“Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming.”
So many times it seems like we seek to be ‘something.’
Or maybe ‘one thing.’
I imagine it is because we seek something stable and solid and … well … one thing is nice & simple.
But unfortunately this also means that sometimes we stop trying things.
We kind of settle for ‘this is my life.’
Or even ‘this is the life meant for me’ <even if we aren’t really totally happy with that life>.
So why do we stop trying on lives?
Is it that at some age we are supposed to stop trying them on and ‘find one we like and stick with it’?
That does seem kind of silly logic now that I have written it down.
Maybe I am slightly idealistic with regard to this <similar to Plath … without the despair I might add>.
The search for a valid personal identity is a Life theme as old as time.
We will debate the proper way to search, and find, and settle or focus, until the end of time.
And we will constantly seek a ‘formula’ from which we can not only attempt to guide people in their search but also to assess, or judge, people.
To rebel against common ways of thinking creates a rockier path in Life.
‘Trying on different lives’ is a slightly rebellious thought.
Let’s just say it is more accepted when you are young and less accepted as you get older.
I don’t have an answer … just the question.
I raise the question because sometimes … particularly when discussing business & careers with people… they wonder about the life they have … let’s call it ‘the one they wear.’
They don’t always sound sad … just a sense of having missed something. And I don’t mean ‘missed out’ on something … just missed something.
I’m certainly not suggesting an irresponsible world where all adults constantly shift ‘lives’ in some crazy way always seeking but never stopping long enough to figure out if they stayed if it was ‘the life they should wear.’
We all miss out on things and I am sure, positive in fact, we all miss opportunities to wear something that we would look awesome in. I think we just gotta make sure we don’t miss opportunities to try on something just because it doesn’t seem like a ‘responsible thing to do.’
So maybe we should remind an older person that trying on lives is okay.
That it isn’t irresponsible.
And that Life isn’t a formula and how you get judged in the end, or – more importantly – how you judge yourself, is not always ‘one thing I did well.’
Sometimes it is ‘did I choose well or wisely.’ Sometimes it is something else <I am not smart enough to list all options>.
All I know for sure is that a life, just like an outfit, should look good on you.