When I was 20 – Not Such a Very Good Year


After reading about my misadventure under the hot tropical sun (see last post), my good friend Mago  politely reminded me that I was not twenty anymore.  This was, of course, news to me.  Not twenty anymore?!?!  When did that happen?  I don’t remember receiving a memo!

After my knee-jerk indignation subsided, I did face the fact that I am 49 this year and my body may not be as capable of taking on as much abuse as my younger self.   Interestingly, my mind has not changed that much.  Looking back to when I was 20, I realised that back then I had subjected myself to the opposite of heat stroke, – hypothermia in an adventure on the rolling hills of the Lake District (which I related previously).

My 20 year old self was also full of the reckless abandon of youth and constantly putting myself in harm’s way.  My body has grown older but I think that my mind remains as reckless and I have failed to gain the wisdom of time.

If I were to stand next to my 20 year old self, I would probably make the following observations;

  1. My goodness……. I was almost skin and bones (poor, starving student).  I am almost double what I was then.
  2. What a nerd!  I had the glasses, the notepad, the multiple pens and rulers in my shirt pocket and I wasn’t even doing engineering.
  3. My attire was basically tattered jeans and T-shirts.
  4. I still held on to childish things.  e.g.  Snoopy memorabilia.  Now this is a bit of a paradox.  On one hand, people often found me mature beyond my years in my perception of issues but I had a lot of childish behaviors.
  5. I’d tell myself to “grow up”.
  6. I was depressed and lacking in self confidence.  Boy, was I a nut job.

I guess overall, I am happier with who I am now than I was then……except, and there is always the big “except”, ………except I wish I was as scarecrow thin as I was back then when I was 20.

And now for something different but not unrelated.  This is the wonderfully poignant Frank Sinatra song, “It was a very good year” sung here as a duet with Robbie Williams.

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16 thoughts on “When I was 20 – Not Such a Very Good Year”

  1. Haha … yes, I can relate to this … but, you know what, I wouldn’t like to be 20 again … boy, was I dumb … mind you thinking about it … if I stood next to myself now and onlooker would probably name us “Dumb And Dumber” …

    … one thing I can say though – I did it my way …

  2. I don’t understand about the Snoopy stuff. Am I not supposed to have all this Snoopy stuff because I am 50? Heck I even sleep with a plush Snoopy. Last year I put Snoopy Christmas stickers on the envelopes of the Christmas cards I sent out. I love Snoopy. Snoopy is good.

  3. None of us are getting any younger… but 49, I didn’t know squirrels could live that long… I wonder what the lifespan of squirrels is on average anyway ?

  4. We all are getting older as the alternative is not good. Never want to go back—once is enough .
    You are still a vital squirrel and a babe in the woods compared to me. Keep collecting those nuts.

  5. Graham,
    I did it my way too! That’s the bumbling, tripping head long, not looking before I leap …way!

    geewits,
    I still keep my Snoopy stuff till today and am fond of it even now but back then it was a bit obsessive. I had figurines prominently displayed. I took photographs of the figurines in different poses. I had Snoopy books everywhere and stuck lapel pins on my T-shirts. A little bit over the top, I think. I sang songs from the Snoopy musical too. Thankfully I have outgrown that and now I only do things like that for Buffy! A more “manly” pursuit, I think. Anyway, sing it one more time with feeling!

  6. Owen,
    Sadly, squirrels are lucky if they live up to 6 years; majority don’t survive the first year. However, if they don’t starve to death, get caught by a cat, get run over by a car, get shot by some squirrel eating hick or chew into some electric cable, they may live up to 8 years.

    Joyce,
    You are right. One shouldn’t live in the past. However, while my body ages and the knees begin to buckle and the joints begin to creak, my mind still wants me to “run with the bulls”.

  7. Mark,
    A mystery as old as age itself.

    Secret agent,
    I think we both are moving in the right direction…..like well aged wine, it’s only getting better. Well, almost anything is better than my 20 year old dork self.

  8. I still love Snoopy. And when I was 20, it was a pretty bad year…but I’m much happier now.

  9. Lol LGS I came recently to simular conclusions. You are so much ahead of me to realise this and that while you are a whole …….year behind me (in age)

  10. Riot Kitty,
    I think its good that we are happier now than then. Shows we are heading in the right direction. As for Snoopy, I like Linus best.

    geewits,
    It’s Snoopy the musical and I used to know all the songs……gotten old now.

  11. Some twenty year olds of today are older than me right now. Like thinking seriously about retirement, career paths and planning and such nonsense.

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