It just so happened

I’ve never been one for video games; my capabilities have only ever extended as far as Super Mario World and Mario Kart. So when I heard that a film called Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was slated for release in May, the only thing that sparked my interest in it was Jake Gyllenhaal. My expectations sank even more when I learned that it was based on a video game. Nevertheless, I went ahead and watched it anyway, thinking that if nothing else, Jake Gyllenhaal is still a good actor, and if Jerry Bruckheimer could turn the Pirates of the Caribbean ride into a successful full-length film, then maybe Prince of Persia would have the same luck.

I will say no more about the film except the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal was hot beyond belief, and Gemma Arterton made me want to claw her eyes out.

I didn’t give any more thought to the film until earlier this afternoon, when Eza mentioned that the film made her think about how far, given the chance, she would turn back time in order to change certain aspects of her life. That, in turn, got me thinking about how far back in time I would go to make my life better — or at least different — from what it is today, culminating in an alarming number of options:

1. Going back to my high school years, when I allowed myself to be put into Sri Inai, which resulted in a disastrous first relationship and pretending now that I don’t remember anyone from there. Had I the chance — and the sense — I would have insisted that my parents follow their initial plan to put me in the International School of Kuala Lumpur so that I could graduate and immediately return to the U.S. to begin college as a freshman, instead of having to spend a year and a half in INTI College and landing myself in yet another  relationship I’ve regretted every day for the past 6 years.

2. Going back to 2006, when I was in my final year at the University at Buffalo and trying to decide what to do with myself once I graduated. I would somehow find a way to get a job that would get me the H1 visa, or maybe even make use of my LSAT score to get into law school, so that I could stay on there and not be left with no choice but to come back here.

3. Going back to 2008, when I was in one of the deepest emotional ruts of my life and desperately trying to find a way out. When I was so blindly and mindlessly in love with someone who cared nothing for anyone but himself that I allowed my life to revolve around him. When I sat at D’Haven and bawled my eyes out over glass after glass of gin and tonic, wondering how I had let everything get so far out of control and why I couldn’t just let it all go.

4. Going back to last September, when I had the chance to eliminate all possibilities of ever seeing, knowing or hearing what I didn’t want to. When all I needed to do was to flip through The Star newspaper silently and not invite any said possibility, which has since led my imagination, my fears, and all my old insecurities to spiral so far out of control that I am now seeking professional help to stamp them out of my system.

Thinking about all these missed opportunities, missed chances, I also realize that if none of these things had ever happened, I would not be where I am now, in circumstances that I can’t complain about (too often). And as much as we wish for things to be different, I suppose they must all have happened for a reason, whether or not it is a reason worth suffering for, and turning back time would have only gone against everything that was supposed to happen to lead us to wherever it is we are now.

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