Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Contemplating a Time Machine (while the iPod is on shuffle)

If I had ever been here before I would probably know just what to do... don't you? If I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel I would probably know just how to deal.

I always have these moments when I regret decisions and delays and wish I could turn back the clock and do things differently. And don't we all think about what we'd do if we could travel back in time? To change things we've done, or experience things we missed... My first priorities might not be financial actually-- I think I'd want to see James Brown at the Apollo in the early 70s, (shake your moneymaker), see some early shows by Siouxsie & the Banshees and the Clash, and I would have to dance to "Push Push in the Bush" at Studio 54. I'd also have to somehow meet Greta Garbo, spend some time in Shanghai in the 1920s, and see what ancient Egypt was really like. To bring this closer to my actual experience, I would have worn something less sorority girl-looking and not been carrying a foil "Happy Birthday" balloon, a Halloween trick-or-treat sack and a large turqouise duffel bag when I saw the Dickies at CBGB in 1986 (waaayyy too long a story... and on second thought, I don't think I would change a thing-- it wouldn't have been as memorable any other way!)
...but then let's see, there was 2001 when I got my first home cash-out check for $50,000 and said "I think I'll just bank this, real estate is too expensive right now." (To do myself full credit, I have to say that even then, it's not that I thought real estate would become cheaper. It's just that I didn't have much other money at the time, and I had this notion that I might be about to chuck it all and move to another country for a while, which I of course did not do.)
Then there was the phone conversation in around 1994 or 1995, I think, when someone told me about this great coffee company that would be big soon, and I said "Star-what? Never heard of it." There were also moments when I contemplated buying stock in Apple, Amazon, Home Depot, etc. It's so annoying when your watchlist on E*Trade does better than your real portfolio! And as for my actual portfolio, I would have bought more than 200 shares of Lucent at $1.69, since it's up about 75% since then.
I also find it ironic that my aptitude for and interest in technology and geeky math stuff didn't develop until about 20 years after those junior high school lessons in Basic. It's probably just as well, since I had plenty of other ways to be nerdy, but people my age, including a couple of college classmates, were exactly the ones who were just the right age to get jobs at Microsoft, work like dogs for a while and then somehow mysteriously manage not to need real jobs for years afterwards. (Can we hit it and quit?) If I had a do-over, I might paid a little more attention in math class, and maybe taken freshman economics in college, and ended up in some wildly more remunerative profession.
Ah well...
Non, Je ne regrette rien
Non, rien de rien, non, Je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait, ni le mal
Tout ça m'est bien egal
Non, rien de rien, non, Je ne regrette rien


Caitlin said...


::: chortle :::

Anonymous said...

I have the same regrets as well. However, I wish I earn as much as you! The hope of earning near to where you are.. is pretty slim...but i love your blog and the advice/life lessons that you post on here.