The Privilege of a Lifetime…

Erin Schaden
5 min readSep 20, 2023


Wow, pretty big start to this blog today. The privilege of a lifetime! Seems like a huge undertaking. And it is…

Carl Jung said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are…”

And I felt that.

In fact, I would take it one step further and say that the purpose of a lifetime is to become who you really are, while using what you learn along the way to help others do the same.

This is what life is about to me. Me, learning how to untwist myself and all the dark and mysterious crannies, to unfurl myself into this life I have been given, sorting out who I really am, what I want, how to live, how to work, how to love, how to give, how to receive, how to grieve, while also processing and reprocessing all the trauma that has occurred along the way.

This is why I write. It is my give back. It is me using this lifetime I have to figure out who I am and then use what I learn, glean, realize and uncover, share that with you, so that I might assist you while you are over there living your life, doing the exact same thing.

Jung also said, and I am paraphrasing, that this middle part of life is to take respite from the ego who rules and controls so much of our younger selves, and allow the time to be used for the contemplation of our human existence, in fact, the significance of that human existence. And I feel that too.

Every day that comes to pass I find myself wishing more and more that I lived in the woods, alone, away from all of this life that I have. Which is a subtle violence to the absolutely lovely life I already have, and I am working on that (see yesterday’s blog) but what I long for is contemplative time, time to be alone, to wander in the Redwoods and allow the significance of my human existence to really seep into my being.

I want to use the rest of my life, sharing what I have learned about the first part. About who I am, and why I am this way. I want to write about how I got here and how hard it has been but worth every ounce of struggle I endured.

The privilege of a lifetime to me is being able to use the time you have left to contemplate just how very blessed you have been to have been born, to have lived, to have loved, to have the time to reflect on all of that. That is quite a privilege.

I am not done yet becoming who I truly am. It is a constant and never ending discovery that I attempt, perhaps feebly, to share with you. To support you on your journey of self discovery with the hopes that you will share what you learn also along the way. To me the most selfish act is to keep what you learn to yourself. To refuse to share yourself, your pain, your grief, your brokenness with others. Instead always keeping the shiny, polished version of yourself right there by the front door, the mask you don every day as you walk into the life that is really only being rented by you.

“Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of high courage flung in the face of life.” Carl Jung

YES! This is exactly what I am talking about. And he said this decades ago. So that helps me to believe that I am on the right path. This is what middle life is supposed to be used for, to take the time to write down the thoughts, reflections, lessons, insights of your journey to becoming who you are. To own your life, your circumstances and to fling them in the face of the life you have in front of you. To be courageous in your flinging of all that personality and charisma that lives within you. And to come to a place of understanding and acceptance with it and then with great daring, to share that with the others close to you, or perhaps not so close, to share the life you have been given and are only really beginning to understand its purpose.

To be who you are without apology but with understanding that perhaps this you that you are is not going to be accepted and loved by all who encounter you, but committing to remain true to yourself all the same. And then to share yourself with all you encounter in a way and manner that makes the world a better place. A place full of understanding and acceptance and love.

We are here but for a short time and we spend the first fifty years of our life, acquiring and allowing the ego dominion over how it all unfolds. Such a lovely place to be right now, where the ego lives on but is subdued. It is perhaps lying in a hammock under a shady tree, reading a book, allowing for this person who has been here all along, time for expression and to move to the forefront of life. To allow for the great privilege of this life, to become who you are, to unfold and happen. I hope you allow yourself this journey. I hope you share it with others. I hope I meet you on this path during this middle part of life.

Best kept secret? This is the best part! This middle life where you are not ruled by hormones or the ego’s incessant desire to acquire. This time where you are not so advanced with age that your daily living tasks are dominated by caring for your health and ailing mind and body. No, this middle part, where we get to contemplate the stars, the galaxies, the peculiar twists of self, this is the best part, it comes with the privilege of a lifetime, but only if you dare to risk it all.



Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out for more.