As many lives as you want…

This may come as a surprise to some….or not….but you can live as many lives as you want. Think I’m wrong or not following me? Chances are, you’ve already lived more than one. Did you party in your 20s and then settle down with a spouse and kids in your 30s? Or, have you tried your hand at multiple businesses or simply worked vastly varying jobs just to explore and figure out what you enjoy doing and want to do? Have you lived a simple and frugal life….as well as one of luxury, even if it was just that one time you splurged on expensive resort accommodations while enjoying a trip to a dreamy travel destination? Have you experienced what it’s like to be overweight….and thin and fit? What about years of smoking and then years without a single puff?

The reality is that most of us will wear many hats during our years in this world and we won’t always be the same people from one year, month, or day to the next. Although someone could easily (for example) look at my own life at any given period of time and make up a story about who I am and the life I live, it would be just that….a made-up story. Because, not one of us is limited to an absolute or set-in-stone two-dimensional identity.

Personally speaking, I feel like I’ve hit the reset button a number of times on my own life…..taking different paths…..being different people. I’ve been a Navy wife, suburban mother, a single journalist, a mostly-irresponsible party-type, resident of multiple cities in the country, a pretty-much-homeless vagabond, a meat-eater, a vegetarian, a runner, small business owner, school bus driver, an artist/photographer, a starving writer, a “Jockisch,” a “Stephens,” a widow, and a multitude of other identities. I’ve lived a life of having great credit, financial security, and a custom built home, but also a life of bankruptcy and worry over whether I’m going to be able to afford to eat. I’ve lived through winters with my spouse and kids in a warm and beautiful home….and winters sick and alone in an old and cold motor-home. I’ve lived the life of a preservationist….and the life of a minimalist. And I’ve lived the life of a victim…..as well as the life of a perpetrator.

“I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.”

-Thoreau

I wonder….how many more lives will I live before I can’t live any more? How many more will you live? How many more do you want to live?

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