looking for a new country to call home. 

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