Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Twenty Years Ago...

Howdy Humble Readers...

I'm one of those sad people who, when someone mentions that something was 10 years ago, I still think of the 1990s.  Geez... ten years ago I was already two years into my career in retail book sales.  After my chosen career, which I studied and got a bachelor degree for, didn't pan out. 

How is it possible that I graduated from high school (go VooDoos!) 20 years ago? 

There are so many things that don't seem like they happened 20 years ago...
  • I turned 18.
  • The Barenaked Ladies released their first full length album, "Gordon" (the one with 'If I Had A Million Dollars').  I had it on cassette.
  • The war in Bosnia and Herzogovina was just cranking up.
  • The European Union came into being.
  • The cold war was officially ended.
  • Jeffery Dahmer was convicted
  • NAFTA was signed by Canada, the US, and Mexico
  • The AIDS memorial quilt was unveiled
  • The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series
  • Bill Clinton was elected
  • It was a no-good, very bad year for the Royal family in Britian.  Charles and Di officially split, Andrew and Fergie split, Windsor castle burned...
  • Mylie Cyrus was born
  • Windows 3.1 was the cutting edge in technology
  • Wayne's World, Sister Act, A Few Good Men, and Aladdin were some of the top movies
  • Color Me Badd was all the rage for those of us who love boy bands (and yes I saw them in concert)
  • Home Improvement, Law & Order, and Married With Children were all popular
  • I was working two jobs (Ar.by's and for my parents' office) to save money to go to college.
  • I bought my first computer... a 386 DOS machine, on which I played hours and hours of shareware arcade-type games. 
And one thing that stands out in my memory... I recall spending a lot of time pondering the fact that my bio-mom was married and had me when she was 18, and I felt that I was in no way ready for kids (if only I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self a few things about that whole topic!).  I thought I knew what the world was about.  I had some serious political and religious views. 

But I remember thinking that by the time I was 38 (which I will be in a few short weeks) I would be soooo much more certain of things.  That I would be established.   It's not that I'm unhappy with my life... I'm incredibly happy with my Beloved and my hard-won wee-lings.  I just thought I would be so much more sure of things, of who I am and what I'm here for.  And so many of the issues I was black and white on back then are now surrounded in a fog of grey. 

Twenty years is a heck of a long time, and a lot can happen in two decades. 

What do you remember from being 18?  Do you still carry that 18-year-old around in your heart?


  1. Man oh man, 18! That was 11 years ago for me and was when I was diagnosed with a missing ute. The rest of that year was pretty much eclipsed by that! I love this post though. It would be so nice to go back and tell your younger self stuff! Oh and I love your blog title, as a MASSIVE Tolkien fan!

  2. Happy Early Birthday!! I do still think of my 18 year old self...and think about the many things I'd like to say to myself. I work in a school setting and one of my students (3rd grader) told me that she wanted to build a time machine and asked if I knew anyone that had the blueprints. I laughed out loud. It's a great idea. If she figures it out I'll let you know so you can also tell your 18 year old self what you want too. :)

    1. Thanks! :) I'll be keeping my eyes open for those blueprints!

  3. The thing is, when you're young you think there are answers to find. As you get older, you realize there are only more questions to answer. *I just made that up myself, I'm so proud! LOL.* Yeah, my poor 18 year old self. Although 20 years ago, I was 16, not 18, either way I was pretty pathetic. I still hold most of those insecurities, but buried really deep. A total outcast in school, had to hide in the bathroom and/or library during lunch so nobody would know that no one wanted to sit by me (as if it were a secret). Tumultuous family life, to say the least. I didn't know that you should shower every day. I didn't know that clothes could be in fashion or NOT in fashion, or even that they should "fit." I didn't know that it wasn't okay to let people be your friend *only* when nobody else was around to witness it. I didn't know that it wasn't normal to consider suicide. I didn't know that leaving that awful small town in WY would only make everything infinitely better, that I would find myself, and real friends, and a good enough idea of fashion. That one day, I would actually be happy and loved. But to go BACK to that POS small town (think Napoleon Dynamite here, for reals)... I'm 100% sure I'd be treated the same way, and feel the same way about it. So high school reunion? I'd rather have knives stuck underneath my fingernails.

    1. Yeah, I skipped my high school reunion this summer too. I didn't see the point in going. And I wouldn't want to go back to that time in my life... I would just love to have a conversation with 18-year-old me and let her know that thing may suck from time to time, but there's a hell of a lot of good going on in my life too. :)

  4. I remember being 18 like it was yesterday... but it seems a lifetime ago at the same time! (I am 32 now, for the record.) I was absolutely TERRIFIED to go away to college, I was leaving home for the first time. I was upset about leaving my boyfriend (now DH) and my friends. I had such a fabulous time in high school, and I was mourning the end of that time of my life.

    I definitely thought I'd be more... I don't know... "together" by the time I was 32. I thought I'd have two children, older than my children are right now. I thought I would be sure of myself, confident, that I would know the "right" things to do.

    But alas, I still feel like I'm floundering at times. In fact, I am actually less certain of my direction in life -- because of course at 18, I thought I had it all figured out. ;) Now, infertility and other life curveballs have taught me that you can't plan and control everything. It's both the scary part and fun part of life!

    1. Yup... together is the right word for it. And it's what I thought I'd be by now. LOL. Who knew life would be so... life-y?

  5. Oh I so hear you...My nephew is in 8th grade and I can remember my 8th grade year like it was yesterday which would make high school today...RIGHT? That's my logic anyway...How did we get this old? We're not...and that's all there is to it!

    thanks for bringing back the 90's...oh how I miss them!

  6. Wait, wait, wait - 10 years ago was NOT the 1990's???
    I'm 27 and still have moments where I think 10 years ago was the 1990's!

    Hm, 18-year-old-me... was fairly spoiled. And I knew it, but in a distant sense, having never had to really struggle for ends meat. ("ends meet?" not sure which phrase to use...) I thought by the time I was 27, I would have at least one, maybe two kids, live on a little chunk of land with horses... that's still my dream, but certainly not one we will be getting to experience in the immediate future. I know there's still a lot of life ahead of me, but sometimes I do feel a little panicky that my dreams are fading away, further out of reach :/ but I also wouldn't change much of the last 10 years, they shaped who I am today. They taught me about real, simple living. About facing the rough times and surviving in a way that I couldn't have learned or grown if my life had just been handed to me on a silver platter.

  7. A couple of years ago I received the invitation to my 15-year class reunion. I was like, NO WAY! It doesn't feel like it's been that long at al. I still have those moments where I think, "hey, 2002, it was like yesterday, right?" Nope. 10 years ago. W.T.F.

    Sadly, I can't remember what I thought my life was going to be like in the future at that point. I'm fairly happy with where I am now but I agree with Pursuing Parenthood, I often feel like some of my dreams (like a lot of traveling) are getting further and further away...and that sucks.

    10 years from now? I am hoping that we will be living in a different neighborhood (less suburbia, more downtown), Ruby will be in school, and I will be working as an artist full-time. Crossing my fingers on that last part!

  8. I loved reading your 20-year flashback list! What a fun trip down memory lane. I'm only about 4 years behind you but I remember (almost) all those things so clearly. (I wasn't really into politics then. And even now, it's not my favorite.)

  9. Your list is amazing.

    And I am just a couple of years behind you...so that reel in the 20 years back happens a lot for me too.

    20 years back, I was 14.

    Let's see, I was just one year into getting my periods, and I still could not guess when I was having the red days again. (They were always regular, but I could not figure it still, then.). I was trailing in school, and not doing well at all.

  10. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite shows ( Six Feet Under) is "No one ever tells you you're going to be 18 for the rest of your life".


    The idea that I'm one of those 'reasonable adults' now is unfrigginbelievable.

  11. Love this post and your list! So many good memories. :) When I was 18 I was very into church youth group but dating bad boys on the side. I dated 3 boys from the same group of friends, pierced my belly button and headed off to the U for the rude awakening I actually had to try and study now. I don't know what I'd tell myself....... I like to think I ignited things out ok lol! Happy birthday my friend!!!

  12. Oh, the 90s. Good times. I remember the 90210 episode where Donna chased Color Me Badd around town. Heh.

    I so agree with you about being more and more uncertain about, well, everything as I get older. Shades of gray, indeed...


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