Onward

Written on the first day of my twenty-first year

For all my fear of regret, its actual appearance as a real entity is rare at best: I am always too distracted by the ever-varied and wondrous present to dwell severely on could have or should have been. Paths not taken are recognized as such, and sometimes sadly, but always with the understanding that there was a fairly definite reason a different path was chosen. But even beyond that, there’s little time to think too hard on it without wasting the precious present and time spent on the infinitely-more-appealing-to-consider possibilities of the future. Indeed, my fear of the limitation of opportunities as time progresses and anxiety about capitalizing on the incredible variety of life is probably part of what stymies this regret; there’s just too much else to think about to waste time regretting too heavily. The fear of regret staunches it, in some unlikely way.

And armed with this knowledge I will hence enter my twenties in full acceptance of the ceaseless acceleration of time as well as my own inability to experience all but the slightest sliver of what life has to offer, but nevertheless empowered by my resolve to attempt to make that sliver as large as possible. Yes, it is scary and leaves an unpleasant feeling in my chest to consider the fact that I am no longer a teenager, and never again will be one. But lying before me is a whole vast array of new possibilities, and I would be a fool not to throw myself at them with a vigor that will, in the future, forestall any chance of regretting that I didn’t do enough.

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