I know you miss those comforting times.
When the world was filled with all sorts of vibrant colors.
When you were 12 years old: riding bikes with your friends to your local ice cream shop during the sweltering summer.
When your biggest concerns were what you were having for dinner and what time your parents wanted you home on the weekends.
Well, here you are. You’ve made it to college, and you’re having the time of your life. But you miss the freedom of being a child.
Now, the world seems gray. Bike rides with your friends have been replaced with a summer job.
Now, you’re tasked with deciding what career you’ll stick with for the rest of your life.
Oh, and you might start to go bald.
You’re not alone in this fear, but aging doesn’t have to be a horrifying thought.
One day, if you haven’t already, you might meet someone who will change your life forever. Eventually, you might call them “partner.” Someday, you might get married and whether you want kids or not, you and your partner become a family.
You might also discover your vocation, or your calling. The thing you were born to do and are truly passionate about. The thing that gets you out of bed in the morning.
Whatever you envision your ideal future to be, getting there is sure to be difficult. But if it was easy, life wouldn’t be as rewarding.
The meaning of life is measured by the amount of yourself you’ve invested in it, and difficulty makes us stronger people as we get older.
You and your partner might get into arguments from time to time, but it won’t matter if you love them all the same.
Your children may eavesdrop on your arguments, and you might feel guilty having presented yourself in a negative way. This will bring your children closer together as they get older. They’ll form a bond stronger than steel.
Eventually they’ll have children of their own, and you’ll watch the process of life unfold from the outside looking in.
One day, your old, achy self will sit in a reclining chair as you watch your grandkids laugh and play. You’ll take a look around at the wonderful family you’ve helped create, and that’s when you’ll feel true fulfillment.
Why fear old age when we’ve only just begun our stories? We may think 18 or 20 or — god forbid — 22 is old, but we’ve only scratched the surface of what life holds for us. We have time to figure out our careers and to find our partners. Maybe you want to stay single and focus on your career, which is also a viable option. You may not want kids which will save you money and allow you to focus on your personal goals.
The future doesn’t exist yet. Your life can unfold in any way you want it to. You are in full control of your own destiny.
That’s the beauty of getting older. They say life is short, but we’ve got plenty of time on our hands to decide how it all plays out. As human beings we fear the unknown, but embracing the twists and turns that life throws at us can turn our fear into excitement.
Relax, take a deep breath. We’ve got wild rides ahead of us all. tRather than lament our fates, let’s look forward to the beauty that awaits us.
Dylan Greco is the opinion editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org