Feb 8th, 2010 2:28:00am
It is said that our biggest regrets are not the things we did, but the things we didn’t do. The risks we didn’t take. The words we never spoke.
Almost every single one of my regrets in life so far have been just that. The things I didn’t do.
Believe that? Me. A teenager. By all laws of nature, I should be wild, impulsive. I should be out there doing crazy things and getting into trouble. That’s the image of most teenagers today, right?
Just. Another. Assumption.
There are many teenagers out there who have no desire to break the rules; no desire to cross the boundaries they are set. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, either. I despise it when they are called “goody-two-shoes” and “cowards” and other such names. They are brave enough not to do anything simply because everyone else is, and there is nothing cowardly about that. It is their choice. Their right.
I am not one of them.
I follow the rules alright. I keep away from most of the bad stuff. I don’t give in if someone encourages me to do something I am not at all comfortable about. But here’s the twist: I don’t want to. I don’t want to stubbornly say no. I don’t want to follow the rules. Not because of pressure from others. Not because of the names I may be called. Simply because.. I want to taste it. The freedom that comes with not being so rigid all the time. I have myself chained to an invisible wall, always stopping myself from doing things that, while I deny the desire, I really want to do. Always. Holding. Back.
How many of you are out there? How many of you have wanted to try something so bad, but held back? How many of you have wanted to say something to someone? A confession? Or something that might save them, or make them mad, or unfortunately have to hurt them? How many of you held back too?
Humans are strange, fickle, hypocritical creatures. There are those who encourage you to break the rules. To break the confines of society and carve your own path. There are those who tell you to simply be yourself, and no one has the right to judge you for it. And then, sometimes those very same people tell you, when you actually take their advice, that it’s not right. That the rules are there for a reason. That it’s better to follow those on the “right” path. That society expects you to behave in a certain way and you must meet those expectations.
Granted, some rules are there for a reason. They go without saying. There are things you simply don’t do. Things that are simply stupid and dangerous for either you or the people around.
But have you noticed? Every great man and woman in this world, living or dead, made their difference by breaking those damn rules. Those shackles humans place on the minds, hearts, and feelings of the people.
I admire most rebels. I do. Because they don’t care about what society thinks of them. They take the risks they feel are worth it. If they get hurt, or get in trouble, then so be it. Those are the consequences. They experience. They live. They say what they need to, they do what they want to. And I know for a fact that most of those who try to squash them do it more out of duty than desire to curb their activities. Because they know that they are the people who are going to change the world. Those who dare to make a difference now. To step out of their comfort zone every once in a while. The daring ones.
Many a time I have had the chance to say things I’ve always wanted to. To do things I’ve always wanted to experience. To taste, to feel, to try the new and forsake the boring old.
And almost each time, I held myself back. I am the controller of my chains, yet I can not find the courage to break them.
Fear controls me, and I know it. Which is why I offer you this advice, readers: I know too well the bitterness of regretting the things not done. I know the heartache, the wondering, the analysing, the inner berating and rebuking, the “What if’s” and the “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s”.
Have courage. Have faith. Take those risks you were and are afraid to take. Break the rules every now and then, as long as they are rules worth breaking. Speak. Do what makes you truly happy.
Break the chain. Carve your path. Live.
Know that you are the ones who will make all the difference.
Know that while I know that I’ll never be able to break my own chains, and while there may be others like me who can’t do it either, we forever admire you, and perhaps envy you as well.
Don’t hold back.