19 is a weird age. You don’t gain government mandated privileges or responsibilities. You don’t get to move on to the next stage of life. You’re stuck between “adulthood” and the legal drinking age with childhood memories that are eons away and one year of college that flew by way too fast under your belt. You don’t know who you are.
It’s hard. It’s hard when your best friend betrays you. It’s hard when you let a boy break your heart. It’s hard when you still need Mom and Dad to take care of you but you don’t want to abide by their rules. No one seems to understand why you do the things you do, and it’s hard.
At 19, you need to understand and find balance in friends, forgiveness and fun. These are essential, I’ve learned. You can’t go without any of them, and you can’t let yourself have too much or too little of them either.
Friends are important because they keep you sane, and if you pick the right ones, they know you better than you know yourself. They remind you who you are. They keep you accountable, and they teach you how to survive.
Without friends, life isn’t shared. Life is lonely and meaningless. With too many friends, life is stretched too far and you can’t see where you end and other people begin. You lose yourself in the lives around you without setting boundaries.
Forgiveness is the medicine to cure all and move forward. Forgiveness is simple and complex, but it’s the least that you owe the rest of mankind… Because you’re messed up too. Forgiveness means looking at someone as beautiful, despite the lessons they’ve learned and the hard times they’ve endured.
Without forgiveness, life isn’t shared. Closure isn’t reached and communication is nonexistent. Nothing is learned. If you forgive too easily, you become weak. You’re obligated to others and you lose yourself in the pain that makes them who they are. You can’t forgive people who haven’t even forgiven themselves.
Like beauty, fun is in the eye of the beholder. Each person defines fun differently, but it is essential nonetheless. Fun is the reason to smile and the reason to hang on to memories. Fun is the human experience done right.
Without fun, life isn’t shared. Memories aren’t made and you don’t find meaning. Too much fun constitutes for a messy existence and only allows room for here and now, it doesn’t care about yesterday or tomorrow. Too much fun prevents you from learning anything.
The thing about friends, forgiveness and fun is that they’re all essentially the same. Your friends and the way you forgive them between all of the moments of fun makes you who you are. And at 19… That’s what it’s all about.