There will be one night when you stay up writing your novel in hopes of creating a best-seller to save you from your 9-5, and there will be one morning where you wake before the alarm and brave Monday with a can-do fierceness that does not question your current career.
There will be dreamy hours spent counting the miles and minutes between cities on digital (possibly fold out) maps, and the same amount of time will be spent in the corner of yours or someone else’s couch with a glass of wine thinking, This is such a great life I have right here.
Sometimes you will miss your long lost loves and other days you will bid them good riddance and laugh at how you could have ever wound up together, and some days you will feel both emotions in the span of morning-to-night. Other days, none of this steps foot into your mind.
On possessing youth: in the beginning of this decade it goes unquestioned, in the middle it is a question unnecessarily asked–you are still young but sense the approach of a certain age–and at the end it is only youth compared to those born before you. None of this is good or bad; your age is what you make of it as much as you can, and the rest is a set of societal norms that you don’t have time to change. Bow down before them; let them roll over your back in the way of diving under an ocean wave, coming up on the other side to find it much calmer the further out you get.
You will know yourself. And then you will change and not know, adapt, set your course, and change again. This is like sailing after moving islands. The winds will do their work on your vessel; keep tight hold of your sails and maneuver to avoid the storms as best you can. Brave the storms you must face. A crew member or two, not usually more than three, is useful in inclement weather.
Stay careful not to label changing your mind and quitting one path to pursue another avenue as “giving up” nor “failure.” Unavoidable failure is not the same as controlled failure if we have done what we can, and keep in mind that our best now is not what our best will be in 1, 5 and 10 years.
To retrospectively judge our younger selves is a disservice (unless you mean to learn from it, but it is important only to dwell long enough to learn and not dwell for the sake of regret). We have been naive and ignorant, but these are not sins we controlled nor will we ever completely master. We do our best with what we know at the time. We share similar mistakes just as we share this human experience, and this is a history that alone and together we can forgive and, more importantly, embrace and celebrate.
(first written August 14, 2014)