Self-Portrait Tuesday: Amorphous Adulthood

Me and Kiki, the family cat, just after Christmas 1982. The state of my life: I was 19, working as a dental assistant, earning $2.30 per hour, living with my parents, paying my room and board, feeling alienated from my religion, and grappling with my identity. I did not have a driver’s license or a car. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, how I wanted to be. I had no self-confidence. I felt trapped in my life, which felt small and gray. I blindly inched my way through my twenties. When I think back on those years, they still seem bleak. Sometimes I blanch at how much opportunity was lost, how my gifts were squandered (or wasted away for lack of passion) during those years of narrow vision. But I cannot retrieve them, so I try to avoid regret; I’d like to think the struggle gave me the depth to empathize with others in similar straits. I’m deeply grateful that my life has changed. The 19-year-old me would never recognize me now, but I do remember her. Oh yes.

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6 Comments on “Self-Portrait Tuesday: Amorphous Adulthood”

  1. Winston Says:

    Glad you found you…

    Looking backward through regrets is as useless as looking forward through worry. Learn from our past mistakes… sure. Plan for tomorrow… absolutely. But live for today, which is all we have… Carpe diem, y’all…

  2. Colleen Says:

    Wow, I can relate to your post. I still hear my 19 year old self in my head when I’m tired or anxious or feeling trapped. So I try to talk to her the way I would have liked to be mentored back back then. It sounds a little trippy but it’s a little exercise that makes me feel a lot better. Yeah for our current strong empowered selves!

  3. Imelda Says:

    Look at the creativity that was gestating through that time. Some things grow quickly, and topple over, some slowly, and they live a long, long, time.

  4. donna Says:

    Huh. I’m exactly the opposite, at 19 I knew exactly where I was going and how I was going to get there and was ambitious as all get out. Then the world burned me out and now I drift in the stream – but it’s a good thing, and I’m happy for the most part.

    Maybe life just have to have different periods of activity and rest.

  5. Shirl Says:

    I think all parts and all ages of ourselves are necessary to make us us! *smile*

  6. katherine Says:

    . . . you weren’t lost . . . you were percolating for the life that lay before you . . . 🙂