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.