Would you?

I was recently discussing with a friend whether we would trade our now noticeably aging bodies for our 25-year-old selves, if we had to give up all of the experiences and wisdom we had gained since that age in order to do so. Tempting as it is in some ways (bye-bye back pain! sayonara cellulite!), I am firmly in the NO camp.

There have been dark moments and bleak stretches of time when I would have eagerly taken the do-over deal, and I would have done so to escape my life. But I have not felt that way in more than a decade. I wouldn’t trade who I am now for anything. And who I am is only possible by my having lived the life I have: the tragedies, the triumphs, the mundane and the mistakes.

Would you?

You twenty-something whippersnappers need not answer, although it might be a nice exercise to consider who you might be two decades hence, and how you think you might answer then. Also: get offa my lawn!* :p


*I don’t have a lawn. But if I did you’d be welcome on it.


  1. dianne says

    Nah. Last time I took that deal it just got me here so why bother going around yet again if I don’t get to learn anything from it?

  2. dianne says

    Actually, I would be willing to relive my life from some random point if I could keep my memories and be assured that I would have the same kid again. Otherwise, forget it.

  3. says

    If I were allowed to have the confidence and self-assuredness at 25 that I do now (sans the knowledge), then I would go for it. I always had the potential to do more, but I spent years accomplishing little due to insecurities. I probably would have transitioned a decade ago instead of a year.

  4. brucegee1962 says

    I’ve made some mistakes that I wish I could undo, but since that’s not part of the deal, why bother?

    Also, for you younguns, having kids truly is pretty terrific. I wouldn’t want to reduce my chance of that in any way.

  5. Siobhan says

    I’ll answer under the “who might I be” question, since I am a whippersnapper.

    I think a big part of my activism came from occupying so many intersections and dealing with the ignorance and violence derived therein. A couple decades of that under my belt, and I’d be happy to occupy the same station as, say, Janet Mock, or Sandy Stone, or Kimberle Crenshaw. A crusty, angry academic with a history of scathing criticisms directed at the dense who open their mouth without fact-checking their nonsense. Unapologetic about my crankiness, the way Catherine MacKinnon gives 0 fucks about how salty she is. Stomping around a campus in combat boots and a flowery dress because fuck yo gender norms, I got places to be and people to do.

  6. freemage says

    Seriously, I can’t see any reason to take this deal; without some memory of ‘what you did wrong’, you’re just going to repeat most of the mistakes, anyway.

    Now, going back in time and dumping the squirrelsymp views I may have held back in the day before I took a closer look at what glibertarians were really proposing? Yeah, I’d do that in a heartbeat, provided my wife gets the same deal (I could wait the time it would take for me to ‘catch up’ to her, knowing we were both planning on reuniting younger and healthier, but I wouldn’t want to actually try to make lightning strike twice, even without our age difference).

  7. Raucous Indignation says

    Iris, you can yell at people to get offa Doc Raucous’ lawn whenever you’d like.

    And my squirrels. Yell at them too.

  8. johnson catman says

    I wouldn’t take the deal. But for my age (57), I am in pretty good shape. As mentioned above, without the experience and knowledge gained in that time, I would not be the person I am today. My wife and I are both in our second marriage. Both our first marriages were not pleasant. We have discussed from time to time “What if we had met when we were younger?” Invariably, we always conclude that we would not have the same appreciation for each other and the life we have now if we had not lived through what we did.