What’s a new life, and how do you get one? So many people have been saying to me recently, enjoy your new life; but if I have a new life, it’s news to me. I keep looking for the landmarks of change and missing them. Either because I don’t know what I’m looking for or the fog of reality is too thick, I can’t latch onto the outlines of things that will make me recognize the new life’s arrived; insinuating, although it’s never said, a happier one bringing peace and fulfillment. The new life people hype is clearly meant to be an improvement.
What is it so many others think they see so clearly? As much as my recent move from the huge home my husband and I once owned has relieved much tension and stress, I’ve found the old life I’d call uniquely mine still with me. It seems I’ve carried it from age to age and place to place even though I often tried to leave it behind. No matter what I do, it’s still my same life along the way. Walked or run away from like a piece of old luggage one hopes never to see again, I still find that familiar, crumpled old valise is always right there with me, a shadow attached to my side. Peter Pan couldn’t fly away fast enough to escape it.
In my quest to figure out where the new life is and why it’s eluding me, I’ve done some research with the professional proponents of ‘new life’ acquisition. Many appear to be Christian faith ministries, though all forms of healers get into the act through Yoga, Meditation, psychiatric counseling and even social media platforms. Also, a couple of ‘creativity experts’ suggest they’ve found the path to a new life, which comes cringingly close to some of the work I’ve done myself in the past, without much success I might add; though no one ever admits that.
The gist of all of these, what they all share in common, is the notion that something is missing from your current life; that you must add or subtract something in order to have a new one. Change itself, it’s suggested, is enough to gestate the new entity; and oddly enough, I believed that because I wanted to. I knew all the good wishes from others for this new life were only well meant bromides, but I hoped the sheer volume of support would make them effective. Yet even Peter Pan figured out it took more than a few stitches to attach a shadow to your side, and I have a feeling that what J.M. Barrie knew about living the life we’re dealt was lodged in Peter’s inability to leave Neverland.