Being 18 at 32

Courtesy HAAP Media Ltd.It was the fall of 2001. Despite the challenges, I had managed to graduate high school months before hand and was on my way to college. A bible college to be a little more specific. I know, not the kind of place you would think of me attending school. But then, it was where I needed to be. Perhaps more so than I knew at the time. Looking back on it now, I can see why it was where I needed to be, even though I was not ready to be there myself.

The previous years had found me battling depression. I had become a cutter, thought about suicide more times than I can count, and battled hard with demons in my head. I fucked up at every turn it seemed. During my first semester, I would find myself being taken to a psychiatric ward of a local hospital to be treated for depression. I would be placed on meds, isolated by my peers at school, and ultimately left feeling empty. This would eventually lead to my medical withdrawal from the college and begin the long road to where I am now: A new college student at the age of 32.

Getting ready for college now versus getting ready for college then is a much different beast. And I admit, through the process of signing up for classes, the entrance exam, getting my books and financial aid, I have felt completely loss. It’s strange sitting in a classroom now. 13 years after the last time I was parked in a desk, I feel like I am 18 all over again. Starting college, starting a new chapter full of uncertainty, doubt, nervousness, and hope.

In other ways, I find myself much like the 18 year old me still to this day. We both had worries and doubts. We both had things that need to be worked through. We both have demons to face. We are both blind to the future and holding on desperately to the present. Sometimes I look back on the me I was then and wonder what the me I am now would tell him. But then I think, I wouldn’t tell him a damn thing.

Part of life is learning from mistakes. Cliche as hell, but true as fuck. If I could go back and tell my former self something, then I would alter my own life, and I wouldn’t be here now. What would I have missed? Drug addiction, drug rehab, devastating endings to relationships, being the devastating ending to relationships. I would have missed working dead end jobs for little to nothing. I would have missed homelessness and sleeping in a car. I would have missed an affair that almost destroyed my marriage. Shit, I may have even missed having cancer.

But what would I have MISSED?

My awesome, beautiful, sexy, tough as nails, big hearted, loving, accepting, dedicated wife. I would have missed my gorgeous, awesome, bouncy, bratty, standoffish, smart, wonderful, world that is my two kids. I would have missed the opportunities to do some truly wonderful things in the last 13-14 years. Moving to a new state. Getting married, having children. I would have missed the experiences of jobs changing, job promotions, job stress, and ultimate success and failure. I would have missed a lot of opportunities, not matter if they ended in greatness or ended in everything falling to shit. I would have missed what has made me become the me I am at 32.

So when I look at it, what would I tell the me at age 18? Not a damn thing. Because I am that guy again. In so many ways, I am the 18 year old me. Facing a lot of the same uncertainties. Battling a lot of the same demons. But this time around, I have the experiences of the last 14 years that I wouldn’t have if I went back to change things now. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad I can’t go tell my former self anything. I love the little fucker. He is so much of who I am today. And that’ not a bad thing. That’s a GREAT thing.

I’m 18 years old with the wisdom of 32 years of life. I can laugh at classmates who speak of things I have been through, or who dream of how great things will be when something gets done. I know damn well they will find out the same way I did. And 14 years from now, they will be glad they were the people they are right now. Because they will have learned, they will have grown, and they will have adapted.

32 going on 18, and the way I see it, things are where they need to be, because they need to be, and that’s how I wish them to be.


The Beginning
About The Geeky Nimrod

Husband, Father, Thinker, Geek, Mobile Tech Enthusiast, Writer. I am the one who.... Knocks politely and possibly not even loud enough for you to hear. Just another dude on the internet.

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