I’m experiencing some technical difficulties with my 99shadows.com website, so I’m posting my challenge response on this site instead for now.
Let me tell you before we even get started here that I am a weirdo. Seriously, some of the things that pop into my mind leave my husband just scratching his head when I tell him. Asking a sci-fi/fantasy fangirl what period she’d visit if she had a time machine is like asking a kid which piece of candy they want in a candy store full of free candy, so I apologize in advance for whatever transpires on this page.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a voracious and insatiable appetite for knowledge. It’s not enough for me to know a thing – I need to know the why, the where, the when, the what, the how, and the who. It’s part of the reason I was kicked out of Sunday School when I was 5 – I couldn’t accept “because the Bible tells us so” as a definitive answer to my questions. I wanted – *needed* – to know who, why, what, where, when, and how.
I was fascinated by people like Leonard da Vinci, Michel de Nostredame (more commonly known as Nostradamus), Nikola Tesla, and other people who seemed so ahead of their times. Unlike a lot of people, I wasn’t just fascinated by the fact that they were so advanced; I wanted to know why…and how?? Were they merely forward thinkers? Were they travelers from another time? Or had they tapped into a fount of knowledge that exists somewhere to which we all may have access? [Told you I was a weirdo…these really are the directions my thoughts go!]
So if I had a time machine, I would want to go to every time period. Of course, having a time machine, I’d have all the time in the world – within reason, obviously. I mean, I’d still age, right? But I’d want to go to the very beginning of time to answer the age-old questions once and for all – How was the world created? Was it created by a big explosion? By a supreme being? Was it accidental? Just a series of chemical reactions? Or did some creature intentionally design our world? Of course, if it turns out that someone actually created our world and our universe, then I’d need to know – who was it? Where was this being from? Answers lead to more questions, right?
I would want to visit da Vinci. And Nostradamus. And Tesla. I’d want to sit and chat with them, find out where their knowledge came from. Were they time travelers? Were they tapping into the “collective unconscious”? Or were they just really really really smart?
I would want to visit significant events throughout human history – not to change them (I know that [a] it would probably not be possible, and [b] if it is possible, the repercussions of changing something could be detrimental) but to either just observe (like the Hindenburg disaster or Custer’s last stand) or to finally know what really happened, to see it with my own eyes. Did Lee Harvey Oswald really kill JFK? Or was there someone on the grassy knoll? Did Hitler really commit suicide on April 30, 1945 or did he escape justice?
I would want to head into the future, to visit various time periods in the future of our world, just to see “what happens next,” to know what our incredible or crazy humankind will become in the next fifty, one-hundred, one-thousand, one-million years… Will our compassion and humanity finally shine? Or will hate and intolerance continue to dictate our actions for the rest of mankind’s existence?
Finally, although I’d be very tempted, I don’t know if I could trust myself to visit my own past. To think of visiting historical places and events is one thing. Changing one historical event could have potentially catastrophic consequences. Who knows what the world would be like today if JFK had not been assassinated; think of all of the things that happened because of that one moment in time, and all the things that could be different. If I was to warn someone about the sinking of the Titanic, think of all of the people who perished aboard that ship who would have gone on to have lives and children and families and businesses. How would the world be different? I know I could restrain myself from changing something, from potentially setting off a series of possibly catastrophic events.
My own past, though? To see my father again, to visit him as a young man and convince him never to smoke – would that prevent his heart attacks later in life? What if he was on his way to a store to buy cigarettes when he met my mother? Would I even exist then if I convinced him never to smoke and he never went to that store and wasn’t there to meet my mother? I would love to see him again, just to see him…but I could not trust myself not to interfere. The stakes are far too great with historical events, the lives that would be altered if I changed a single significant event are too large a burden to bear. But my own life? I don’t think I could trust myself not to try to change it.
This was a fun challenge because it made me think about what I really would do if I did have a time machine. I’d go joyriding through history, no doubt about it…
Want to take part in the Discover Me Challenges and learn more about yourself while you do? Visit my friend Nichole’s site for details!