Time Travel and the Pre-Frontal Lobe

(I actually posted this exact thing this morning, but due to an operator error 🙂 I accidentally deleted it. So I’m reposing it.)

The other night, while watching Bones (my favorite tv series ever), the episode referenced time travel. The characters were asking one another if they could go back to any time in their life; where would they go and what would they do. This, of course, led me to ask myself the same questions. I knew the answer immediately.

Scientifically the brain’s pre-frontal lobe doesn’t fully develop until the mid-twenties. But guess how many teens you can tell that to? Oh, that’s right! ZERO! Myself included. I knew everything and then some. The pre-frontal lobe controls decision making. If it’s not fully developed, then decision making….not so good. I’ve copied and pasted a link that I think explains the pre-frontal lobe’s purpose pretty well. (http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/teenage-brain1.htm) It says adults notice very quickly when we’ve made a poor decision, but if a teen makes a poor decision they may never notice. SCARY!!!! The problem, or part of it is that we’re identifying ourselves as adults with the ability to make clear decisions at 18. Spelling that out for you it’s eightTEEN…not even twenty…let alone mid-twenties.

So my answer to the time travel question is I would go back as me now with my fully functioning pre-frontal lobe and make my decisions. The stories I laugh about because I had fun NOT getting caught, could have had drastically different outcomes in a split second. I realize that NOW. Then I thought I was just that smooth. (insert eye roll here) My dad used to tell me no matter what I did, he’d always find out; maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not a week from now, but he’d always find out. And I kid you not….he ALWAYS found out; sometimes before I even got home.

I would have listened to my parents. I wouldn’t have lived the ‘rebel without a cause’ lifestyle (but that’s another post entirely). I would have believed my dad when he said, “Meghan, let them say what they want. 10 years from now, you’ll never see them again.” At the time, those jr high/high school girls were my world, but I can count on one hand how many people from jr high/high school I talk to on a regular basis. I would have realized that boys are called boyfriends for a reason: because they’re not men yet. And because of that I would have valued myself more through my own eyes, not theirs at all.

I am of the school of thought that every decision leads you to where you are today, and I wouldn’t want to change where I’ve ended up. My alternative would be to go back as I am now, and tell my teen (12-17) self to kindly remove my head from my rectum. Well, maybe not so kindly, as I’m sure my teen self would have smarted off something and I would feel it necessary to smack her….but you get the point. I’m sure my teen self would be skeptical (since I’ve always been that way), so I’d have to provide myself proof. I’d tell myself something only I would know, and then see myself turn white and nearly pee my pants and it would be hilarious….

So, now I’m asking you…if you could go back where would you go, and why? Or would you even go at all?


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