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College Graduate — October Memoir Challenge — 11 Comments

  1. Joy,

    Thanks for writing such a touching blog. It reminds me of my Russian immigrant grandmother shaking her head as she said, “You can’t put an old head on young shoulder.” The back story on that comment is that in 1915, when she was 15 years old, she ran away and joined a burlesque show. She was the oldest girl in a somewhat religious family, and THIS WAS NOT DONE. Within a day or two my great grandfather found her, though, as she was dancing the “hootchie kootchie”–and unceremoniously pulled her offstage. She got married three years later, and since she married and divorced my grandfather three times, my bet is that she needed to follow your sage advice.

  2. Joy, while you’re visiting 1983 and telling your 21 year old self not to marry that person, can you drop in on your 20 year old brother and tell him the same thing? Thanks. Oh wait, never mind, he won’t listen of course. Thanks anyway.

  3. About the marriage thing, I do think that 20-somethings in America still feel some kind of peer pressure to get married. I wasn’t married until I was 28, but by then I had been best man for four of my friends! It just started to seem like not my biological clock, but my societal-expectations clock was ticking, haha. You know, gotta get married so you can have the kids and get on with the other things that have to be done in life in an orderly fashion. So, I guess I would advise a 21-year old not to be concerned with order, sometimes disorder ends up working better! Now, I am glad I was single until I was 28.

  4. Nice! My wife and I had some troubles in our marriage too. After a ten month separation, we were able to pull it back together and work on the real issues. So I guess I would tell myself some of the same advice you gave yourself: If she doesn’t treat you right, she isn’t the one for you.

    Once my wife realized I wasn’t going to take any more… stress… things mellowed considerably.

    Thanks for sharing such a tender subject.

  5. Finally I’m caught up! I have enjoyed reading these posts I missed while I was at the FWA conference. But so many seem to be about regrets or things we wish we could tell our younger selves. I wonder why the things we’d tell ourselves not to do stand out so much more than the things we’d tell our younger selves, “Good move! So glad you did that!” Even as I wonder, I can think of the mistakes, but the good moves don’t come easily to my mind.

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  7. My biggest mistakes in my adult life involved leaving Hawaii at various times because “that was the practical thing to do at the time.” NOT! And the funny thing is, I never plan on moving back to Hawaii. The opportunities land in my lap as if Pele, the malahini goddess, is calling me home. Like you, Joy, I would mess up by being too idealistic. Needed to loosen up some there.

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