Newsflash: You’re not.
We were born into an age where everything is possible and nothing is impossible thanks to an unlimited supply of resources and information at our fingertips. As a generation with an alleged God complex, it’s easy to see that sometimes it gets to our heads. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. While there’s nothing wrong with dreaming without a limit there’s obviously something to say about walking around thinking that the world is at your beck and call, with little to no consequences for your actions.
With a catchy slogan like “live fast, die young” to live our juvenile years by, it’s easy to see how we can get carried away with the living aspect of things. But how often do we seriously consider the dangers of dying early? At what point do we realize that this seemingly fun train of self-destructive behaviour has gone past the point of no return and straight into troublesome terrain? Most importantly, when do we start to care before it’s too late?
The answer is: You don’t.
You go through life thinking that the world is at your fingertips. For the more fortunate ones born with a steady reservoir of confidence, being young induces a feeling of being at the top of the world. Nothing is ever serious enough, no consequence that cannot be negotiated. “The world is my oyster and I’m going to pay someone else to eat for me”. You zoom through nights with “YOLO” tattooed across your forehead without a care in the world. You play hard and you forget to breathe while losing sight of every other precious thing that you might be missing out on. Most of the time we hardly spare a fleeting thought for the people who will miss us the most as we move on further and faster each time.
But for every up, there is a down. For every kiss, there are two kicks waiting to happen right around the corner, whether you believe it or not.
No man is an island and at the end of the day when things slide downhill (which at the risk of sounding more pessimistic than I already do, it inevitably will) you’ll find yourself trying to pick up the broken pieces on your own. After realizing that everything has been shattered beyond recognition, if you’re lucky, you’ll look around and spot a familiar face, someone that has lingered around in the hopes that you’ll come back.
Often, it’s the ones who love you the most. Your parents, your naggy older sister, your sulky brother; the ones who are never really too far away, no matter how far you’ve hitchhiked from reality. The ones who had to painfully sit on the sidelines while watching you make your own mistakes; there are only so many lessons that can be taught in class.
So word of advice, don’t burn all your bridges just yet. Being at the top of the world gets lonely sometimes and you’ll need a helping hand getting down once in a while. Bad crowds are a dime a dozen but the ones worth keeping don’t come by everyday.