Saturday, November 06, 2010

When I was 17

EFY - Age 17
There is a show on VH1 or MTV called When They Were 17. They go through different celebrities and talk about what they were like when they were in high school and what they were doing. Everyone already knows what has been on my mind lately, so it shouldn't be any surprise that I would reflect on what I thought my life would be when I was 25 at the age of 17, and how differently it compares.
Memorial Day - Age 17
Latin Class with Sabrina

When I was 17, it was 2002 through 2003. I celebrated the worst birthday/Thanksgiving of my existence. I lost my grandmother. I turned 17 as a sophomore in high school. I had a crush on Kenny Campbell and nearly every missionary that served in our ward. I drove an Eighty-Eight Delta Oldsmobile of the maroon variety, named Bessie. I took a class at Edison that summer and a teacher told me that my writing was good enough to be published (it's taken me eight years to finally start making that happen). I was also working at Edison and went to school there nearly full-time. My car was stolen. I got it back a few days later. I had my first kiss. I went to the Harlem Globetrotters. I went to prom with TJ Karns. I went to my first party where there was alcohol (I did not partake).


I became a senior in high school and applied for scholarships (of which I go two) and BYU (of which I was accepted). I took the ACT twice and got the same score. I tried to have school spirit, and failed miserably. I became better friends with my sister, Amy. I became less friendly with my best friend since first grade.
Basketball season

At 17, my main goal was to go to BYU, graduate in two years and then come back to Ohio - that is, if I wasn't married - and take over Edison. I very much thought I would be married. I don't think that I really sat down and thought about what the next eight years would bring but by 25, my 17-year old self certainly knew the following:

Senior Picture

By 25, I should be married in the temple with at least one child. I would be a stay at home - in a house with a mortgage - mother that had perfected the art of sewing, cake baking and and roll making. My house would be clean. I would be in the young women's presidency and coaching the basketball team. I would have long gotten my degree at BYU in graphic design - in fact, my 17-year old self had a highly different picture of what life at BYU was going to be like. Heck, she had a highly different picture of what her senior year in high school would entail. (So it really shouldn't have been any wonder that things were so different...) But BYU was supposed to bring scores of dates and love interests and experiences. And lifelong bosom buddies with which we would all get married at the same time and have kids at the same time and the kids would play together and we'd go on weekly dates with each other....

And if we needed the money, I suppose I would be freelancing my graphing design knowledge. My kids would be brilliant and funny and highly entertaining and little primary proteges. My husband and I would be attending the temple frequently. By 25, I'm sure I would have traveled outside of the country. I hoped that by now I would be well-traveled. At the age of 17, Italy was the number one country on my to visit list, so we would have gone there first...

Is my life different than what I imagined?

Yes, very.

I wish that I could say that though my life is different that I imagined as a teenager, that is is somehow better than I imagined or more fulfilling than that simple vision I had. Or more exciting. Or worth the wait...

But that's not really how I've been feeling at all...

In an effort to make this post not completely depressing, I do DO have to say that while I'm not world-traveled, I have had the opportunity to see more of the west than I ever thought. I DO have lifelong friends that I love dearly. The only problem with adult friends is that, while they remain your friends, they leave. Marriage. Grad school. Job offers. I have friends dotted across the world now, and while they are my friends and that is makes it hard to have things to do on the weekend and you're more playing "catch-up" then you are enjoying the craziness of everyday life and finding joy in the little things in life... Right, anyway, upbeat things. I have a job. I have a car. I have friends... And I'm fairly self-sufficient. I have a new vigor in writing, and am trying to get published and make somewhat of a career of it and for the most part, have received nothing but encouragement.

I'm wondering if my labels are now going to have to include self-pity, because I feel like this post was kind of catering to my frequent pity parties. Ach, oh well...


  1. Ha I'm the first reader with something to say!!!! Ha my thoughts as a 17 year old compared to now could be depresseing as well. I wrote them in one of those danty notes that you write yourself when you are a laurel. You will travel the world but all in good time. I would like yo go to Italy with you. I have Africa and Tonga on my list. Do you want to pick up a Tongan boy? You would birth 13 lb. babies, think about that:0

  2. Shelli,

    17 Year Old Me was and IDIOT! And, as most 17 year-olds, far too naive to know that life happens and has nothing to do with the plans we make for ourselves.

    I never would have imagined this life for myself. Never, ever EVER. Which is not to say my life is bad. I just didn't have the imagination to see the possible twists and turns that life could take.

    I think most people, if they're honest, would say the same thing.

    Lesson learned: Never trust the judgment of a 17 year old1

  3. I also never would have imagined life as it has happened so far. I'm actually glad to say though that I feel life has been much better than I anticipated. Yes, there is the marriage stuff and having kids that hasn't happened yet, but aside from that I'm pretty pleased with the experiences I have had and the friendships developed.

  4. Isn't that the whole excitement of life? You never know what's going to happen next! I thought my hubby would have been done with school like 3 years ago- and he's still chugging slow and sure through school, hopefully to finish sometime soon- but really I just hope he finishes one way or another!! But because of it taking him so long to finish- he has been able to better figure out what career field he wanted and is now in! There are usually very good things that come from the craziness of life. 17 is a fun age to look back on though- and church basketball ROCKS!

  5. Good post! I bet most people's plans have changed from what they thought at 17, mine sure have :)


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