Thirty Years Ago,



Let’s go back 30 years to ..1982.  Had to count on my fingers for a moment.


A strange number to decide to go back?  Well not really because 30 is a round number, a milestone number in terms of age. which is not necessarily the discussion.  I am not seriously going to try to fool you into thinking 30 years ago is when I was fear


Even if it sounded like a good idea I kinda blew it for myself more than once telling you how old I am.


Thirty years ago I was a 12 yo girl, right on the verge of turning 13.  Just as I am now right on the verge of turning 43..although that is really no big deal.  Except that , well nevermind there is nothing too special about 43.  It’s the 12 to 13 yo girl that I wanted to point out.


Do you remember turning 13?  Finally being  teenager?  I have a picture in my mind of my friends and me at my birthday party right before school started.  I can see it clear as day, and when I look at that picture, or summon it up in my head, I know exactly what I was thinking.


Cool.  I am 13, and this is my year.  And does this match?  I have no idea what shoes to wear with it…  it’s all good when I can go barefoot but what should I wear with it when I go to school?



Why do you suppose we feel like we should feel different when we wake up on the morning of our birthdays?  When you are a kid too, you think how could anybody forget a birthday, anybody;s birthday not just your own?


I remember thinking that I shouldn’t (not that I didn’t want to mind you, that I shouldn’t)  play with dolls or collect stickers or sleep with my stuffed animals anymore.


And I am sure I wanted to shave my legs or wear makeup.  I can’t think that I wouldn’t although I really don’t remember when I started bugging my mom for those “privileges” .


I say that tongue in cheek because no one ever tells you that once you start you can. never. stop.


I know why they don’t tell you.  My 8 yo  – yes 8 is begging me to let her shave her legs and I tried to tell her that is not where you want to go at 8 much less 20….   she won’t listen and that’s why no body bothers to say anything.  Its one of those rites of passage that you wish you didn’t hit so early but too late by the time you figure that out.


I had started playing oboe not too much before that.  Turns out I was pretty good.  Could have gone to college on a scholarship.  I think if you had told my 13-year-old self that, I probably would have believed it.


I wasn’t all that into boys.  I was a late bloomer , even by back then standards. but I did have the worst kind of crush on the boy up the street.  Oh my,  I blush just thinking about the time I spent daydreaming about that boy.


Later in High School. or rather when he was in HS and I was still in Jr high, I would wait for his car to derive by and wave to him out the window as he went home.  He was all the girls crush so I never said much because I never figured I had a chance.


I never would have believed if you told my 13 yo self that he  would kiss my 18 yo self…


Back then and where I lived we still had Jr High as opposed to Middle School.  7 -9 grade.  So I was getting ready to start the 7th grade at a brand new innovative, state of the art, underground, solar-powered school.


It’s still there.  In fact it just had some big reunion thingy last year.  My brother, one grade ahead of me was the first class to attend.


New school, new friends, new chance to fit in and be somebody.  I never quite pulled it off.  Except that my almost 43 yo self wishes I could have been there to tell my 13 yo self to look at it a different way, then I was more than just somebody.


Kids are cruel and for all the hopes and dreams I approached my 13th year (which technically was my 14th year)  with, I spent the better part of it glad that my name could not be made in to a fat joke and lying low the best that I could even though I stuck out.  I, like most kids I am sure, hated Jr. High and my sophomore year was the best year of my entire scholastic career.


Um, not academically of course but socially and just plain I had a great year.  But that was still three years away, for my 16 yo self.


My on the verge of 13-year-old self had no idea of much of world events past Ronald Rea



gan being President and the Space Shuttle program.  I don’t know what the price of gas was although I do remember the energy crisis of,…earlier.  Mostly just hearing my dad yell at the tv .


I think that was normal, but I think then I just assumed that when I was on the verge of 43,  I would be aware of all that was going on.  That has come and gone so as far as worldly awareness, that girl and this woman are much alike.


But I was already somewhat of a world traveler, having been to England and Europe the previous year.  In fact, I spent my 12th birthday in Lucerne Switzerland with my brother, cousins aunt and uncle.  We were swimming in the hotel pool and diving for chlorine tablets because we didn’t know they were chlorine.  I could barely open my eyes at dinner and I have the gifts I received for that birthday.  I remember the hotel lady gave me my very own big bar of chocolate – I only have the wrapper for that…and that I saw lots of slugs on the grass that day.  I had never seen a real live slug until that summer.  They are fascinating, in a gross sort of way.


It’s funny though as far as my future I don’t know what my almost 13 year old self saw, beyond the next few years anyways, or what she wanted to be when she grew up.  I know when I was very much younger it was a toss-up between a tennis player (which I never played) or the Easter Bunny. which in a way, I have been.


I wonder what would she have done if someone from now went back and told her what the future held for her as she grew and got older and became her nearly 43-year-old self.


My dad tells a story of when I was a little girl, I think maybe one and a half, when they took me to Jersey Shore for my first experience at the ocean.  My mom says I had a bathing suit that said, “Future Miss America” on it and my Dad says that I ran into the waves full speed ahead and got knocked over.  Unlike most kids, especially babies, I laughed got right back up and did it again.  No fear.  No fear in the face of being knocked over again and again.


Would my 13-year-old self have been able to face the future in store if she had known what was coming?  Would she still have plowed ahead and got up laughing each time she was knocked over, if she had known it was coming?


It;s hard to say.  It’s not like I am disappointed at almost 43 with where I am at.  I never imagined it but I don’t think I imagined anything much different.


I’d like to think my 13-year-old self would have  possibly done a little better if she had been informed of some things, but then who would I be as I step on to the verge of being who I am at 43?


Thirty years ago I was a little girl on the verge of being a teenager, at the beginning of life and with no idea or even possibly thought of what the next thirty years would hold.  I mean, at almost 13, almost 43 is old for one, and so far away for two.


I never could have imagined.















22 thoughts on “Thirty Years Ago,

  1. Very nice trip down memory lane, my dear…. and may I say, from the vantage point of twenty years in your future, those questions will never stop, nor ever have a clear answer…. like everything else we learn about reality, what is, is just the way it is….. Have a good weekend, dear lady….. 🙂

    1. Should I tell you that when I first read this – Iwas thinking how did he get 20 years in my future? ok …sorry I sometimes amuse myself way too easily…, i really and truly understand now why everyone that I know if that was asked (family) what age they would go back to if they could siad 40”s – its pretty cool here… I hope it just gets better.. 🙂

  2. Your 13 year old self might have done a few things different, but no way shed have been any cooler, out a better person.
    Happiest of birthdays, and every day to come!

    1. I hear ya… from 13 – 15 and 17 – 20 yuck.. 16 was actually pretty good for the way it was…. good year.. when I was 16 it was a very good year…. sorry had to break into song there.. 🙂

    1. I did – thanks so much and I think so too… its; like being 13 or 16 minus the angst – I swear if they gave me a choice go back to that age or off a cliff – I would probably choose he cliff – ug… but when I ws 43 – it was a very good year… 🙂 Love you ❤

  3. I think it’s good to think back on our lives, because it can show us how much we’ve grown as people. I’ve kept a journal for all but the first nine months of my adult life, and I’m grateful for it. Wish I’d done it for those first 18.75 years, though.

  4. First time here, thanks to El Guapo! Happy birthday to you. Loved this reminiscence… and I would not be 13 again if you paid me. Bipolar and not knowing it, I was the “crazy girl” who was usually funny but would say things, anything really, that might be hurtful but I couldn’t stop the blurt. That… and acne.

    Tell you 8-year-old I only started shaving up to my knees, and I’m 55 now and still have golden, short angel hair on my thighs. Now I wish I hadn’t shaved at all, but what a rite of passage. I was also a hippie, where shaving, deodorant, and general hygiene where unpopular, but did that stop me? NO!

    Rambling, I know, but your post was so honest. Love the idea of talking to your 13-year-old self. I’m still working on the molested 3-year-old but hope to make it to the kindergartner soon! Love, luck, and laughter, Amy Barlow Liberatore

    1. Hi Amy – good to see you..:-) I enjoy your poems and stories and I hear ya about the going back to 13 and I hadn;t even added in the bipolar part yet.. I think mine kicked in at 17.. that;s the first episode I can def pinpoint and 16 is the last solid year that everything it seems now, was good… I cured 8 yo of he leg shaving for now – I was 14 btw I have been told – I let my legs grow for awhile then had her feel them – yea.. she is ok with waiting awhile now.. lol

  5. I enjoyed reading that Lizzie Cracked
    and I hope that your birthday was a real
    wicked and wonderful one 🙂

    Be good now, I always am…


    1. It was both – and I was born good – do I have to stay that way? 😉
      Now – I KNOW for sure that WP thingy orange button was not functioning or something because I answered all these comments up there and they are not here…. wonder where they went.. I mean I can be a flake but even this is a ittle much – what are we talking about like 2 + weeks of not answereing comments… or I could just say look I am, bad… 😉

  6. This is such a great read, Lizzie, a truly great read.

    I do remember turning 13, TEEN. I had a Filipino stepmother come into my life. As for an underground solar powered school – like, wow!

    It is great to be way beyond those years where it mattered so much to have a friend or two, at least, to be with. I do remember I felt very separated though, even though I had friends. I felt very isolated, in that no-one could relate to what was going on in my household. Ah, I would never, never want my childhood back, no.

    1. I m with you on that. I had a fairly stable and happy childhood as long as I wasn;t at school – yea… I read your comment and I can feel it like it was yesterday.. dammit.. lol – where I am is the best I have ever been – why go back bleh…and the school – it was cool for like two weeks.. 🙂

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