It takes little time for everything to go wrong. That’s why we all have parents — or those parent-like authority figures. It is to think out the immediate consequences for us when we are still caught up in the throes of youth. It is only when you reach that threshold of a fully functioning adult brain that you get hit with reality at all those bad decisions you made.
Mistakes are easy to make, and in many cases, mistakes are subjective. Maybe your triumph is an utter failure in someone else’s eyes. Maybe those little mistakes that you make every single day aren’t just little mistakes, but a buildup of a feeling that you are an imposter, you’ve always been an imposter, and that situation isn’t likely to change. You are supposed to learn from it, but if there’s no one there to point out an obvious lesson, how long does it take to register? Are you going to pivot in your youth, or are you going to spend a couple decades figuring out which one of those tiny mistakes should have changed your mind? Will it ever be too late?
Maybe we all have a death wish, but only if the outcome is not dying. You can’t convince a kid that death is a thing, a real thing. It only registers as an abstract that is too far away to grasp, like a pool of prop blood on a movie screen. There may be a few near misses in youth, but close calls don’t always equal wakeup calls. And should it? Should we always live our lives as if something bad is coming to get us? Should we fear danger around every corner? It’s not an easy decision to make. Sometimes complacency comes from routine, and sometimes the fear won’t come until something bad happens. But we always blame the youthfulness of the recipient of a dose of bad luck, don’t we? It’s because they were inexperienced, it is because they were not paying closer attention.
When you’re inside of it, that invincibility of the young, being scared of the real stuff is rare. It’s more likely you’re scared of the wrong words, or the wrong looks. The wrong attitude could leave you friendless and hopeless, but a real fear, that’s just some scare tactic to keep you from having any fun. And when there is strength in numbers, fearlessness bursts from the center and spreads its rays to bring light into the darkness.