How to Live Many Lives
‘The question is not who you think you are or who society says you should be. It’s, who will you be tomorrow?’
My great-grandfather (my father’s father’s father), Alexey, is currently 93 years old. There are two interesting facts about him: 1) he had only worked at one job his entire life (building missiles and machinery in a Soviet factory), and 2) he had only read one book in his life (a manual on how to build missiles and machinery in a Soviet factory).
Gladly, we don’t live in the Soviet Union anymore. There’s no need to search for a societal gap, fill it, and stay there until you die. Like a barnacle that seeks an underwater rock to stick to and never let go. Everything is a phase.
We sort of know that, but we keep on thinking and talking like we don’t.
We ask people what they majored in as if it mattered. We ask kids what they want to be “when they grow up” and teenagers and 20-somethings about their passions as if these things are set in stone. We vow to love one another till death do us part. We worry about not hitting arbitrary goals by arbitrary age marks.
When I look at my twenties (so far), I see that I’ve already lived several lives. I’ve been a video producer and had a little production company in 2018. I was a Medium writer for two years. I lived in Moscow, London, then Moscow again, then Georgia, then London again. I had two relationships that felt “serious”. I worked at four different companies, and I’ve launched God knows how many things (most of which didn’t see the light of day), wrote God knows how many words and ran God knows how many miles. Now I am married, I am learning a third language, and I am someone I never thought I’d be.
None of these things I could anticipate.
So when I look ahead, I am curious to see what else I can write and where else I can run. I am excited to discover what else I can do and who else I can be.
Parents tell their kids to get a degree in something that would “allow them to have a career, “ but that’s ridiculous because we no longer have a career.
We have careers. And they last years, not decades.