wanderlust

The Multiple Lives We Live Throughout Our Existence

Photography by Ioana Cristina Casapu

Photography by Ioana Cristina Casapu

As they say, some lives we live, some we leave.

I have always felt that living and leaving are cyclic. You can’t live one life if you haven’t left another. And that is the beauty of it. People will come and these people will keep telling us to take care of this life because we only have one. I beg to differ.

We have limited time here, which is true, but the notion that it is only one life that we have isn’t. The number of lives we have is like counting waves in the ocean. You can never stop because one follows another until the ocean tapers to a point and vanishes as doomsday arrives to greet it. If you come to think of it, each one of us has already lived so many lives, so many forms, so, so many stories. It doesn’t take the onset of a new decade or a new spring or even a new event to move from one life to another. It just happens.

The same voice in my head that used to roar about being an engineer quietly holds a writer-shaped ring to it now. It didn’t take a lot to change its perception of everything. It just started one fine morning when the sun and the coffee were as hot as they have always been. I guess that is the crux of all that matters. You can’t control them nearly as much as they come to control you. But as you gradually move on from one life to another, you begin to understand the flaws your earlier life had and you learn to not give in to the same mistakes again. More importantly though, on such a road to another life, you suddenly stop and realise that every life has its own ups and downs, flaws and cracks and holes through which life seeps in and finds meaning, and that it is immaterial to always try to pinpoint the reasons as to why your present life is better than your last because it hardly matters. For me, that is the only time you can truly be happy.

But when do we leave a life and decide to give another a chance?
What drives us and how to know if the time is right to make the jump?

Believe me when I tell you, there is no road sign in this highway to death. You will die eventually and there is no one and nothing that can come close to helping the situation. There is no reason to glorify it, and no reason to hide from it either. The heart beats and the brain doesn’t because rationality is only valuable up till a point. But when you realise, when you truly realise that your life is ending, no matter what you do – mistakes or no mistakes – you understand that time is too short to throw away at things that don’t talk to your heart and that your rib cage is not a storehouse for regrets.

The wings we have are often hidden beneath layers of identity crisis in a world that loves to live and let die. And it’s not about changing oneself to be a better version of the person living inside our skin. It is not. It is about flowing with the tide and letting life wash you over because you can only be alive once you embrace the chaos. And then, naturally and quietly and without anyone even noticing, these wings which you never knew you had, appear like majestic ornaments and caress the soul inside these walls of discontentment that have defined you during all these savage years.

I believe the entire truth about life is something we can’t know, because, to know what life really is, we need to stay alive and, no matter how much we try, we can’t be here long enough. And yet, those are philosophies which fade out once you realise that you do not need to know everything about everything. You only need to live and be happy about it. Maybe that is the most courageous thing to do: to accept things the way they are, mostly one’s own self. For all the faults and crack lines that run down our own spine we are beautiful. Every flaw that graces us reminds us that this is our life, that for this moment, in whichever life we are living, we are incomparable, and that being different is our greatest virtue.

In every life we live, we lose a little more of our prejudices.
In every life that leaves us, we find a little more of ourselves.

Sayan Sen is a 19-year-old from Kolkata, India, with a deep affection for puns and football. Currently pursuing Electrical Engineering, he loves poetry and loses his heart to all those who offer him food. He makes homes out of quotes and never says no to stargazing and 3 A.M heart-talks.

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