Monday, January 12, 2015


What would I do differently if I could go back and live my life again?

Not be a dancer?

Golly, dancer was my big dream ever since I was five-years-old. No, I'd be a dancer again, but I'd pay attention to my feeling about theater -- go further in drama -- use words, actors, as well as dancers -- become more abstract choreographically.

Have you ever viewed what you are right now, successes or failures -- and picture what you'd be if you could undo all those small decisions you made that got you doing what you've done, or haven't done -- things that succeeded, failed, disappointed, or defeated you?

Yes, all that -- viewing your life with ifs -- if I hadn't done this, if I'd done that -- is ... well, it's not good or bad, just discomfiting.

But dancing -- earning a living dancing, touring the country as well as Europe -- was a dream I made come true.

What about love, other possible life partners -- go back and consider the possibilities again?  (Instantly I think what would I wear? I gave my wardrobe away -- all those fantastic outfits created by me to catch the eye.) No, I'm not geared by my upbringing, my era, to socialize in the current scene.

Even if I could turn back the clock, could I unlearn what I know and feel? Would I want to not marry my first husband? Gee, we created a dance company! That company, in residence at the summer theater in Knoxville, was how I met John, who is part of me, I'm part of him -- I wouldn't change that.

Hey, does my wandering into my past get you contemplating a lot of things you'd do differently? The beginning of a new year gets us pulling into the starting gate, like horses -- like California Chrome -- we were sure he'd win the triple crown. I envision a large field  -- green grass and sand-colored earth -- that beautiful horse and a mare or two.

I'm certainly not at the starting gate. Thousands of things, endless pros and cons bring me to this page with the older, wiser me telling my younger selves to shut up, stop this unproductive thinking process.

All that I've done, learned, yearned for, tried, avoided, regretted, loved, hated, mourned, and sought -- is me moving ahead, sticking to what I am, because that's me.

I have things to write and things to say and do that have to do with now, and not knowing what the next minute, hour, day, week, month, year will bring, is -- well -- it keeps me going, eyes wide, ears listening, wondering what's next, and then next.

So okay! I've shared my first-of-the- year thoughts with you in order to help me help you to help me settle into the new year and  now I'm settled.


Stan said...

Fantastic article Em. I try not to think about all the could'ves and should'ves, but sometimes they pop up without invitation. I guess if I had to do anything different, I would've started my education earlier in life and eventually become a professor... But the bridge has been crossed so I live for now and hope for tomorrow. I love, I feel, and I am aware...what more do any of us need?

Cara Lopez Lee said...

I'm with you, Em. I've made some bad choices I would never make again. But to go back and unmake them in the past? No, I don't think so. I fear that to change one of them might unravel the whole tapestry. As a whole that tapestry is beautiful. I have learned much from it, created much from it, become who I am because of it, shared what I have shared because of it. Life is a mess. If I lived it perfectly, I might suspect I was not fully living it.

Dustspeck said...

Well Emily, I can think of endless tweaks and outright changes I'd make in my behaviors from early on but just one thing: I would have made a point of getting her phone number and calling her back in 1964. It would have saved me thirty years of searching? Well, that's okay. She's alive and safe and still my friend after all these years; my friend Janice in Sarasota. Just Sane

Unknown said...

This is a great subject to discuss and think about anytime thanks for sharing. I'm not a 'would have,' 'should of', 'could of' type of person. But like you I do reflect on self and actions and how I could improve because we're
always a work in progress it's never ending. Being genuine and having a universal love for others and telling people when I love them is something I have always done it is part of who I am. I need to work on acceptance of things I can't change nor should change and remind myself to be generally kinder to people. I'm a very fortunate person and owe lots to others that have gifted me with their trust and touched my life. I'm reminded of the words of the song, " you don't always get what you want but you may get what you need' I have got what I need and it's all good. Love and hugs, H. xxxxooo