It is said that forewarned is forearmed. With this in mind the following is an introduction to the hurdles one can expect to jump from the age of fourteen onwards until love or wisdom or both rescue you. Some points will only or mainly apply to either boys or girls.
If you are not in a loving or stable relationship it is likely you will be under pressure to have an abortion. Think very carefully about this since a significant number of women who do terminate their pregnancy regret their decision and this can emotionally undermine the quality of life thereafter. Adoption is an alternative, as is loving an unwanted child.
You might hear someone say that this was fine for them, but like a gambler, you will rarely hear of when they lose. You might also think in terms of just once. A gambler finds it hard to stop gambling. Likewise, for those who explore this often exploitative and loveless world, be very careful in considering the consequences of your actions and whether you have the strength to walk away from a habit that could undermine your very being.
It might help to consider first impressions or immediate intuitive responses rather than think too much. It is often impossible to see what the implications are, for better or worse. So to some extent, faith and trust in another begins in such fragile moments. Who do you trust? Who do you want to marry? Do you want to marry? Why or why not? Follow your star and do not unduly fret about any other issues.
Do not be overly concerned about a career until you are at least 24 years. Many might disagree but this is my advice.
The best time to experiment and explore is when you are most adaptable to things not working out as planned and this is usually when you are still a teenager or even in early to mid-twenties. There is plenty of time to worry later in life about what you should be doing. Walk across Spain or Europe or fly a kite in Japan. Do something different and exciting if at all possible. Otherwise develop a skill or read a few classic books in the garden. If you do not have a garden visit a park and if you cannot afford a book go to a public library.
If you feel so inclined pray about what to do. Prayer is far better than despair.
In English society this is usually an acceptable drug but a drug it is and can often be addictive. It also costs a lot of money so be careful on how much you drink at an early age for old habits die hard – pun intended. Decisions made while drunk will often be difficult to understand afterwards and while this can be fun there may come a time when such a thing has devastating consequences. Incidentally, others might spike your drink in public places.
I have met a few people who were able to operate as efficiently as anyone else, even though they had a drug habit, but they are very few in number and the costs of buying drugs and the people you will meet are inclined towards ill fortune and an uncertain future.
Research the subject and the effects on lungs over a period of time. Look at the photographs of lungs of people who have smoked and died of lung cancer. If possible, read their stories. Then decide. If you still want to go ahead – good luck. You’ll need it.
I once met a man who had gambled his family home and car over a game of cards. The keys he held were apparently flung on the table amongst the cards as a symbol of both. He lost. Someone must have won but what they gained was at the cost of human misery and addiction. Gambling is better left alone. But if you can walk away from betting on occasional small stakes, enjoy the risk.
It is unlikely you will still know most of your friends in the distant future. Some will move or emigrate. Others will marry or divorce. Some will remain where they are or you might go elsewhere. Some will encourage you. Others will listen and say nothing. Spend more time with those who encourage you unless you particularly like to help and encourage others.
Unless you are lucky to have parents with exceptional insight and understanding it is possible that not all of their ideas or suggestions should be accepted. For example, parents who drink too much might have a muddled understanding of what is in your best interests. And some parents might be incapable, for whatever reason, of acting in your best interests. Usually, however, parental advice, if it arrives, is well meaning and worth considering. If in doubt find a quiet place such as a church to contemplate further.
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. Find peace and find forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others. If you cannot find forgiveness, pray for it. Without forgiveness we live in a barren world and it is worth waiting for. Impatience might compete for your attention but love is patient and kind.
These opinions are published because I would have found something like this useful for making what I consider to be more informed or better decisions in my formative years. Not all these issues have affected or concerned me, but I have learnt a lot over the years and so thought it better to advise than not. Some will disagree and that is their right.
© [Gary Ross] and [Mosaicross], [From 2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this blog and/or photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Gary Ross] and [Mosaicross] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.