Defining a “New” Life


Starting a new life is an oxymoron. We only have one life (reincarnation aside, since I’m talking about this present material life). So when I talk of starting a “new” life that is different from my “past” life, or when using words like “reinventing,”it’s important to keep in mind the following:

We get second chances. We get opportunities to reinvent ourselves. We can adjust our current trajectory. But we only have one life. We are only one person. I want to state this clearly because there’s a tendency (in me at least) to ignore and invalidate everything negative that I experienced before the present moment. If I grew up a certain way and I’m trying to live at 180 degrees opposed to that, I’ve realized that it’s important to still acknowledge the fact that that “other” life is the stool I stand on to get a greater perspective. It should not be ridiculed or minimized or ignored or suppressed.

My past is important. My future is not yet here. My present is a result of my past and a leaning toward my future. To deny the past or live in the dreamland of the future can only box me into a static, frustrated way of living.

So to clarify, living a “new” life, for me, simply means living more intentionally, with appreciation of the past and an eye toward a future of my own design, with less obligation to either nostalgia or fantasy. A new life must be based in hard reality, not some wonderland where regret and bitterness and futuristic euphoria make all the decisions.

I have one life. Part of that life, I lived in some ways other than what I now feel were not true to who I am deep inside. I am now choosing to use that perspective to live out another part (or the rest) of my life in a way that it more intentionally inclined to what I feel are the truest parts of me. And I’m sure I’ll discover a lot along the way.


One response to “Defining a “New” Life

  1. I love this poem, and it sounds like where you’re at…Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

    1. The Road Not Taken

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same, 10

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference. 20

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