20 Year Old Me

by Ginger on July 18, 2013

in Becoming Myself

The thing is, I don’t know that 20 year old me would be surprised, exactly, at what I believe now. I just think 20 year old me didn’t think about this stuff, and almost-34-year-old me does. A lot.

20 year old me didn’t think about what kind of relationships non-heterosexual couples were allowed to have.

20 year old me didn’t think about gun control.

20 year old me didn’t think about politics.

20 year old me didn’t think about white and/or middle class privilege.

There are so, so many things 20 year old me didn’t think about.

I like to think I’ve always been compassionate, and able to see more circumstances beyond my own, and aware of a wider world, but if that was true when I was 20, it was in a blindly naive way that the me of today wants to pat softly on the head and say, “oh honey. You just wait.”

The beauty and the problem with being 20 (for me, I won’t speak for other 20 year olds) is that I lived in a world of total and utter selfishness. Even thinking of the world outside of myself always related BACK to me, in some way. It was wonderful, but it meant, and continues to mean, that as I grew beyond that 20 year old, I was forced to confront things I had never thought of before in ways I had never thought of before.

I think there are a few really key things that have changed how I view the world:

1. Living in New York
1a.(after 9/11)
2. Living in California
3. The Internet
4. Having a family
5. Getting older (duh?)

The world I see now is so much bigger than it was when I was 20. The world I see now is so much more complex than when I was 20. I am forced, have been forced, to look beyond myself and my experiences when I view the world now, and it has changed so much of how I am able to come to and hold the beliefs that I do.

So I’m not sure 20 year old me would be surprised I believe WHAT I believe. I just think she’d be surprised that I think about it all so much at all.


Prompt from Bring Back the Words, Week 5.


Tara July 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Oh, I love this! I love your honesty. I didn’t think about all of the things I do now, either. But I heard a lot of spouting about things from my (SUPER) conservative parents. I think the places I lived changed me a lot, too. I moved away from home to a place with actual diversity, then got married and moved a lot more. It’s changed me so much! Thanks for sharing!

Single Mom in the South July 19, 2013 at 5:32 am

I almost did this and linked up, but when I came back, realized I’d misread the prompt, so what I had in my head didn’t quite fit. That said, it was very similar to what you have here. Great post!

Older mom July 20, 2013 at 7:18 am

Loved this and so true for me in my 20s. I wonder how true this is for the people I see on TV. Are they really that passionate and have considered all the possibilities? Or have they gotten caught up with the ideology of the issue. Either way, more power to them, but I wonder

nicoleandmaggie August 1, 2013 at 7:58 am

20 year old me was just starting to realize that not everything is black or white… a lot of my 20 year old friends were demonstrating against things, but I was starting to realize that they might be attacking the wrong problems. Issues like the IMF or World Bank are very difficult to untangle. Immigration problems are complex. And so on.

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