You only Live Once.

Y.O.L.O. I first heard this acronym on February 28th in a hipster bar listening to an independent performer with a very recently released album while talking to the epitome of what Malcolm Gladwell would term a “communicator”. Within seconds of meeting this character we were intertwined and familiar: for this introvert it was shocking yet comfortable. Recently I have heard this phrase spoken dozens of times, from extremely varied sources. It has been belched from tweens and soccer moms alike, the great many of using the phrase to justify drinking a little more, or buying something extraneous. This now popularized mindset has made me ponder a question: what if you lived twice?

Y.O.L.T.(You only live twice). Or a hundred times. What if you were guaranteed another life after this one: you have a “1UP” staring at you from the top right corner of your line of sight, would it really change anything? In my days thinking of this question I can say that I don’t think anything would change for me. I would not throw caution to the wind of I knew that if this heart stopped beating I would have another to replace it.

Regardless of how many lives’ you are given, there is still an endpoint. You could live one life now, and move to another by doing something brazen or rash, but you have still consumed a life. If that life was part of a hundred part series you have moved closer to the completion of being by another percent when your heart ceases its motions. Life would progress similarly to what you experience now: there will be a wall that you will never be able to hop. I think the only change would be our understanding of time, and our relative relation. We now can find a full year to be a long period of time (or even 15 minutes can feel like a millennia as you wait for a class or shift to end) but if life was followed by another 100 after this one a year is a short amount of time with only 1% of the potency we feel it has now.

I have had similar thoughts about immortality as well. If you found infinity you would have no bearing.The average lifespan of a human being would be but a blink, a million years could pass by without you moving. From my short understanding of the physical world, I think that mountains are immovable objects. If I could watch their dance over a billion years I would see they are acrtive creatures. Or given my infinity, I could shovel a mountain one bucket at a time and move it. It couldn’t be fathomably done in 80 years, but a million? The natural world loses its relative permanence.

You have let me ramble about immortality too long! My topic was of another life, a second existence after this one. Would you change how you act now? My mind seems to find change unfathomable. The simple answer would be that I find my path now is contenting because I am enjoying my trail through life. Another drink wouldn’t make this life better, another high-priced toy wouldn’t make a smile beam brighter.

To those I’ve forgotten.

I have a selectively poor memory. Give me directions they will be forgotten within seconds (if you are ever my co-pilot I am sorry, I will ask for confirmation if the upcoming right is the turn I need to take a dozen or so times). Without a smartphone with GPS I could never find my way, and even then it is sketchy. But my directional memory is world-class compared to my memory of names. I is remarkable how quickly name amnesia sets in. I manage a few people where I work, and I can’t call a new employee by their name for months. Last week I unceremoniously referred to a new girl as “new girl”. This was not the first time I had called her this, and it was at least the 6th time she told me her name.

This leads to to body of my post: I forget. I have an affinity for numbers and facts, but names and experiences disappear quickly.

If I knew you in high school, I am sorry to say I have forgotten a hundred aspects of you, or your existence entirely. It has been longer than I care to admit since I have walked the same cramped halls as you, or sat in the same classroom. Whatever we may have shared has become like dust and has blown across a very vast wind swept plateau.

If I knew you at FSU, it is with regret that I no longer could attach a face with a name. My first years of college are a distant memory that when looked back on bring me little comfort, if these memories manage to poke their way into my mind. Faces I met in classes are only blurs on the horizon, statues with weathered faces resembling those on Easter Island.

Even if I have known you for years I have forgotten much. Memories of good and bad they have all slowly slipped through the cracks in my mind, sieving through. I may have spent a decade in your close proximity but it would make no difference. My memory will forget you, remembrance being replaced with a blankness, and despite my compassion I forget.

But I do not fear my poor memory, it is embraced. Experience and names have slipped away, but I have learned from our time. The lesson we have imprinted on each other seems immortal. It is strange, that I can find lessons and logic iconic but I cannot remember their source. My memories are short lived so I can absorb more, to garner more of the world around me so that I can survive, prosper, flourish.

Nor do I think you should take offense to my minds inabilities. It is no reflection on you: president or pauper are lost in my mind equally. Yes you will be forgotten, as will I. Our flesh will rot, bones dissolve, our pages in history will crack and crumble. But I find it a willing sacrifice to discover more, and to feel compelled to search for the new.

Memory has floated beyond my comprehension. The past deeds or misdeeds I have committed, or have been committed to me have changed me, but they will not haunt me. Icons remain, history recedes in the distance.