Twenty Years Ago

My parents came down for Sunday dinner and they brought with them a file full of old junk.  While digging through it I came across my promotion photo to Specialist.  Wow!  Talk about a shocker.  I don’t even remember the girl in the photo – although I know it was me and I know the day it was taken.  In fact, even though I didn’t remember the picture, I do remember having that picture taken.

Some of the things that struck me right off is how straight my back was and how tall my bangs were!  If I remember right, the year was 1990 – so it was 20 years ago – and we women wore our bangs as high as we could get them.  I also can’t help but think how skinny I was…it was three kids ago…but man was I skinny.  It also helped me to remember why I spend money every 6 wks to get my eyebrows waxed.  They look a little like dead caterpillars in that picture.  Although I was obviously trying to look serious – there is clearly the faintest hint of a smile at the corners of my mouth.  It was “promotion” day…I was happy.  Who wouldn’t be?

It was taken after my divorce from the abusive first husband – but before Clarence.  It was taken when I still loved the Army.  The girl in the photo may have my body, a few pounds heavier  and more wrinkly now, but we don’t share the same soul.  The innocence long since shattered, the pieces swept away.  I don’t know, maybe it is the same soul…just older and more tired.  Age isn’t always a matter of can be a matter of miles – and a lot of days I feel like I am long past the due date for a tire rotation and oil change! 

It reminds me of looking at my daughter, although she is more beautiful than I ever was.  She is turning 14 next month and I keep trying to get through to her.  Stay away from the bad stuff; drugs, alcohol, men.  You don’t need a boy in your life to be a whole person.  Be a whole person – then find a whole person that you love to share with.

I have that song Fifteen by Taylor Swift running through my head.  Great song, and my daughter loves it, I just hope it gets through to her.

“When you’re Fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, You’re gonna believe them….In your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team…Fifteen”

Somedays I really wish that life had a rewind button.  However, we would probably still make the same mistakes we made the first time around, or make even worse mistakes.  Either that or we would end up missing out on some of the best stuff in our lives because we changed our paths.  Nothing is coincidence…everything happens for  a reason.

I suppose that is why that old picture struck me so hard.  The “who I used to be” coming face-to-face with the “who I am.”  I guess it makes me wonder who I will be in twenty more years.  Twenty years ago I didn’t know that soldiers or leaders assaulted or abused their subordinates.  I didn’t know that the scars from that are yours for a lifetime.  I didn’t know that leadership would cover up and brush things like that under the rug.  I didn’t know that when you turn for help – everyone else turns their backs.

Maybe the “true believer” in me is still hoping that in twenty more years…those things will be gone forever.  That there will be no more victims that need to learn to be survivors.  Maybe the young soul in that picture is still inside somewhere – praying for the best…but knowing that she will probably never see that day.



Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Twenty Years Ago”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    Dear Joan,
    Still can’t believe the wee one is going to be 14. WOW! Remember, we met just a little more than a month after she was born. Time has flown, and yet dragged!

    About going back and changing things, I always tell my mom that I wouldn’t change a single moment of my past. Not the rapes, or the sexual harassment. Those things helped shape me into the awesome (yeah, I know I am awesome) person that I am today. Just like it has you. We have only blossomed, the withering part is over-I hope. But had we not gone through what we did, how could we do what we are doing now?

    So, buck up camper, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, but I am there through every pot hole!


  2. mode20100 Says:

    A+ would read again

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: