Not quite a cat with nine lives but seven is ultimately better than just one, no? However, in a physical sense, we really do have one life to live but for many years we thought this also meant living only one expression of ourselves: as a parent, as a lawyer, as a doctor, as an engineer, as a teacher, as a fashion designer, as an architect, as an advertising executive, etc. It was always one or the other; this or that. Making that choice, and I bet my bottom dollar on this, is what's causing all the unhappiness. Why? Because we're putting all our eggs in one basket and that means the stakes are higher and the risks greater.
As someone who grew up with OCD (for a short time between the ages seven to nine but more on this in another post) I know the feeling of wanting to get it right the first time. We obsess about this from when we were young, especially when all the adults ask us, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" The quarter and mid-life crisis is likely spawned from this question because we've been given the idea that we can only be one thing, and one thing only. We spend our younger years building up to become this one thing and when we realise that it isn't for us or that we've outgrown it, we feel empty inside, and ask ourselves, "Shouldn't I be this? I've worked my whole life to get to this point and now it's gone. What do I do?!"
Sounds crazy? To some people it is. For me, it definitely sounds insane because as a notoriously curious person, I cannot imagine being one thing only. I want to be many things, or I am many things, and I need the world to know that this is me, a collection of many different passions.
If you feel the same way, I want you to know that you can, and if you want to, have seven expressions of yourself in this lifetime. In this comic I came across, from the popular site Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal about having seven lives,it talks about a different kind of scanner. I think this shift in perspective can do all of us curious people a good thing. Below is the pretty poster of that comic, click to view it in its full (size) glory.
What other lives are you excited to try out in this lifetime? Tell me in the comments and we can get excited together.
Photo credit: Death To The Stock Photo