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.