What Do You Remember About Being 18?

What do you remember about being 18?

What brings this to mind is my daughter Grace is turning 18 in less than two weeks. Wow… already? I’ve been looking through photo albums flashing back to times we had together. I’m also searching my memories to see if there’s anything of value I can share with her about my journey to adulthood.

Can you draw any lessons from your days of youth?

Sometimes I’m amazed at how much I can’t remember, and yet some things will randomly trigger memories.

So if you’ll indulge me, I’m going to attempt to reconstruct my life at 18 to see if there’s anything of worth I can share with Grace.

When I hit 18, I had just graduated from Renton HS and was eager to pursue my dream of doing radio, which started on a 10 watt radio station at Green River CC. I got my FCC third class “radiotelephone operators license”.  During my time there I was a DJ, Music director, Program director and Station manager… endless hours playing radio and pretty much had no idea what I was doing. At least I can admit that now.

Most of my courses weren’t too brainy for me in college. Seems to me I took a lot of dancing classes. Also learned to write and shoot photos for the school paper. I loved spending endless hours in the college darkroom developing film making experimental prints.

Since our college “music company” (aka band) was minus a trombone player, I was invited to sign up just in time to travel and perform in Hawaii for two weeks. I’m on it! I consumed lots of Guava juice, got way too much sun, and met Michael Landon as he was attempting to relax by a swimming pool.

I also befriended a hula girl who sold puka shell necklaces at the International Market Place. For the 3-4 hours we spent walking & talking, she was about the closest thing I had to a girlfriend that year.  

I did a radio internship rewriting news stories for an AM classical music station, so I applied for a “press badge” from the Seattle Police Department in case I had to hit the streets. As far as I know I was the youngest guy to sit, watch, and report from the Kingdome press box and locker room at more than a few Seahawks game. That part was cool. Am very fortunate there are no known recordings of the recap of the game I shared on the air.

And then I woke up and I was 19.

Hmmmm, Grace. Maybe not much to go on as far as life lessons go. But here’s what comes to mind, that I would tell myself, if I were 18 again.

•    When you have passion and hunger to pursue something, that’s a season you can really learn.  
•    Sometimes later in life we come to realize how little we understood when we were younger.
•    Old people, like parents, were once 18, too.
•    Be careful what you repeat… you may not have the whole story.
•    You are allowed to change your opinion.
•    Most any job can teach you something you can use later… sometimes, what not to do.
•    Some mistakes leave more lasting scars than others… pray for wisdom, and seek insight.
•    Know that your Dad is just a man trying to do his best, and very imperfectly at times.
•    Know that your Dad loves you, always… and that God loves you more perfectly than any other. He knew you before you were born, and will always be there for you. There is no other relationship that matters more in life.

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  1. PrincessD posted on 01/23/2013 10:02 AM
    Thanks Larry!
    At 18 my dream was to work in radio.
    I never realized that dream.
    God bless you guys!

    John Dewey or Princess Diggity who is my dog.
  2. ElizabethS_1523 posted on 01/23/2013 10:26 AM
    ElizabethS-1523

    When I was 18,I was working at Subway. That was my first job. My dream was
    to get into healthcare which I am studying now.

    God Bless !
  3. BrookeS_3 posted on 01/23/2013 10:34 AM
    My father was in the military and when I turned 18 he got transferred from Florida to Washington. I had just graduated and had a very big dilemma. I had a family I could stay with until I could figure out a place of my own and I loved the weather-it was a true source of happiness for me. On the other hand, I loved my family too and they would be on the other side of the country I also had a high school sweetheart who said he would join me in Washington as soon as he could but I had my doubts. Back and forth I went, weather, friends, Independence, sticking with what I knew OR starting over, no friends, completely different weather but be with my family. I chose to come with my family. It was probably the saddest I have ever been to leave all my friends that I had shared my teenage years with and completely start over. But if I had it to do all over again, I would have made the same choice. I guess the wisdom there is don't be in a hurry to grow up and get out on your own and love, appreciate (a lot to ask of a teenager), make memories and spend time with your family. I now have three kids, a husband and a brand new niece and I know I made the right choice.
  4. RebekahG_3 posted on 01/23/2013 11:24 AM
    When I was 18, I was engaged to be married and so eager to have children and be a family. Through, the grace of God, our marriage is still intact, and we have 5 loving children, but I realize now that I was WAY too young. I didn't have a chance to know who I really was, or have the education to support myself and those I love. But, truthfully, I'm still thankful for my life and the way it worked out. I went back to college when my oldest child started college, and my youngest started kindergarten. God has blessed us so much.
    1. Larry Lomax posted on 01/24/2013 05:50 AM
      @RebekahG_3 Getting to know who we are doesn't instantly happen, does it.... thanks for sharing.
  5. DottieR posted on 01/23/2013 11:28 AM
    When I was 18, I was just becoming clean and sober at the hands of God. I didn't realize at the time that God was already intervening on my behalf and bringing me close to Him. I thought I knew everything about life, but all I knew was the dysfunction that I was living in my life. God touched my heart and He brought healing to me in all aspects of my life. It didn't come over night and I had to do a lot of work, but there He was, right beside me, speaking to my heart, covering me with His love to protect me. I think if I were going to say anything about being 18, it would be to let her know that it is alright to surrender all of her life into the hands of the mighty, living God we serve and love. There will bre times when she will feel al alone, but if she just says His name, He will show her He is still right there beside her and He will guide her footsteps, all she has to do is ask, listen, and act upon His direction. Sounds easy, but as we know, if it were easy, we would all be doing it! Keep her close to you, let her know that no matter what, you are there for her and will alwyas love her. Let her know that she can come to you anytime with any problem and you will be there to listen, give your best advise, and that she has the tools to make good choices by how she was raised:) God never fails!
  6. Theresa333 posted on 01/23/2013 11:34 AM
    I best advice is to love yourself inside and out! Brag about what G=D has done in your life, and to pray! Prayer is your path to GODS ear! Theresa
  7. tameras_4076 posted on 01/23/2013 02:31 PM
    when i was 18, i was in college, on the deans list with bright fufure. then i met a man i thought i wanted to marry !got heart broken big time! being 18, does NOT mean you know it all. and also listen to your mom, she really knows best!
  8. JonM_4 posted on 01/23/2013 02:57 PM
    When you have a passion in your heart, keep focus and let nothing distract you from reaching your passion. Life has a lot of distractions along the way. I found Jesus at 18 years but I was still looking for myself at that age. I found myself and i also got married and had a family and looking back, my advise is finish school before before getting married unless the other half is willing to sacrafice their time for you.

    "Keep Focused"
  9. GraceO posted on 01/23/2013 07:16 PM
    When I was 18, I had finished high school & had just got married to a Man that I met via one of my Brothers & had only known a short time when we decided to get married. My Parents tried to discourage it, but I was determined & only had to wait 2 weeks to be 18 & I could sign for myself, so they gave in & signed for me to get married. The Marriage lasted 33 years & 2 Son's & he left me. It was the best think he ever did for me. As I was committed enough to never leave him. But I am now married to a wonderful Man & have never been happier. Tell her to wait until she is old enough to know what Love is before she decides to get married. It is a big committment & we do make mistakes.
  10. RebeccaR_4834 posted on 01/23/2013 07:29 PM
    I just turned 20 a few weeks ago, so I remember 18 quite well. I didn't start dating until I was 18, and I think that helped alot. I thought it was a curse to wait that long, but no one seemed to match up to the requirements I had- no smoking, no underage drinking, and had to want to go to church. I remeber the last 8 months of being 18 the best because I started dating this great guy. He wanted to go to church with me, he respected me, and wanted to be around my crazy family, who all seemed to be just like his own crazy family. Now we have been engaged for six months and are on our way to being married the end of September in 2014. But thru all this amazingness that was happening in my life, I let life get away from me, and I almost didn't graduate high school. So thru boys and love and chaos as a semi-adult try to remember that your education will always be there even when your boyfriend might not be.
  11. AnneF posted on 01/23/2013 08:53 PM
    Larry, I find my memory is slowly fading too. But you wrote that you take photos(dark room). I love photography and have been taking pictures for over 40 yrs. leading me to acquire an abundance of pictures (overwhelming). But I realized it's a timeline of my families life and each picture brings back memories. :) AnneF
  12. M SheenV posted on 01/24/2013 03:16 AM
    Hi Larry, There can be alot of things to teach our daughters and the earlier the better. I know that even two year olds can make the connection with The Word if we teach them diligently. We can do this by using a FIRM principle. First using Familiarity, Second using Interest, Third using Recognition, and finally Modeling. This follows Moses' pattern in Deuteronomy 6 of taking every opportunity to teach biblical truths so that children become very familiar with them and make them a part of their lives. Using their interests as teaching opportunities, we can continue to repeat Bible stories so that they become recognizable while we are modeling a Godly life before each and every one of them. If we just continue to give the children in our lives a FIRM Foundation, and we can do this by teaching them all about God's Love, His Salvation, and the importance of Godly living. Nothing beats a home that has been built firm upon our Savior, Where Christ is the Head Counselor and Guide, Where every child is taught His Love and Favor. And we allow them to place their heart before Christ through His Word....Amen for sure brother!
  13. TeresaA_3 posted on 01/24/2013 02:20 PM
    the only thing i can think of is that i started dating right before my 18th birthday and my family did not approve. so i thought i knew everything and took my own path. did not listen to my family. yes things did turn around for me when i turned 19 but i sometime wonder why i chose this path and not the other path. i am an some what happy mom glad i have my 3 babies but 18 and think you know everything. just got to let things happen and see if the child/children ever open their eyes to god. i know i did and now i am praying that god helps me get through with everything i have done.
  14. KarenB_6086 posted on 01/25/2013 11:49 AM
    18! Gosh, that was ages ago! Ok, I can still remember, I was in Hawaii, that's where I grew up, I had my mind made up what I wanted to do and I did it, attended beauty school to become a beautician. My mother helped me decide as she wanted one of her daughters to be a beautician..to do her hair! She also wanted one daughter to become a stewardess, so she could have free trips! Sorry, none of us went for that. But i enjoyed every bit of learning my profession and did it for 13 yrs, then I left he islands for CA. Cost of living kept driving us north. Here I am for past 23 yrs, done working, I'm old. But I know the Lord guided me every step (state) of the way. I do still go back to Hawaii, every year, but it's home here. Freezing sometimes. I miss the natural vitamin D for sure! Just keep guiding your daughter, encouraging, supporting her decision and pray a lot! God bless you and guide you.
  15. marim_2281 posted on 01/26/2013 05:13 PM
    When I was 18, I was lost as lost could be - it may have been the darkest seaon of my teens. I was sure I would find my way if I just found the right guy or the right amount of Jack Daniels to make me happy. I was working with a Christian gal about my age. I know she was praying for me - thank you, Elaine!! I did not find Christ that year, but I am now sure His hand was what saved me from myself. I missed all things 18 - graduation, dances, college planning, etc...but I have no regrets. It was all necessary for me to get to Jesus. The Lord has blessed me with two beautiful daughters of my own and one of them happens to have just turned 18. Whenever I don't like a decision she makes or a direction she is headed, I can sit down and thank God she is not the same 18 year old I was. She loves the Lord and is more real than just about anyone I know. When I choose to remember that, I can regain my perspective and appreciate His love in my life and now in hers.
  16. RaphalynS posted on 02/01/2013 03:41 PM
    Larry my oldest son turns 18 on the 2nd and the Lord sure has led me to your blog and the responses you've received. My heart is heavy as I feel my son is getting too serious in this relationship he is in now. A year ago, he had such high dreams and great aspirations for University (as far away from home as possibe). Now that he has a girlfriend who attends a community college 20 minutes away, he has changed gears and did not even bother to take SATs for University and is settling to attend the same community college. I know it is not for fear of missing his family that he does this. I pray that he sticks to getting a college degree, discover himself, enjoy youth and stabilizing his life with steady employment before starting to think of settling down (hopefully in that order).

    When I was 18, I lived in the Philippines, attended a Catholic University and tought catechism to the children who lived in the slum areas. I was fortunate to have had a tight group of friends who had strong faith and loved to minister and praise the Lord. I LOVED to sing praises then and now 25 years later, I feel that the Lord has not heard me sing in a long time. I wish I had at least half of my enthusiasm and faith that I had then.

    To your daughter and my son, as they become young adults, may the zest they feel in their hearts remain constant throughout their lives, may their hopes and dreams become closer to reality with each step they take towards it and may they remember the love that their parents gave them all their lives. God bless you all thank you to Spirit for being such a big part of my life now.
  17. BillieL posted on 02/07/2013 09:15 PM
    My daughter is turning 18 on Valentines day, I pray she has a very blessed and memorable year. As for me, I personally do not remember much about being 18 except for being excited to register to vote, and being able to vote that year in my first Presidential election.
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