If things were different, then...
Well. I don't know. Lots of things would have to be different - but then again, I can't be sure that the differences I imagine would result in the scenario I presume.
If things were different, maybe I would be in Japan. I would have ignored my flight home, burnt through the money on my card and be in my overdraft. I would be skipping lectures and seminars and staying in a cheap hostel in Tokyo, drinking and laughing and ignoring my degree. All semblance of caring would have disappeared. Maybe I would be thinking about coming home now, an extra two weeks after I intended. It's one way things might be different.
If things were different, and I had got on a train ten minutes earlier, I'd have been out drinking in Shinjuku with the rest of the people in the hostel.
If things were different - if I were different - then I'd be dating the person I love, and we wouldn't be ambiguously flirtatious best friends.
But things aren't different, and wishing they were otherwise is to sell my own life short. I care about my studies, even though it can be hard to motivate myself sometimes; with a degree I can get a better job, save up money and see the world, not just wish I could. I am not drinking in a park in Japan; I am in bed in England, recovering from a night of drinking in someone's house.
I didn't get the earlier train, and I missed having a wild night on my last day in Japan.
And I have accepted that I can't be with my best friend, because I would hurt him too much. I philander, I flirt, I lack empathy; I would be a terrible girlfriend, so I am saving him from heartbreak. I would get bored of dating him. I get bored of most things, sooner or later.
Things aren't different, so I have to deal with them as they are. The ramifications of any of these changes might have created an entirely different world. I can't change the past, no matter how hard I wish. The future is malleable, and I entirely support railing against injustice to change the things that suck. Though mostly, I feel like we should accept things as they are. Make the most of it. Make the most of now.
If things were different, I wouldn't be writing this blog post. Meta.