This book was never going to write itself no matter how much I put it off because I was too busy living my life. When friends and new acquaintances ask the title of the book--If I could Live 400 Years--their first response is, “Why?” This way the first 100 years could be a learning experience, and the other 300 would be the time to make choices, achieve my dreams, learn the tasks I always wanted to try, laugh, grow, enjoy, and have so much time to do it.
If I had this wish come true, I would stop aging at age 38. This age for me was the mark for realizing I was not getting any younger. The days, months, and years fly-by faster and achievements need to happen sooner. Also, my face wasn’t drooping yet and my muscles were still apparent. My affinity for science fiction may have something to do with wanting longevity, life beyond 100 years, at some point in time.
Science fiction movies and depictions of future life give hope to the continuance of human life, even if much of this is robotic. Computers run the world, and life on other planets becomes a reality. Well, I want in! If anyone has this capacity to allow me another 340 years, I am here with open arms. I am not sure our cryogenic capabilities have been established, or anyone knows for sure the plug won’t get pulled. I would hate to thaw just to find out it was never perfected.
I must have been born wanting to live 400 years because I have been mastering many vocations for the last five decades. This desire to try everything at least once was inspired by my mother having me read at a very young age, starting at the age of three. The generation before me believed that children were to go to bed by 7.00 PM, so the parents had time to be with each other, or at least my mom and dad. I hated this because in the summer months it stayed light outside until 9pm. I just wanted to play outside.
Once I realized the books could take me far beyond my current front door, I craved to read about the lives of others--adventure, fiction, history, science, and my favorite Nancy Drew detective books.
Nancy Drew piqued my interest into who did it and solving those mysteries. Tom Sawyer had me traveling down rivers and getting into trouble with other kids. The House of the Rising Sun influenced me in my youth to seek unity answers for all cultures and colors. My imagination spanned beyond my early days as a kid and always drifted towards wanting to grow up fast so I could begin my journey.
As a child I had a very active imagination and I could spend hours alone in my room playing with dolls, talking to imaginary friends, reading, and gazing out the window wondering what was I going to be when I grew up?
Having been born in the 50’s, I was a product of the Hippie generation when patch quilt skirts, flowers in the hair, and bell bottoms were worn, and VW vans were the vehicle to drive. This generation suited my imagination because everyone had a free spirit and trying new things was cool.
I must say I was very fortunate to have a stable childhood, although we lived a middle-class life with parents that adored us three kids and taught us about the world, my father had us live a very modest and humble lifestyle. We lived in a small home and were expected to do all of the chores including cooking, cleaning and yardwork. My father was an engineer with the Navy and a physicist, working for Lockheed Martin, and little did us kids know that his role at work involved the highest security clearance, and he traveled many times to Washington DC, Virginia, and Vermont for his job. We did benefit from the Vermont syrup he always managed to bring us; I will never forget the tin can it came in, and the taste of pure maple on my pancakes he would cook. As kids we assumed his job was important because he always dressed in a suit, and wore the greatest ties, and cufflinks. I would sneak into my parents’ bedroom, so I could look in his cufflink box, and open the closet were his array of ties hung. We never knew where he was going, and came to find out, neither did my mother. Dad was never allowed to disclose anything. Apparently, he had much to do with nuclear physics at that time that involved a high amount of secrecy.
My parents grew up in Queens and Long Island New York and were introduced to the abundance of culture in New York City. She introduced her children to the symphony, theatre, ballet, opera, and museums because that is how she was raised. We were taken to these cultural events as kids, but never really realized how fortunate we were to have this type of exposure. I grew to love the symphony, and ballet was already a part of my life as a kid; lessons happened twice a week for many years. My brother played the cello, and my sister had a natural inclination for art. My mother’s dream was to have one of us to be accomplished in these cultural events.
Mom desired to have one of us succeed at athletics, music, and art but never dreamed that her youngest would run away with the Circus.