We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one— Confucius

Anand Swamy
2 min readNov 29, 2023

When I was in my early 20s, the 30s seemed light years away. Now that I am nearing 40 and have had a few decades of life’s inevitable beatings, my perception has evolved.

I believe what Confucius was trying to highlight is that we take our first life for granted. Oftentimes, this happens in our youth. During this time, time seems like an eternity. Our experiences are less rigid with responsibilities, and frequently newer.

A study from Harvard suggests the reason time feels slower when we are younger is because our time is packed with more experiences, like a slow-motion camera. While this may be true, for me, my second life began when my mother passed away.

I’ve had close people pass away, but a mother…there’s just something different about mothers.

At the time, my life was already upside down with other things I was dealing with, and her loss took the cake.

Her loss is when my second life began. It’s when I realized I only have one.

One life, one mother, and one continuous breath that time takes bit by bit.

I don’t know what happens after this life, nor do I worry about it as much.

My mother’s loss brought a new sense of urgency to live, seize the moments, laugh, eat, cry, take risks and most importantly…love.

The irony about life is that when one of our own goes away, another or many others find us in different forms.

During our travels, my wife and I have met many such people, many older who have been through the battles that I’ve seen and will continue to experience. One such gentlemen shared a timeless epitaph a few days ago.

Remember me as you pass by. As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you will be, therefore prepare to follow me.

To all of you that I have met during my travels, family, friends and those that continue to read my words, I want you to know that when I was picking up the shattered pieces of my heart, you gave me a hand.

Thank you.

My mom was a blessing in my life, and it was nature’s time to take back what she loaned me.

The irony is that another life has been gifted.

I’m going to be a father.

With love,



Anand Swamy

I write about personal development and self awareness.