… The Road Less Travelled …
I have just finished reading a very interesting novel about time travel. I know this has been written about in fiction many times before but this book ‘Q : A Love Story’ by Evan Mandery has a different take on it – one that I found intriguing and gave me pause for thought. I did miss out huge chunks of this book which I personally didn’t think were relevant to the story, but the remainder was very interesting and thought-provoking.
“When our hero meets Q, one Monday morning at a cinema in New York City, he has met the love of his life. Their romance quickly blossoms; in the row boats of Central Park, on the miniature golf courses of Lower Manhattan, under a pear tree in Q’s inner city Eden. Nothing it seems, can disturb the lovers or prevent their approaching wedding.
Until one day a man claiming to be our hero’s future self tells him he must leave Q.”
The gist of the story is that there are several versions of his future self who come back and guide him through his life and advise him to change direction before aspects of his life start to go wrong. I won’t give away the ending just in case you decide you would like to read it – but as I said – it did give me pause for thought about my own life – and that little question of ‘…what if …’.
When I left school, the Careers Officer asked me what I would like to do with my life. I told her that I wanted to be a writer. She scoffed and said that wasn’t a proper job and suggested to my parents that I go to secretarial college where I could learn skills that would enable me to find work and earn a living. I guess my parents thought they were doing right by me – but I have always wondered about this other life that I could have had as a writer – maybe if I had pursued it I could have had a few books under my belt by now and made a comfortable living doing something I enjoyed.
Maybe if my future self had come back and said don’t do it, don’t become a secretary, you will be bored out of your box for the next twenty years – would I have listened and tried something different. Or maybe this was the course I was meant to take and each event or decision I have made along the way was the right one which has led me to where I am today.
I personally think it would be great if my older and wiser self gave my younger self advice – but would I take it, or just go along my chosen path regardless and live with the mistakes and, sometimes, the unhappiness, they would bring. I guess I’ll never know (unless someone invents time travel, that is)!
I hasten to add that I think I have made some good decisions along the way too.
I was only fifteen when I made that bold statement to the Careers Officer - so perhaps a little young to understand what I was saying or what was involved in becoming a writer. In the end I had a good career, 'retired' at the age of 40 to become a smallholder, then I tried painting for a living and now I write for pleasure - so I think I have had the best of all worlds.
‘Till next time …