When I was younger, I developed a love for jazz. I know very few twelve-year-old girls that spend their Saturday afternoons looking for Duke Ellington music for fun. However, I was that girl in the mid-nineties BEFORE my parents invested in Internet access. I would listen to my dad’s CD collection of everything from Duke Ellington to contemporary jazz. It sounds rather archaic when you consider how easy it was to find the video below. Thinking of that young girl reminds me that things really aren’t what they used to be. The life we knew growing up 15-20 years ago is vastly different from the world our children will experience. If I could write a letter to my past self, I would warn her of the road ahead. I would tell her of the pitfalls, dangers and potholes she would encounter. I would tell her to make a hard left at a bad relationship, to go to another school and to be more patient in deciding her future career. I don’t think letters written by some of my friends would be very different. We all seem to be nearing a crossing of two roads. The intersection for many is at “Adulthood” and “Regret”. I sometimes wish for a time machine to fix the past and erase my mistakes so that I may wipe away the memories that haunt my dreams. I wish for more time in the present to prepare for a future because of those things I failed to do in the past. However, what we fail to see is that the past has taught and shaped our adulthood, whether for better or worse. My past has taught me to be patient and how to recognize the seedlings of a relationship just not worth the trouble and time I will never recover. The trials I have endured and the setbacks I have encountered have made me stronger and wiser. So, although things are not what they used to be, remember they could be worse; we could be at this time of life without an iPod (or Zune) to fill in the soundtrack.