What were you like when you were 20? What were your hopes and dreams? Was life good for you, and would you go back?
Tonight I was challenged by Lorna who blogs at Irish farmerette to reflect on when I was 20, and from the moment I read the prompt I could not shake those memories. Life at 20 for me was one of contrasts.
At twenty I was a student nurse living in the nurses home, hugely enjoying life on the wards and the many friendships I had made. I had bought my own car and was relishing my independence. My social life was busy to say the least, as I discovered that nurses really did know how to party.
At twenty I had a stalker, who was making my life very difficult. A man who followed my every move. A man I told no one about. A man who I feared, and hated in equal measure.
At twenty I had just returned from holidays. There I had met someone unlike anyone I had ever met before. Certainly someone who was not my usual ‘type’. Little did I know that that young fella was going to stick around. He and I would stand the many tests of time. His quiet strength was to make all the difference in my life, at a time when I needed it most.
At twenty my father was unwell. Within months my mom and I would walk into a consultants office on the ward, who would tell us that they had at last diagnosed what was wrong with him. Listening to him, our world would stop. He would tell us that Dad had Motor Neurone disease. There was no treatment, no cure. He would die.
Yes my life at twenty was certainly a life of contrasts. Despite the obvious difficulties I was experiencing, over all I was enjoying some of the greatest days of my life. Young love was blossoming, parties were a plenty, friendships were forged, and my life as a nurse was hugely rewarding.
Other than to have more time with my Dad I would never wish to be twenty again. But all the ups and downs of that year have helped to make me the person I am today. Those many happy days in the midst of sadness, have given me the love of fun, the desire to be happy and the ability to laugh on the darkest of days. Watching my mom, whose world was falling down around her, keep herself going and continue to make our house a fun and happy place to come home to is something I have never forgotten. Living through those sad, lonely, difficult days made me strong and surviving them has given me the knowledge that regardless of how hard life may seem, I can.
So there you have it Lorna, my reflections on when I was twenty.
Tonight as I type this I am reminded of a famous quote from A tale of two cities. I think it just about sums up my twentieth year perfectly.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”
And other than writing this, I am glad to never have to go back there.
26 thoughts on “Would you go back?”
me too, tric. i’m very happy exactly where i am now –
Phew I say, glad that’s over!
It’s all so far removed from where I am now – I could make up a whole lot of stories on being 20 but I just think I’ll pass on this one – another great post Tric.
Thanks C.J I think passing is good. Why go back? I am glad that I don’t wish to, it shows me that now is so much better.
Living in the now is the only place to be Tric – today is the tomorrow we dreamed about yesterday, I think.
Wow, a year of contrasts alright, sounds like it was a difficult year. Motor neuron disease really is a tough one. Not to mention the stalker sounding extremely scary.
I don’t think I’d like to repeat any year before I was 24, or revisit them. From 24 to now though, I’d be happy enough revisiting them, apart from some months from 2008-2010. Great post Tric xx
What age were you when you got married btw?
Thanks for the prompt Lorna!
I was 24 when I married, and life continued to be ‘difficult’ up to my thirties. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, and get as much out of it as I could, but there was lots of negative things happening, and that stalker issue was a major deal and had a lot more to it.
Thankfully it has been onwards and upwards since then!
Wow, what a year! No, I would never go back. I made way too many bad decisions, and I was too ignorant to know the difference. Even though there’s been heartache and trauma, I’d much prefer to be where I am now; wisdom gained and all that.
Oh definitely, wisdom gained. Those bad decisions are common to all of us I’d say.
Like you, I wouldn’t go back, not for one minute. Once was enough!
Yes hand on heart I say, ‘not for one minute’.
That was quite a year for you, so many ups and downs. Thank you for sharing those memories.
It was quite a number of years of ups and downs, but thankfully all in the past now, and that is where I’d like it to stay! Thanks for reading Charlene.
Heck no, I was miserable at 20.
Enough said. 🙂
At twenty, I was just graduating from college, living away from home, got dumped by the long haired “rock star wannabe”, began a relationship with my soon to be husband, (now my ex), my parents divorced that year, and less than 2 yrs. later I lost my dad. Not the greatest memories, but it certainly shaped who I am now or who I did not want to be. Nice read, Tric but I can relate to the sad times.
Oh dear, it sounds like it was all happening for you too in your twenties, and not in a good way. However like you I do think it made me as I am and a better person than I might have been.
Great post, Tric. I seem to be alone in feeling that 20 was a great age! It was a time when I had found my running in College, had returned to competitive tennis after a 5 year injury, was madly in love. I’m glad I didn’t know what lay ahead, especially the death a year or so later from cancer of that love who was so significant.
Seems that every life has its ups and downs, good and bad years. Twenty was definitely good and really the end of youth.
Oh I can understand how wonderful a year it was for you especially when you look back and know what unhappiness lay ahead. Thank goodness we do not know what’s around the corner.
That is so sad that your significant love died. I am so sorry to hear that. Not something you can get over easily. The lives of others fascinate me. Do any of us have an easy journey?.
Thanks Tric! No I don’t think anyone has an easy journey, as you put it, but some definitely have a worse ride than others. It is just beyond my imagining how it must be to be in a war torn country with all one’s family and loved ones either missing or dead. We have so, so much to be grateful for, in the overall scheme of things.
Powerful reflections Tric. I was twenty, only once, for a very good reason. Like you, I would not go back.
Yes but thankfully life got a whole lot better. Good to know we were able to ride out the storm.
No I’m fairly happy where I am now and took me a long time to get here..
I think it is good to know we are happy. I always say to my kids, ‘no one has everything, as long as you can say things are good enough and you are happy enough that is more than most’.
20 year old Don was pretty awesome, but they didn’t have Bud Light Lime then so I’d pass. Your 20 year old butt had a lot going on, good, bad and otherwise. Lastly, I ❤️ nurses. They sure can party!