Sweet Sixteen….ummm 29 years later

25 Jan

Daily Prompt Challenge: When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?

Let’s see…I turned 16 the summer of 1983.  “Every breath you take” by the Police was a hit, along with “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, “Flash Dance: What a Feeling” by Irene Cara, as well as “Maneater” by Hall & Oates.  And as far as movies go, the long awaited Star Wars Return of the Jedi, Jaws 3-D, Breathless, Mr. Mom, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Octopussy, Risky Business, and Staying Alive, as well quite a few others.  

In the news, Following on from the start of the recession in the US Unemployment Rises to 12 million (the highest figure since 1941), and Motorola introduced the first cellular phones,  Ronald Reagan is our the president and the Challenger had it’s maiden launch.

Some of the television shows that were out were:  Cagney & Lacey, Hill Street Blues, Knight Rider,  The A-Team (had just come out)….And the Rubik’s Cube and Hacky Saks were really popular as well as Boom Boxes, and Cabbage Patch Kids (dolls).  Feathered Hair, Mohawks, big hair, and blue eye shadow, as well as the one side longer one side shorter hair cut. Swatch Watches, High Tops, Jellies, and big hair bows and Trapper Keeprs were popular. OHHH, and don’t forget the shoulder pads!!!! or the Crop Tops-half shirts, mid-shirts…. or the neon clothes…or the stone-washed jeans or the pants with all the zippers, or the legwarmers, thanks to Flashdance. AND OMG–the spandax!  and the parachute pants…

So now that I’ve went over what was popular the year I turned 16 I’ll go over what my dreams were and what I thought my life would be like.

When I was 16, I was on the newspaper staff at my high school, taking my first journalism class (and doing quite well in it), taking all honors or AP classes (the labels have different meanings now), I had a steady boyfriend, a best friend (or two), and I worked at a cashier part-time at one of the local grocery stores, as well as played soccer. I wanted to go to college for journalism, become a free-lance writer and a photojournalist…To one day have one of my stories or photos in Times magazine. I wanted to get married and have 4 children, and I’d given serious though to joining the military to help with college as well as the benefit of traveling. Oh those dreams. I was busy, slender, in shape, intelligent, pretty, and had no idea of how awesome I was or could be (not back then). I was shy and I lacked enough self-confidence. I was nerdy. My nose was always in a book, or writing, or taking pictures. I had no idea of what I really could do with myself, but I had dreams just not the oomph to see them through.

Now, I am 45 and it is almost 30 years since my sweet 16, and I know what an awesome girl that 16 year old me was–I just wish she’d known it. If she had known that along with the scholarship for tuition, she also could have gotten help from the VA because her father had been a veteran, as well as grants and student loans she’d have gone to college for journalism. If she had known…But alas, she did not know. The me that I became later, based on all the decisions I made along the way, knows.

So now, I am 45 and I’m a mother of a 24 year old  son and a 21 year old daughter (who are both in college), a grandmother to a beautiful 6 month old little boy, and I recently got married after having been divorced for about 19 years and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I hope to begin photography classes in February or March, and I am writing (though it’s had a rough start). I love my family and friends. I enjoy life.

I have noticed, however, that some of the 80’s fads have come back and it makes me feel really old and at the same time makes me smile. Most days, however, I don’t feel anywhere close to 45–I’m a young 45. I am happy with my life and if I had to do it all over again I guess the only thing I’d change would be: I’d tell my younger self to think outside the box, to be more self-confident, and to laugh more.


Posted by on January 25, 2013 in 40 something, age, DPChallenge


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Sweet Sixteen….ummm 29 years later

  1. basijas2013

    January 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

    As someone just a year older than you, your memories of the era made me feel old. You sound in a good place now, so go get ’em!

    • Lissa

      January 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      My husband and I watched Back to the Future a few weeks ago and we were talking about when it came out…1985, the year I graduated from high school and he was about 7-8….It made both of us think about age for a moment. Normally, age isn’t really thought about (around here), but there are occasions when it comes up..Usually when something from a certain time period (like movies, tv shows, songs, etc) and then I do begin to feel old. But normally, I don’t feel old. 😀


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