I’m one of those people who’s constantly asking, “what if?”
What if I stuck with my acting career when I was younger? What if I kissed this person that one time when it would’ve been perfect? What if I did that one thing that I always said I would? What if I didn’t make that mistake when I was twenty?
Would things be different?
I wonder if these are healthy questions. Maybe I shouldn’t dwell on things I can’t change. But, whatever. I do it anyway.
My most recent question has been a little more existential. What if I woke up one day with amnesia? What if I had no recollection of who I was or what I’ve done or who everyone has always told me I am? Would I still be me? Or am I, Elena, merely a collection of all my memories and experiences, which have built me up to be the exact person today: charismatic, nervous, passionate, obsessive, ambitious?
People, my family, in particular, have always told me that I’m dramatic, that I’m too intense. I’ve lived my whole life thinking that those are negative characteristics. In an alternative lifetime, what they would consider dramatic and intense, might be considered passionate and faithful.
If I didn’t remember my accident when I was sixteen, my horrible experiences working as an au pair, that one time in Egypt, my first love, my first time doing stand-up, or the Paris terrorist attacks, would I still be me? Would I have the same fears, hobbies, and passions? Would I still be Elena? I honestly don’t know.