Imagine Your Second Life

A second life does not mean an afterlife or reincarnation. I want to imagine being me, with the opportunity to live an additional life. I think I’d like to begin at eighteen, knowing everything I know now. I’m eighty years old, and I’ve always lived an interesting life with many challenges and many changes. Changes are naturally traumatic to most people, but I seemed to flourish amid many changes.

I crank myself back about sixty-two years, and I am immediately stuck between a rock and a hard place. As I have grown old, I have learned of lifestyles and career potentials that never entered my mind. In the 1950s, television didn’t present such wonderful insights into the Earth and the Universe.

In recent years, I find myself sitting in front of a television screen and watching wildebeest plunge into rivers amid crocodiles. Cheetahs chasing elegant antelope were also stunning videos. Somebody was there, witnessing and preserving splendid events. I could have been that person, had I chosen to educate myself for that.

But a naturalist cinematographer was not the only thing I’d like to have been. I met people, ‘starving artist’ types, and realize I could be that way, living day to day, being creative among eccentric friends. I could have lived in Paris, and been one of the characters on the streets. But that’s not all.

I would have loved to be a sailor. I would have enjoyed being a steward on a private sailing yacht, or a crewman on an international freighter. I would have loved being an architect, designing buildings. I would have loved being a Park Ranger, living alone on a fire tower in the forest. I would have enjoyed living alone as a lighthouse keeper.

Now I realize that it would be difficult to live another life. It’s been tough enough living this one. However, after stumbling through a couple of decades of ignorance I was led to the creative field by a wonderful YMCA Guidance Test. Thereafter, I became a happy, satisfied writer and artist. All the same, filming on the Savannah…

  1. March 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I agree. I have arrived where I wanted to be, given my late realization. I had succumbed to what amounts to bribery by my parents. They made it difficult to set out on my own, because of the luxury I had to leave behind. I wasted 20 years figuring it out. After I succeeded separately, I was offered opportunities to step into the big leagues. I thought deeply about what would be right for me, not for them. I realized I’d be putting on a horse collar again, and be mixing around amid people of the kind I hate. So I chose the true course rather than the yellow brick road.

  2. March 28, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Yeah, I hear you. But, at the same time, all the decisions and choices we make in our lives are predicated by the circumstances of the moment. The “could, should, woulda” is counterproductive, from my perspective…

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