Psychology Today September/October 2020 pp26-27 |POV| “A Life Worth Living” “A new book explores why it’s so hard to resist speculating about the steps we didn’t take.” By Gary Drevitch.
Photo Credit (ethereal-wellness.com)
A review of “On Not Being Someone Else Tales of Our United Lives” by Andrew H. Miller, Harvard University Press.
Summary of the Book Review
Apparently common to most of us and especially as we reach middle age, when other options seem unlikely, we spend mental energy “exploring not who they [we] are, but who they [we] are not.” It is a well-studied and timeless topic of academicians and artists-poets, novelists and songwriters. Miller emphasizes that “the real tragedy may not be discovering that a wrong choice set our life on the wrong path, but that, in the end our choices didn’t make much difference.” Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is in this vane. Ultimately, we’re being human having to choose, then at times being wistful and having “sorrow at our inevitable relinquishments.” It can be though “not vanity, exactly but something more elemental and stubborn.” The path forward is, according to Miller, “to give up thoughts of other lives and to make a home in his [our] own.”