I started thinking, on my walk to get dinner, about where I would reset my life to, if given the option, and why I would pick it. (This, of course, assumes some retained knowledge of how things would eventually turn out if I chose all the same things the second time around, so as to explore different possibilities.)
There are a few obvious choices. Although my parents' divorce happened well before I could express opinions on the matter, I wonder how things might have changed if I had expressed a desire to live with my father rather than my mother. (It might not have changed anything - Daddy didn't exactly have the sort of work schedule that is conducive to raising a kid - but I wonder.) I look at my younger brother and sister, and wonder how much of my personality is nature over nurture, and whether I could have had stronger, deeper relationships with that side of the family (not that my relationships there are bad, just... more distant than maybe I could have wanted). Obviously the tendrils of this extend into pretty much every part of my life; I would have had different schools save for maybe my middle school, my home life would have been utterly different, etc.
University is another; what if I had gone to York, stayed in Brampton? Or even U of T? I would have lost out on a vast swath of friends and Patrick, but I probably would have found fellow nerds there, too. I loved Waterloo, but going there was a huge strain on my romantic relationship with Simon. Would we have stayed together longer? Would he have stuck to a better school schedule if I were there to encourage him? This path potentially eliminates Circlet and Jen from my life, which would be a huge loss.
Maybe I'd change in 2006 or 2007, not go to Humber, or not work at NHMIC (or both). Maybe I'd try and go for a master's degree, get more into... something, I'm not sure what. Linguistics, maybe. I guess with knowledge of the future I'd potentially go back and learn coding and linguistics, get at the forefront of the whole Siri/Cortana/Alexa/etc. move. (I mean, assuming I was dedicated enough to put the work in to learn coding. I probably wouldn't be, but who knows.) Or maybe I'd have gone and taught English in another country. Or agreed to move to Calgary with Patrick when he suggested it way back when. (Probably not, though.)
But all these options basically come down to, would I have been a different person? And really, deep down, that question is: would I have been a happier person? Would I be not-depressed? Would I have motivation, would I be able to write without anxiety about every word on the page, would I not feel worthless, would I feel like I were loved by my friends and family? Or would I still feel pointless and useless and like I didn't have a real place I belonged?