The problem with regrets is that they keep working backwards. I can regret eating an ice cream cone for dinner, but then it keeps working itself backwards, and eventually I end up regretting not staying in town for residency, regretting that whole sorrowful time during 2nd year, regretting 1st year and all those stupid attempts to change myself, regretting leaving my college friends and going to med school, regretting that whole sordid relationship mess, regretting going to the college I did, regretting moving to the Midwest in the first place... and it keeps going on and on, and eventually, I end up at the age of five, on a snowy hill in a park in the Northeast.
I was so happy. I had my Freezy Freakies with the jet airplanes on them. I ran everywhere; I was so eager to get there that I had to go as fast as I could. And I think to myself that the only regret of my life, the original regret from which they all stem, is one that I had no control over. I wish my parents had not gotten divorced. I wish that we were still a family. I wish that those winters sledding in the park were the rule and not the exception.
I wish that I never had any reason to move to the Midwest, and maybe worked up the courage to ask out that one girl in the row next to me who always was so flirty with me. Maybe we'd go out, and that would turn into something more, and maybe we'd end up married, have some kids, and live in Manhattan, and visit my parents every few weeks.
They'd go crazy over the grandchildren. My mom would be all over them, and my dad would try to teach them something far above their comprehension. And I wouldn't have to spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what a family is. I wouldn't have to spend the rest of my life trying to find intimacy with another human being.
The problem is that when you go that far back, you stand a good chance of entirely changing whom you'd become. I wouldn't be the same person that I am now. I wouldn't have all the close friends that I do. I wouldn't have a lot of things, but I think I'd trade it all. And I doubt any of you can understand how entirely scared I am to leave here. I don't want to move again. I don't want to leave anymore. This is the only home I have; I don't want to give it up.
And all I really want is someone to tell me that it'll all work out in the end. All this moving and worrying and new beginnings, it'll all come up roses. 'This is the second act. Second acts are always full of anguish and tribulation. But it'll all work out in the end.' That's all I'm asking for. It'll be nice to have a new city, new people, new surroundings. I can start fresh. But you see, I never wanted a fresh start. I appreciate it, but it was not what I wanted. I wanted another chance at an old start.