Twenty again

Sometimes I look in the mirror, expecting to see myself, but instead there is this woman there who undoubtedly is on the wrong side of 35. I don’t know what I’m expecting. On a good day, (okay most days), I go through life feeling like I’m twenty again. Maybe 30 if I’m tired that day, because 30 was an exhausting year.

Working on a college campus means this phenomenon occurs even more often. There I am traipsing across campus, feeling young and vibrant (running my tongue across my braces really helps the illusion), and then Bam! I see myself in a mirror and I’m just one step away from 40. (sorry friends who are already 40. You don’t look a day over 25, I swear).

But still, I’m on a college campus. Even better, it’s my alma mater, so there’s a memory of my twenty year old self around every corner.

The best memories are the ones that include John. Last week, during the MacGyver incident, I was walking through the Student Center and I passed “Stairwell A.” Ah, the memories. They are mostly G rated, but I can’t hide my smile every time I pass the sign that leads to that seldom used spiral stairwell where we used to say goodbye every day after lunch before we headed off to our next class. We were only going to be apart for an hour, but …SIGH.

Everyone knows the old cliché–“Youth is wasted on young people.” If only I could go back and be twenty years old again. John and I would have all the same fun we had back then, only we’d appreciate it SO MUCH more. Because we’d know that sooner or later life’s  responsibilities would catch up with us. Maybe we’d run off and elope, instead of having that silly wedding that was really more for our parents and not at all our style. Maybe I’d have gone to grad school, or traveled, instead of taking a fast paced, demanding job at an advertising agency. Maybe we’d stay in our apartment on Sycamore for 4 or 5 more years, instead of rushing to build a new house and pretend to be adults.

But I don’t regret any of it. Especially not my two “oops” babies (and of course our carefully planned middle child). Because at the end of the night, when their all tucked in bed, I can crack open a beer, turn on some tunes, look over at John and I’m twenty years old all over again.

And yes, I know that’s so cheesy that it could be the lyrics to a Bryan Adams song. Don’t hate on me for being cheesy. You know you’ve rocked out to “Summer of ’69” when no one was around.

John and I at Raven Run, Summer 1993. Photo by a young Mark Noll

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One response to “Twenty again

  1. Meredith

    Tom and I lived in an apartment on Sycamore when he was in grad school. I have such fond memories of that time…young, broke, drunk. Great post!