You change. You mature and take life into your own hands, refusing to believe the barrage of half-truths being thrust upon you by almost every person you happen to be acquainted with. The world can be cruel sometimes. It can gnaw at you, feeding on your darkest fears, consuming you like a parasite, until one day, there is nothing left inside you. Or it can deal fatal blow after fatal blow and knock you out cold in an instant. It can shove worthless advice into your face, in the hope that you make the mistake of believing it all and proceeding to your doom.
But sometimes, you survive. And once you look back on it all and laugh, you know that you've reached there. There are much more important things to worry about. Much greater losses to mourn.
And you charge ahead, like the brave warrior on his chariot staring straight ahead, not daring to look back. The winding path in front of you is uncertain. You have no map with you. No guide. Only yourself. And, in spite of all this newfound bravado, you can't help but feel a tad insecure. Apprehensive.
You have no idea how long you have. Or where you will end up.