One of Life’s Many Paradoxes

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“You only live once”

That’s the saying that has been traveling around our social media for the past five years. To most, this mantra is a comforting reminder that we only get one life so we should live it to the fullest. Be bold! Make dumb decisions! Do whatever the hell you want because YOLO! ………… but to me, this saying mocks me with the sad truth that I do indeed only live once. One lifetime is all I’m allowed, 100 years at best to squeeze in as much adventure, romance, and experience that I possibly can. But one lifetime is not enough. I am no where near content with a single life. I want to live a thousand lives! I couldn’t possibly choose just one and say “Yes, I guess that’ll have to do.” It’s not that I’m dissatisfied with the life that I am on the path to living, it’s that I am infuriated that this life will be the only one that I’ll ever live. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the 60’s teenager, screaming and crying with joy upon first hearing The Beatles live in concert. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the notorious rock-star, traveling the world performing in front of my adoring fans. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the famous actress, careening around Hollywood with more money than I know what to do with. I’ll never know what it’s like to be the reclusive author, trapped in the wonderful worlds that imagination and literature has allowed her to create. I’ll never be the ambitious historian, running around Europe trying to discover ancient secrets the world has long forgotten. I’ll never be the dirty pirate captain, sailing the seven seas with my rum-blurred eyes forever fixed on the horizon. I’ll never experience the life of the dancer, singer, biker, photographer, artist, politician, zookeeper, pilot, soldier, astronaut, stay-at-home-mother, Olympian, aristocrat, director, editor, prom-queen, rebel, genius, detective, critic, chef, ……….the list could go on forever. There is so much more I want to be and do and feel than what I can achieve in one lifetime. And sure, why can’t I just spend a day taking up dancing or learning photography or biking across the state? Wouldn’t it be satisfying to say that I got to experience a new life for the day? Sorta kinda not really no. I don’t just want to experience a day in the life, I want to experience the lives in a day. I want to live a full 100 years as someone and then, when this one life finally comes to an end, I want to start all over again as someone new. I want to live and live and continue to live until I feel that I have enjoyed every life that I could possibly imagine for myself.

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