A Eulogy for my Youth

I’ve been thinking about regrets a lot lately. Will I regret not going to prom? Will I wish I had given Chris a chance? I purposefully asked myself these questions when I decided to skip out on “the major events of every teenage girl’s life.” At the time these things were happening, they seemed frivolous to me—like they were getting in the way of the greater plan. But what is the greater plan?
I always thought the future was big and exciting and imminent, but just out of reach. However, I’ve come to learn that the only true realities are the present and the past: what’s happening now and what’s already happened. There’s no use pining for an idea you’ve created in your head. Like in middle school I dreamed of being seventeen and having independence, but now it’s here and it blends in with the mundane—exams, zits, insults from boys—no fantasy involved. I took for granted all the advantages thirteen year olds have. A creature of habit: what else will I pass over, with my eyes fixed on the horizon?
So that’s why I am regretting my choices. I’ve been living for the future, discarding the gifts of the present like unsolicited mail. Photos of what could have been—the flowing dresses and tame kisses—scold me in the voice of George Bernard Shaw, "youth is wasted on the young."

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