Blog talkers this week is difficult to keep down to one thought, so I am going to waffle on a bit generally. Bit of a nostalgia fest, and a fair amount of what ifs...
If you could go back in time, what one piece advice would you give yourself?It depends where I'm going to go in time! If I went back to my teens I would say 'go to the gym' - just because I enjoy it so much, and starting earlier would probably have meant I wasn't the large rotund type I am today, although I might have been one of those whose head became smaller than their neck.
Or perhaps in my late teens I would have said 'ride a motorbike'. There's no end to the possibilities of what might have happened if this had been the case when I was a student. I think much of what makes up my life now is probably formed by the fact that I had no transport when I was younger! I would perhaps have travelled a lot more over the weekends at College, whereas I stayed in and around London (no real need for own transport there, so i didn't bother). Though I have to say that this means I spent time with friends, got to be a part of a church, got myself a job which kept my student debt down, stuck with a girlfriend who kept dropping me, then starting again, then dropping etc etc etc - but because there wasn't any way to go elsewhere I just kept on with this - and we've now been married for 14 years with two fantastic kids and I am more in love now that ever. But, that notwithstanding, I would have perhaps seen more of the world, had very different networks of people, looked at things a different way, generally been very different.
Perhaps I would go back to my student days and say 'work harder at Drama' - the secondary part of my degree let down my overall scores and I ended up just missing a first class degree which might have meant I would have carried on with an academic career. I had a very good 2.1 degree which meant I could have pursued a further degree and one of my college lecturers was very keen on me doing a PhD in New York with a professor Chisholm, as my speciality was the nature of faith and religious language, but I also had a great interest in 'issues of Human Nature and the role of Grace'. Again, though, i stayed in London to be near my girlfriend (now wife) and after paying off my student debts I got a job at Imperial College Chaplaincy which led me to where I am now, so how much would I like to change? Well, as I am now looking at a PhD in pastoral ministry having a first would just make things slightly easier...
Perhaps I would go back to before I was married and offer a variety of advice to myself about listening, learning and appreciating - rather than having to learn the hard way!
Perhaps I would go back to just before I took my previous job before this and said 'no, don't go to South Kensington'. But then, would I have taken this job? rather than being desperate to leave my last one I might have been settled somewhere else.
So, as you can tell, indecisiveness rules in this situation. This one kept me awake a couple of nights ago when I first read it.