12:00:00 AM

"Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say 'yes’." -Stephen Colbert

I've been told countless times that I'm wise beyond my years. I know it's a compliment and I appreciate it. But I guess being 'wise beyond my years' is not always a good thing, because sometimes I forget that I'm young.

And when I forget that I'm young, I pass up on things that young people are supposed to experience. I've said no one too many times, and in doing so I let slip all the good things I could have enjoyed if I only had the nerve to take a hit or two. I built walls around me to shield myself, blocking out both the bad and the good.

When you're young, you are foolish. You jump into things without considering the facts or thinking about the consequences. You make dumb decisions you may or may not regret. You make mistakes, and they bite you in the ass. You hurt people, and you hurt yourself.

After a lot of blows, you either become courageous or you become fearful. My case was the latter. Clouded by fear, I shut everything out. I didn't get hurt, alright. Unfortunately, though, I also didn't experience anything new. I basically stopped living. I existed, but I was good as dead.

It's true that the young and foolish get hurt a lot, but here's the thing - they recover much faster because they're young. The younger you are, the easier it is for you to bounce back, so it's the perfect time to be stupid. As you grow old, your capacity for recovery decreases. Youth is an incredible asset that we often take for granted in our eagerness to grow up.

For a while, I forgot that I was young (and therefore resilient), but I guess I'm lucky because the universe intervened. Despite my best efforts to avoid pain, I got hit, and pretty badly, at that. And although I didn't know it at the time, I know now that the blow was exactly what I needed.

Okay, I went through some bad shit. But after the worst was over, I realized that I actually made it through hell and back - alive. I was scarred, but I was still whole. The worst has actually happened, but I was still breathing. I still had something going for me, and I knew then what I needed to do.

I needed to be young again.

And to be young, all I have to do is say


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