I consciously live my life from the end looking back. I don’t look forward to worry about the outcomes. Instead I look back to ensure there are no regrets. I am the old lady sitting on the porch, watching the light fade, feeling the air cool, and musing about all that I have done.

It is she who decides my fate. She’s the one who decided I should leave my hometown and go back to school. She’s the one who decided we should travel around the world. She’s the one who decided we should quit our jobs and keep traveling around the world. She’s the one who knows that life is incredibly short. She’s the one who knows that it all works out. She’s the one who has no regrets.

I can’t do everything I want though. It’s impossible. Life is finite and there just simply isn’t enough time. So, when the inevitable question comes of ‘if you had to do it all again, would you do it the same?’ my answer is always, unwaveringly, NO!

I’ve done all these things, had all these experiences, and have so many more to come. Why would I repeat any of it? I would do it all completely differently. I would live all the ways I haven’t managed to live in this life, do all the things I didn’t get to, harness all the talent and passion in completely different ways.

I would live on a farm. Far off the grid where we would collect our own water, generate our own electricity, and grow our own food. I dream of crisp fall days in the farmhouse kitchen ‘putting up vegetables’, making pies, and cooking great, wholesome meals. We would tend our small flock of chickens, milk our one cow, and play with the goats in the field. At night we would cozy up under a great down duvet, tired from the work yet full of all that we accomplished.

I would go to school forever. There is so much to learn! Furthering my studies in biology, chemistry and physics would help understand how the physical world works. I would study psychology, sociology, and anthropology as I am fascinated by how we all interact with each other. I would delve into religious studies to learn more about how the worlds’ faith is interconnected, and explore linguistic anthropology to discover where our communication roots are derived from. I remember long, rambling, conversations while I was in school; debates and explorations that expanded my world and challenged my thinking. It’s a magical place and a lifetime of living it would be heaven.

I would be a mother. With at least three, maybe four, kids. I have chosen not to have children in this life but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know what I’m missing. The complete joy, eternal frustration, great pride, fierce love, and softest of kisses. Oh, I know. We would live together as our own little tribe, taking on the world, helping one another grow and learn, before they finally set off on their own adventures letting me live another life through their eyes.

Creative. I would be creative. I would push my analytical mind well out of its comfort zone and express myself in ways that seem unreachable to me in this life.  I would be a painter, or a singer, or a dancer, or a musician. A writer of great novels, a composer of moving concertos, an architect of great buildings.

It’s endless, really, the ways that I would not do it the same. I will sit on that porch and not regret a single thing but that, by no means, means that there aren’t a myriad of ways that I could have been done differently.