20 years ago


I was reading The Pioneer Woman today, as I usually try to keep up with her blog.  She asked recently what your hopes and dreams were 20 years ago.

Well, I sat around thinking about that and given that I am 30, that would have put me at 10 years old.  I am pretty sure that at 10 years of age, I wanted to be a veterinarian.  I wanted to get married, have children, and live the “normal” life.  I wanted to do well in school and I tried my best to excel in everything I did.

Did I meet the hopes and dreams of a 10 year old?  Not at all.  I never thought that at 30 I would be completely starting my life over.  A life that was supposed to already be set in stone, and living the American dream.  20 years ago, I didn’t think I would be finalizing my divorce tomorrow, or that the possibility of ever having any children was slim.  I didn’t think I would be a month into a new job, or that I would have a roomie (although I love her being here).  I thought my best friend from childhood would always be my best friend, and that I would see her again after my wedding day…but I haven’t.

What I have done instead was learned a million things about life.  I have learned that when you don’t send your college loan papers back in time, they don’t let you come back.  I have learned that marriage can be a great thing, and it can also be the thing that changes you in every fashion, some good, some bad.  I’ve learned that laughter is something I need in my life moreso that playing with cute puppies all day.  I’ve learned that friends come and go, but while they are in your life, you love them to the fullest, and only by truly giving your heart away to someone else can you really experience life.

I’ve learned that the only people who have a spotless house are the people who spend all of their time cleaning their house.  I’ve learned that crying at a movie is just as fulfilling to your emotions as laughing.  I’ve learned compassion, and sincerity do not come naturally to everyone, and that some people have to work really hard at those things.

I’ve learned that people within my own life will never live their lives the same way I do, and that judging them will not change them in my eyes.  I have learned that being judged can change me, and that there are times it is a good thing, and there are times when the people who judge you are hindering your life and it is better to let them go than suffer what they can do to you.

Most of all, I have learned that only I can do what is best for me.  Other people can give advice, try to help, or hinder you, but it is up to me to make myself happy with who I am.  At the end of the day, when I go to sleep at night, I think I am a much happier person than the 10 year old me ever thought I could be.  I’m satisfied with that.


Where did you think you would be 20 years ago?  Are you happy with where you are now?

Author: Jill Stewart

I am a 37 -year-old woman from Arkansas who is happily married to a Scottish immigrant aka “the hubby” “the hubs” or if I am calling him directly “YO YOU!” We’ve been married for 3 years and it’s been a crazy ride, and unfortunately our finances have been beat to death in the last few years. We have two dogs and a cat, no kids. The Blog- What’ll you find: Financial Information as we try to become debt free My attempts at working and trying to maintain a home to the standards I like My adventures in learning how to sew Arts and craft projects Funny tidbits from my life including living with a Scottish person, the dogs, and other oddball things that happen to me. What you won’t find: Much on children. I don’t have kids and I can’t have kids. Recipes- I don’t mind cooking, but unless it’s something really special, don’t come here looking for the weekly recipe! You won’t find it- unless you ask my husband. If you’re interested in what you see, please follow me on Facebook or sign up for emails! Most of all, leave a comment or ask a question! I am always happy to hear from you!

31 thoughts on “20 years ago

  1. 20 years ago I was living in Hawaii. I never thought in my wildest imagination I’d end up in Michigan of all places.

  2. Your last paragraph, before the questions, sums up your post very well. It’s really us who can decide whether our lives will be good or bad. Great post, Jilly :)And to answer your question – 20 years ago I would be almost four years old. Way too young to remember anything

  3. heh, I’d be one. o.oSo I’ll say ten years ago, when I was eleven. I am married, which I didn’t think I would be. But my marriage is amazing, and I am deliriously happy with my husband.I am not in college, when I thought I’d be going into my last year right now. But I realized that college is not the right choice for me right now. I don’t know if it will be in the future, but it isn’t right now. I have a job I love, and do very well.I am very happy not living at home, which I thought I would be. I’m not nearly as stressed out on my own as I was at home, which I also thought I would be. Even at eleven, life was very stressful. Not nearly as much now. It’s different, but I can control it.I think childhood dreams are best left in childhood.

  4. Wow, so your divorce is going to be final tomorrow?  I think half of kids must have wanted to be a veterinarian.  I know I did.20 years ago I saw myself at my age now as unmarried and living by myself with all kinds of pets.  I got part of that right.  I have all kinds of pets but am not living alone.*sparkle

  5. 20 years ago I wasn’t here… I’m only 15 years old. This post makes me thinking of a song, “Yesterday Once More”. Remember the first lyrics, “when I was young, I’d listen to the radio”?

  6. What a great question and I loved your answers!  Your “new” life is gonna be great, you’ll see!

  7. Excellent post, and  very thought-provoking.  20 years ago, my first baby boy had just turned two, and it was just he, my husband and I.  We were deleriously happy and enjoying marriage and being new parents and had adjusted to life on the East Coast – we loved it there, and had wonderful friends and a great church family.  My mom was undergoing chemo for breast cancer, but she was still with us.  My parents and grandma came out to Washington DC to see us all the time, and we enjoyed showing them around.I never thought 20 years ago, I would be widowed six years later, my young husband dying at 33 and leaving me alone with the kids.  I never thought my mom would be gone.  I never thought I’d be back in Illinois, still alone with the kids, longing for companionship and marriage again, but resigning myself to single parenting, after 14 years of it. I never thought I’d be a school teacher!  I went back to college for that.  Never thought I’d be back in college in my 40’s.Life is so strange!  Doesn’t work out at all the way you think it will.  But you try to make the best of it and find some things to enjoy along the way.  Figuring other people out is indeed a challenge.  You have learned some wonderful lessons about that – great advice you have there.

  8. I hope that the best is yet to come to you Jilly!I was 20 years old 20 years ago, watching the Olympics held in Seoul,Korea. I loved Florence Griffith Joyner and Greg Louganis.I lived and worked in a Personal care home for the elderly as a cook….I mean dietitian.I was happy there and never thought of leaving. I got married and moved on,sometimes I miss it.

  9. Your post was recomended. That’s why I am here on your site. Must say it was a good one. 20 years ago I had been married 7 and a half years. With 3 kids and 1 more to come. Life was a little tough job wise. But we didn’t have marital issues. Have a great job now and the kids are mostly grown. I think the thing about life back then is I didn’t stop and enjoy the kids as much as I should have. They should have been my #1 priority but I spent too much time working too hard for too little. Yes I can say I am happy where I am now. But life is never peachy keen. We can make it better by prioratizing correctly. Family first, family second, and family third. Everything else is subject to change. Except God. I would have said God first but he should be intertrwined in all things.

  10. 20 years ago I was 8 years old, and yes I wanted to be a veterinarian.  But alas I am working for the largest retailer in the world and going back to school trying my hardest to get out of there!  I will tell you that 20 years ago I never thought I would end up living on the same street as my parents!  Makes it easy for my kids to see Grandma and Grandpa

  11. I was only two years old twenty years ago, so I doubt I had any ambitions that reached more than a few minutes. Instead, I’ll look at ten years ago. I would have been twelve and about to start seventh grade at a new school, a private Christian school.I would have expected to be finished with college by now, probably an entomologist, and probably single. I would have believed that I would have dropped out of college and joined the army. Nor that I’d be divorced with a kid. I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be alone far from home. I wouldn’t have guessed how much I’d grow because of being put through hell or how happy I’d be despite it. I wouldn’t have known that I’d be able to call so many great places home. I would have never guessed that I would find such wonderful friends online.The life I would have dreamed is bland, but I’ve had something worth remembering.

  12. 20 years ago I was one years old, so I was probably thinking that I would be potty trained in the future. And I am!

  13. HEY! I read PW too and I have yet to win anything. Calf nuts…..

  14. I was only 4, 20 years ago, but I know I wanted to be a teacher when I was really little.  So that, I did do.  But I know I also figured I’d be married and have kids and all that mess, too– I’ve hardly had a decent relationship.  I guess being a kid is pretty idealistic!I appreciate you saying that crying in a movie can be just as releasing as laughing; I can relate.

  15. I had a 4 yr old and a 6 yr old then, we had just moved to ARK at the end of 1987, so we had been there less than a year.  We were staying with my grandpa until we got our own place which was totally awesome, talk about old school.  My hopes and dreams at that time were pretty unspecific. I was having a great time getting to know grandpa and all the other relatives much better than I ever had before but to be honest I was so busy just living day to day and adjusting to our new life in the country that hopes and dreams of the future were not really in the forefront of my mind.  I really love what you have written here, I hope it gets featured it’s worth sharing with everyone.Love you Jilly girl, hang in there today and know I’ll be sending happy thoughts your way.

  16. Jilly, it usually takes much longer for people to come to those conclusions. Kudos. You will have a great life because you will make it so! Stay happy and NEVER let people rent space in your head.  Hugs to you as you close this chapter of your life and open a new one.

  17. 17 going on 18. Hopefully I’ll come into realisation earlier.

  18. I would have been almost 3 at 20 years ago so I’m not sure that I thought much about my future. I would say that I’m entirely happy with where I am now though 

  19. I love that you wrote this.  I really do love this entry.  It’s funny, how we have certain ideas and expectations about life.  We think things will go a certain way.  When I was young, I wanted to be a vet, too.  Life takes some crazy turns and some of them turn out to be blind.  But it is the unexpected that helps us, more than the expected, to become who we are.  Sure, life changes us.  I’m not the person I thought I’d be, when I was ten years old.  For one thing, I did not marry Joey Lawrence OR Brad Pitt.  *grin*  But, really, this made me reflect back on myself as a kid.  Thanks for that.

  20. I’m too young for the 20 years thing, so I’ll do 10 instead, and I am definitely not where I thought I would be 10 years ago, but I feel like I’m sort of where I knew I was supposed to be. Ten years ago, I was doing the same thing I’m doing now – writing music, and designing my own costumes. It’s funny, because I’ve never really looked back on it that way before, but I think the same little girl is still in here, loving those things, and wanting them in my life against all practicality. When we’re younger, we think we want the perfect life with the family and the dog and the white picket fence, but I think we all learn in time that what is best for someone else isn’t what is best for us. 

  21. 20 years ago, I would have been 4 years old.  I wanted to be a taxi driver then.  I think I need to wait a few more years before I can properly answer this question.

  22. 20 years ago hmmmm I was 16.I am exactly where I wanted to be.x

  23. @saintvi – Hawaii and MIchigan are certainly 2 different worlds!@VersaGratis – What?  I remember stuff from when I was 2!!!!  I am glad you liked the entry!@silkenbutterfly – I agree that SOME dreams are best left in childhood, as long as we don’t lose the childlike wonder to life!@Sparkling_Rainbow – Yes, it was final today…kind of weird.  It’s all a new chapter though!@Juanita_pingu – Don’t think I know that song 😦@storyslut – I hope it is great, and I am sure I will make it the best I can!@musicmom60 – I can believe your life didn’t go as planned, you’ve told me a lot of it before.  @seedsower – Funny how we can let others in our lives change us so much isn’t it?@bubbadirt – Welcome and I am glad you enjoyed the post!@sebravo – Interesting to see someone starting over in an aspect of their life too!!!  YAY!!@grammarboy – Ahhh hell does change us a lot!  Amazing what we learn from the tough times!@tinahawt – LOL, you dork!@keensandmerrills – Me either….She needs to give up the loot dang it!@ktandie – It’s nice to see you made one of those dreams come true!  YAY!  ….and I love crying at movies…damn it.@indigolady – I missed getting to see you while you were here. 😦  I wish we could have gotten together!  Next time woman or else!!!!  *shakes fist*@macphoto – I do my best not to let others effect me, but some times… GRRRRR.  And thank you 🙂@niez_cho – Sometimes you will only come to it but having it happen to you.@TheCheshireGrins – Glad to hear you are happy with where you are now!!!@Blue__Summer – My life took a lot of crazy turns at a young age.  I am hoping they will settle down a bit now!!!  HAHA!  Brad Pitt…Legends of the Fall….*drools*@Lost_In_Reverie – You are very right about a lot of that!@sarahsD – Awww, I am happy to hear that!

  24. @Southernlass – You have an amazing memory, I don’t Btw, Kelly misses you. Hehe.

  25. @VersaGratis – Nu uh!  He totally doesn’t!  He talks to YOU all the time!  *kicks you in the head for stealing my friend*

  26. @Southernlass – Hahahah. Trust me though, he did. We talked about you for a bit 🙂

  27. Wow this was awesome! I would totally post the 20 years ago but thatwould put me at…….4! So Ithink the only thing I knew about at 4 was baby dolls and eating sand while making mud pies. I didnt care about baths nor did eating my veggies matter. Life was easy at 4!

  28. That’s a good question.  20 years ago I wanted to be a sports announcer or sports journalist.Man, that feels like eons ago.Exceptional post, lady!!!

  29. Unfortunately, twenty years ago I was only four, and I remember next to nothing about what was in my head back then…my reasonable best guess is that back then I had no coherent idea of what I was going to be like in 20 years, aside from being a grownup.The only thing that at 4 I thought wouldn’t happen but wound up happening would be the loss of my father…he was always a strong man, somewhat distant though, as he worked long hours and when he came home he’d just watch TV and such…I never imagined at such an early age that he’d all of a sudden get so sick and die…Maybe 20 years from now, this question will be much more relevant, and have a much more detailed reply…

  30. This is a great post. This is stuff that I feel like I’m learning right now (well, except for the marriage/romantic relationships lessons). This blog actually makes me feel better about some of the things happening in my life.Thanks for sharing your lessons!

  31. I wasn’t even here 20 years ago…

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