It's been too long since we took the time
No-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It's like we both are falling in love again
It'll be just like starting over, starting over
— (Just Like) Starting Over
This is the story of how upon reaching my twentieth birthday, I was sent back to the age of ten, and lived to be twenty once more.
* 1 *
The story I'm going to tell may run contrary to your expectations.
After all, you would probably believe that, if one had the opportunity to be sent back to the age of ten with their memories up to twenty, they would make good use of their knowledge and be able to change all sorts of things.
Everyone has those regrets, those thoughts of "If only I had done this instead."
For those who wish they'd studied more, there are others who wish they'd played more.
For those who wish they'd been more honest about who they were, there are others who wish they'd listened more to others.
For those who wish they'd gotten closer to someone sooner, there are others who wish they'd never had anything to do with someone.
For those who wish they'd made more careful decisions, there are others who wish they'd taken bigger risks.
When I was a child, I once happened to talk with a vagrant under a bridge for about an hour.
He was a cheery man who laughed with his whole body. Regret was a thing that seemed unbefitting of the man, yet there was one thing he couldn't quite get over.
"In these fifty years," the man said, "the only mistake I've ever made was being born into this world."
So even that could be a regret.
Well, anyway. What I'm trying to say here is, life comes packed with regrets. I'm sure you can empathize with that yourself.
And if you could start your life over, no doubt anyone would use their self-reflections, lessons, and memories to make for a smoother second go.
Because they'd know those regrets lie ahead of them.
But when it came to my experience, well, it was quite the opposite.
Thinking on it now, I did a truly foolish thing. I really did.