Today my son and I were watching an old sitcom and I looked up the date it originally aired. I was 22 – the same age as my son on the couch beside me. Weird.
In the moment, I felt like me being 22 could have been yesterday. I thought – I feel 22. But is that true?
I reflected back on early 20s. Who was that girl? I don’t recognize her and I certainly don’t feel like her.
I was scared and insecure – yet tried to show confidence and bravado. I desperately wanted to be loved and accepted – but had no idea that needed to come from within. I wanted to know everything was going to turn out okay, so I pretended – I didn’t have a clue.
I identified only in relation to those around me. I fit in by being a glimpse of me – but also trying to morph into whatever I thought others wanted me to be. I liked to be out because being in felt lonely.
Would I want to be 22 again? No. Not for a minute. But I’m grateful for all those feelings – for all that discomfort – because it’s helped me be where I am today at 50. And 50, so far, feels pretty good.
One day at a time – the only way to do it, right?
So many things are learned hind sight. I got married a couple of months after my 22nd birthday. Even though my marriage worked out after many years of ups and downs, if I had a do over I’d wait until I was in my late twenties or even about 30 to get married. I realized many years later that those extra years would have been better spent figuring myself out more rather than diving head first into marriage and having kids.
That being said, I’ve been able to use the knowledge gained about this experience to teach others, mainly my sons and nieces. I always tell them that life won;t be perfect. We just have to make the best of what we have at the moment, with what we know.