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2009-12-12 - 20:29:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: Personal: Memories | Television |

One of my favourite shows this autumn / fall season has been the second outing of Being Erica from CBC. Starring Erin Karpluk it has been a voyage of discovery as we watched Erica come to terms with events in her past when she was offered the chance to revisit them and – just possibly – make some changes. An interesting premise I'm sure you'll agree; what would you change about events in your past? Do you have lots of regrets, just a few or, indeed, none whatsoever?

In watching the show one can't help pondering after each episode what similarities there have been in one's own life. When Erica has broken up with a boyfriend – or 'repaired' the situation so that she didn't – sometimes she found that things didn't change in the long term anyway, but other times they did, drastically. It made me wonder what would have happened if I'd accepted John's marriage proposal in 1994; where would I be now? Or if I hadn't split up with Brandon a short while before he became a multi-millionaire? If my first business had been more of success than it was (when my second client refused to pay their final invoice and I couldn't afford the barrister to take them to the High Court) or I'd worked less on student politics and more on my coursework when I went to university. And that is before I look at the more 'personal' choices I've made in my years on this planet!

Ultimately, I don't believe the past is something we can ever know if we got 'right'. We make the choices that seem right at the time and hope for the best outcome in their future. If we got it wrong well, it was right at the time† and we couldn't know what would happen in the end.

Erica gets to 'do over' her mistakes. Sometimes it is an improvement, often it makes little difference in the long run. Would we all choose the same alternative if we knew then what we know now?

† As I write that I'm suddenly aware of Tony Blair saying today that he thought it was right to go back to war in Iraq, no matter whether there were actually WMD.



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