Lately I’ve been watching a lot of Being Erica on Hulu. I had started watching it last year, but then I got into Dexter and forgot about it. I remembered it recently and began rewatching. It is a cute Canadian show about a woman whose therapist sends her back into her past so she can change all her biggest regrets. It’s actually pretty good. Yeah, you have to suspend your belief at some parts – mainly because the show insists on making the lead actress play a 15-year-old version of herself at times when she is clearly in her 30s, and only briefly touches on the consequences of changing a major event in the past…the butterfly effect is not explored in depth. (Also, one of the episodes, set in 1995, had the characters talking about seeing a Chumbawumba concert and used “Tubthumping” as background music, which was totally an ANACHRONISM because that song wasn’t released until 1997, when I was in eighth grade. I KNOW MY 90’s ONE HIT WONDERS.)
The main lesson of the show is while Erica is able to change some elements of her past, everything happens for a reason, and she is unable to change her biggest regrets (i.e. her brother’s death). Or, despite her best efforts to change the past (like not getting her sister back together with her deadbeat boyfriend), she finds in the future that her sister is still together with the boyfriend. She learns that she is not the only one who controls the events around her and thus cannot be responsible for changing them.
I’ve been thinking about that and wondering what I would do if I had that magical opportunity of going back and redoing my biggest regrets. Sure, I have some regrets. I might do some things differently (like not go to grad school), or go back and undo the hurt I caused some people at various times in my life. But really, would I change anything? I don’t believe in fate, that our lives were predetermined before we were born. But I believe that everything happens for a reason. If I had gone to a different school, if I had gone into a different major, I would have a different life and different friends now. I don’t think I like the idea of that. And as painful as some events in my life were, they taught me valuable lessons and made me a stronger person. I don’t think I would go back and change any of that.
I have a penchant for living in the past, but now I’m thinking about my future…am I living the life I should be leading? I am happier now than I was even two years ago. But it’s undeniable that I still need to mature in a lot of ways. Will I get there soon?
All these questions. I doubt an episode of “Being Jenny” would make for compelling television.