I’ve been thinking about childhood this afternoon. I’ve been eighteen for a few months, and it still hasn’t set in that I have no choice but to make my own decisions now. I sort of have for a while, though. I wish I could go back and relive the last few years of my childhood and tell myself my first instincts will only prove disastrous, but I know I would try to avoid everything bad that happened to me. And if I did, I would be an entirely different person than I am now. And maybe our instincts grow when we do. I’m a firm believer that teenage years were made to be wasted having fun and getting lost. Making mistakes are really the biggest component of growing up. So maybe I regret the choices I made, but maybe I don’t. Maybe I needed to make them to become who I am meant to be. And if I had known how happy I would be now, I would’ve gone through my painful teenage years a thousand times over. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not worried that this is just another high before another low, but I can’t think like that. Just take one day at a time, put one foot in front of the other and stop worrying about how quickly I will reach my destination. Maybe it’s not even about reaching the destination. The fun is in exploring the uncertain. Our motivation comes from hope of something great in the future; maybe that something great wouldn’t seem great if we knew what it was before we got to it. But when the time comes, it will be perfect. If it’s not, then we haven’t reached the end yet. And that’s just what makes life worth living: not knowing what to expect. How often do people’s expectations really come to light anyways? I have determined not to expect anything at all anymore. That way, there’s less chance of being disappointed and a bigger chance of being pleasantly surprised. I’m sure if I could write a letter to my future self I would, but I wouldn’t ask for a reply. Closure is meant to come after, not before. Plus it makes me excited to find out what path I’ll be on in five or ten years. Will I have a family? My dream job? Cancer? It’s not my job to write my own future, which makes it exhilarating and wonderful and terrifying all at the same time. Won’t it be exciting to find out if the chances we take were worth the risk? Won’t it be satisfying to see that we grew up to be just the people we wanted to become? Won’t it be beautiful, once we reach the final stop on the train of life, to see all that we accomplished? I guess we won’t really know until that time comes. And until it does, all we can do is live, one day at a time.