January 3, 2009
Albert Einstein once said, “The past is behind, learn from it, the future is ahead, prepare for it, the present is here, live it.” In that spirit, every choice is simply a step on the journey of life. As with any journey, some steps are large and some small, some reflect on the past and others prepare for the future. But every choice, each step, takes us to a place we have never been. Left of right, straight or crooked, forward or backward, every step shapes the future.
I stand on the threshold of independent life ready to take another step. The future is overwhelming, and every choice is increasingly important. Questions rage through my mind like an endless tempest on the open ocean, and I am the helpless boat tossing and turning with every wave. An unforgiving world stares me in the face, asking me if my preparation is enough to tame its toils. Choices of importance draw near with each passing day, demanding answers.

Facing those decisions, the immortality of youth is intoxicating, calling me back into familiar arms of protection. It would be easy to simply live in the present and ignore the future. Youth provides a safe haven away from the cruelty of the world. What is my motivation to prepare for the future? Society tells me that the masses will live their humdrum lives, die, and be forgotten. It says no one man can truly make a difference in a world of so many, that every hardship I have to endure and every choice I make is meaningless. The future is unchangeable. I live in an era that would have me replace ambition with helplessness, idealism with defeat. I hear that I should live for the moment; tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Despite what I am led to believe, I know the future is too important to dismiss. Each choice, no matter how small it may seem, has ramifications. Each choice takes me another step. I see my peers who are addicted to drugs, battle with depression, and even some who don’t see life as worth living. Using anything they can cling on to, they live in a world of disbelief and apathy, seeing their choices as without consequence, and life as an empty vessel. I, however, see this simply as excuse driven by the fear of failure. If only my generation would discard the notion that the future is unchangeable and embrace their potential to shape it.

As I stand on the precipice of the future, the spectacular possibilities engage me, telling me that my life has worth, and I can make it great. I am at the beginning of life’s journey with infinite opportunity. While the malediction of uncertainty may be frightening, my excitement outweighs my fear. I cannot possibly know exactly what my future entails, but I know that is of my own making. Some say these years are the best I will ever have, but this lie is unconvincing. Step by step, day by day, mile after mile, I cannot wait to see what that future brings.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

MariaMarie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 11:50 am
I was going through my favorites and came across this about 2yrs after i first read and commented on this work. Now a little bit older and with a little more understanding, i appreciate this work much more.. its not just enchanting as i previously said but its inspirational and i am very pleased to read these words :) It's very similiar to some things that i have felt recently and I'm trying to overcome my own fear of failure. I think you did a lovely job in conveying your thoughts within this a... (more »)
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 11:31 pm
Great piece!
MariaMarie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm
omg, I LOVE this! Realistic , the rhyming, the words, the quotes.. Enchanting.
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