So Many Lives To Live

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
—Oscar Wilde

crossroads

So many lives inside of me, competing for attention, wanting to be the one at the forefront.

I’m not talking about the ones that nearly came to be, those roads almost taken at the various crossroads of my life – I’m talking about the yearnings and desires that were never realized; I’m talking about the ideas and dreams formed in childhood. Over the years there have been so many things I’ve wanted to do and be that have no hope of coexisting.

Don’t get me wrong, I like where I am.

Sitting here with my strong morning coffee, surrounded by notebooks and sheets of paper filled with works in progress and ideas, listening to angry outlaw country (yes, you read that correctly – I’m a man of quite eclectic, eccentric taste) I’m thankful. Thankful for having the opportunity to live my life the way I do and having the luxury to so freely choose how I spend my time. But choice isn’t always easy. I’ve had a weird life, with many twists and turns, though always anchored to the same place. Several opportunities for significant change have presented themselves and then passed by, leaving me behind in the dust, wondering where to go next.

Once more, I find myself at the crossroads.

I’ve been here time and time again during my life, pausing to consider which path to take next – where to go and what to do – thinking maybe this time I’ll stick around, wait for that black man and see what he has to offer. My soul has always been here, poised before the next step and waiting for the opportune moment. My heart has always been somewhere else, yearning for what I don’t have. My body stands torn between the two, eternally at unrest, never lingering, never choosing just one path.

It’s been years since I took this long waiting.

I probably already know where I need to go now – I’ve been working toward this for my entire life, after all. There’s just so many alternatives, and so many footpaths that lead in the same general direction. In choosing one, I forsake all the others. At least for the immediate future. I could go anywhere, with anyone, and still do what I want to do. The where, how and who of it all doesn’t really matter to my dreams. My opinions are wide open and I could choose to live almost any life I can imagine. Many of them are so very tempting, would realize parts of myself that have been starving for years. It’s not easy, suppressing all those parts of yourself, leaving all those alternate lives unlived. There are so many lives for me to live, yet I can only choose one.

Maybe that’s why I need to write.


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