My father once told me that you only get one go at life so you'd better make the most of it. No rehearsals. No action replays. He was wrong. I made him wrong. You make your own life and so you can, should you choose, make many of them. I remake mine every 17 years or so. 17 factors into a lifespan well. In a long life you'd get maybe 6 in. 5 in an average western span. 9 would be very good. I am aiming for 7 - maybe 8.
The ones behind me are done with. I don't think much about them. Am I pleased with them? All 3 of them? Pretty much. I did a good job of them given what I had and knew. The one I'm really interested in is the one I'm carving out now. The present life. Admittedly, it is built on the shoulders of previous lives. What previous lives?
Life 1: child and adolescent. Before I started work. Neophyte in the young IT industry when I started work. The life in which I discovered sex and art and music and literature. The life wherein I Iearned about life. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. Not without event - a life that was shallow - I was callow. I found Joyce.
Life 2: husband and father and breadwinner. Not a great success, some joy, lots of philandering, but no regrets. 3 wonderful daughters follow me on into the other lives from this one - like Lear. Life 2 taught me to love dogs. Life 2 was the one in which I taught myself to be good at things - especially life and secondarily IT. I found Beckett.
Life 3: lover, bon viveur, top of the world career-wise, collector, writer, divorcee. Traveling the world and learning - all the time learning. I finally learned that this was a life with a great core and a rotten body. I found BS Johnson and Hrabal. I met the defining love of all my lives.