If I were only still thirty years old in THIS universe! Of course, like many people I'd prefer to be thirty years old with my current forty seven years of experience somehow still behind me. Oh the possibilities! I can't think of anything I would do differently that isn't the result of me having not done something differently in the past. In other words, the things I would do again would include behaviours I missed or neglected to engage in. I'd still do all the stuff I've done; I'd just do MORE - and hopefully better.
If I was a 47 year old inside a 30 year old body, I'd be a much better rugby player than I ever managed to be in this reality - because I would see the value in consistently training. I'd have tried as a young man to take my joy of driving into a racing environment to test my mettle against my peers.
I'd also be healthier ( not diabetic) and slimmer than I am now...and staying that way...and of course I'd have made some better choices and have made them earlier in life than I have managed this time around.
I'd have been far more wise about how to love. I'd have allowed myself to have more fun - taking a few more calculated or even spontaneous risks perhaps - in general. I'd have made different career choices than the ones I have made. I'd have been as blunt as I now wish I had been, and I'd worry much less about whether or not people like me. Trying to be someone or something I am not is apparently not a map for unlimited success.
I'd have realised that religion is a grand illusion a long time before this life taught me that lesson, and I'd have been free from it earlier in my life as a result - something which would have been an enormously liberating feature.
Yes being younger with my current experience of life would be a very interesting way to be. Fun. But...
What other mistakes would I make or have made? Would I have my two wonderful beautiful children? Would I now be so lucky as to be with my lovely wife - my (cliché alert) soul-mate? Would I have lived the life I have known so far? Would I be living in a beautiful - nay stunning - part of the world? Perhaps the answer to each question is 'No'...or at best 'Maybe'...and I feel a chill at the prospect of those things being different, because they are all, undeniably, integral to my happiness.
Yes, I'm 47 years old, but the young man is still alive in my psyche - the young, indestructible, nervous and (for anyone who knows me) surprisingly shy man with his life ahead of him is still there, mildly shocked to find himself at this stage of life. So...perhaps I have the best of both universes? Perhaps I have the chance to benefit from the older and the young - I have after all lived a life somewhat outside of the ordinary or mundane - and it is sometimes, while dealing with the ordinary or mundane features of life - rather too easy to forget that.
Perhaps (second cliché alert) the best is yet to come. I certainly hope so. I have the young 'me' as my companion - the trick is to allow him to bring his naive enthusiasm for life back to me, to allow things to be possible, to be ME. Can I unleash ME - without worrying about the consequences - onto the world again?
The thirty year-old inside the 47 year-old mind says "why the hell not?". Answers on a postcard?