When I think about my childhood, I have quite a few different competing emotions, which in itself is frustrating enough. Because of that, I tend not to think about my formative years too often.
There are a lot of things I would change, had I the power to go back and change them. However, at the same time, there are parts of my life now that I am absolutely thrilled with, and after watching ‘The Butterfly Effect’, I don’t know if I want to change my past substantially enough to lose some of the things that I enjoy now.
Assuming the things I enjoy wouldn’t be wrenched from my grasp, there are definitely things I would change. I would push myself to learn more, to engage with the world like I try to do now. I spent most of my time playing video games, or slamming my head against my desk in school. Something that I wish teachers cultivated in their students is the interest to explore; instead, we sit there placidly while the curriculum is drilled into our heads, gaining recognition for being a good robot.
If I could go back, I would try to learn more about everything that interests me, which is quite a lot. I would rather have spent my time learning to be creative; furthering my drawing skill, learning an instrument, or even learning to write well.
If and when I have children of my own, I want them to learn one thing from me, and one thing alone. If I fail them in every other aspect, I would be content with myself for having taught them to explore, to question, and to learn about the world we live in. I would teach them that not all learning comes from books as our schools would have us believe, but that it comes with doing, with failing, and with picking yourself up after losing everything.