I've been thinking a lot lately, now that I feel so fired up about life in general, how I've kind of wasted my life so far. In 17 1/2 years what have I done? Either for myself or the world? I haven't helped to save a forest, or feed the homeless, or bring down civilization, or learn to be completely confident in myself, or paint a picture on canvas, or write a book. I haven't opened a business or got a job. I think of all the things I could have done throughout my teenage years as an unschooler, and it doesn't seem I've done any of them! Then my other (perhaps more rational) side gets a bit of a voice. Before my teenage years, I lived as I believe a child should. Playing lots, doing "school" type stuff only when I was interested and found it fun (except for a few times we attempted learning math from a textbook. It didn't work.). During my early teens, I became extremely reserved. Would I have been able to work either in my own or anothers business where I had to deal with the public? The answer is a resounding no. And I don't think I even knew that the trees (or world) needed saving! I mean my mother talked about environmental stuff sometimes, but it didn't really register with me. I had to come to the realization that the world needs help myself. In the past few years I've gotten over a lot of fears and reservations to do with people. Although I'm certainly not an extrovert, I'm much more comfortable in social situations, and much more comfortable with my own beliefs and opinions. I know the direction I want to head in life. Or, more accurately, that I don't want to head in a "direction" at all! I'll go where life takes me, confident that what I believe in is right, or at the very least that I'm following what I believe with the best intentions. I know to always question and never think I know it all. I know that learning never stops, that the world needs help, and that I want to do everything in my power to help. Perhaps my mother is right, I am just a bit of a "late bloomer". But now I feel as if I'm ready to emerge from my cocoon, to try new things, as scary as they may be, and to follow the path I want to in life, not the one my father wants me to. Perhaps if I'd gone to school instead, I would be completely lost, unknowing of myself, and still mired in the depression I not so long ago cast off. Perhaps, if I've gotten to this point, I haven't wasted any time at all. Perhaps this is just the beginning.