Here you are, 36-almost-37, everything bulging and crinkling at the corners and collapsing into folds. Jesus, you’re as exciting and mysterious as a carefully-packaged kitchen sponge. Once you were red in tooth and claw, made of reckless heat and fluids. Now you move slowly, no rhythm, no swing. Like someone avoiding a sandworm. You speak in ridiculous staccato bursts. Okay I—. Hey watch where you’re. Can you— GUYS. HEY.

You wear sensible shoes and you have a financial advisor and you happily google for the best methods of removing streaks from windows.

It is what it is and it’s all pretty goddamned good, you wouldn’t trade it for the etcetera. But come on. Don’t you miss it, some days? Don’t you miss being young and fucked-up? On fire, all the time. Up and down. Your heart going ba-bum ba-bum over the stupidest shit.


97 Responses to “Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven”

  1. Liz on November 16th, 2010 6:32 pm

    I’m 37, 36 weeks pregnant with my first child, and I do not miss a minute of my 20s. I suspect I’ll miss the firm abs that I had until 8 months ago and I will DEFINITELY miss the long leisurely Sunday mornings in bed, but I don’t miss the loneliness, the what-will-I-do-with-my-life, the being flat-ass broke, or the tedium of dating yet another Mr. Wrong.

    And I met Mr. Right at 18 when he looked like a young John Cusack and started dating him at 28 after the addition of 20 lbs and the subtraction of most of his hair, and I still think he is The Hotness.

  2. Erin on November 16th, 2010 6:39 pm

    Yes. So much yes.

  3. very bloggy beth on November 16th, 2010 6:59 pm

    Oh god yes. For some reason, lately, I am missing it like crazy. But, I’d only go back for one day. I like it now too.

  4. Erin @ Mommy on the Spot on November 16th, 2010 7:44 pm

    No and yes. No, because, wow, what a lot of drama and stress.

    And yes, because this is a lot of work and stress.

    But for those days that I do miss it, I watch Jersey Shore. You know, for a fix of young and stupid and crazy.

  5. Mico on November 16th, 2010 7:50 pm

    Everything sounded just about right until you mentioned the financial advisor. So now you have me thinking I need one.

    Will look into that as soon as I finish googling baby food recipes. :)

  6. Anonymous on November 16th, 2010 7:51 pm

    Oh hell yeah I miss it. I’m 37, married, two kids in and I often feel the wildest part of my day often comes down to whether or not I’m going to go buck-wild and eat something spicy or ethnic for dinner.

    I lived the SHIT out of my 20s. I partied in NY, L.A., Miami. I hung out with celebrities and attended all the best parties in Hollywood. I had hot, wild boyfriends, lots of sex, stayed out late, slept in late, got all nervous and giddy waiting on that guy to call. I just FELT things differently. Just really FELT, period. I love my husband, I love my boys, but sometimes, when the monotony of the routine just starts to get, well, monotonous — I think back to those days. The blood coursing through my veins, the nervous excitement, the athleticism of my body and the ability to move with such agility, the madly in love new love feeling and the ability to eat bad diner pancakes and bacon at 2:00a.m. after dancing the night away in the club, tipsy from a few too many vodka cranberries, the music still thumping in my ears.

    I tell the twenty-somethings, live the hell out of that decade, because you never get the chance for a do-over on those years.

  7. HalynB on November 16th, 2010 8:09 pm

    I would kill to have my 17 year old body again–or failing that, the energy I had at 17 so I could work out every single day and get a bangin’ 35 year old body–but other than that, no freakin way. I was doing it sooooo wrong back then. The only way I would go back is if I could do it differently…and boy, would I! I would meet my awesome husband at 20 instead of hooking up with my horrible ex and losing 8 years of my life.

    I love stumbling across an unexpected Dune
    reference. Nicely played.

  8. Kristin on November 16th, 2010 8:19 pm

    I miss the excitement of new love. The fast paced life. Being responsible only for myself.

    I love the comfortable feeling of longtime love. The predictability of my days. Being responsible for these amazing little people.

    There is always bad that comes with good.

    Great post, Linda.

  9. Mary on November 16th, 2010 9:30 pm

    I get what you’re saying, but yeaaaahh, NO. I mean finally: I know what I want AND I’m in a position to get it.

  10. Christine on November 16th, 2010 10:42 pm

    I concur with HalynB… excellent use of Dune imagery. I challenge you to slip a still suit reference into a future post.

  11. Kristin on November 16th, 2010 11:29 pm

    I just read this aloud to Corey.

    It’s good, really good.

  12. Barbara on November 17th, 2010 4:11 am

    Here’s looking at 60. I miss the physical ability to do just about anything without thinking (help a friend move, rearrange furniture, etc.), and even though I keep myself fit, dress well, etc. – after being noticed by men for years I now feel pretty much invisible. That’s hard. Vain, I know.

    I have good health (after two major fights for my life), a marriage I’m coming to terms with, a job I like and hope to keep in these financial times….but boy oh boy, would I love to feel the thrill of a kiss that rocks my world….a look from a passing man that makes my heart race…the remote possibility of….possibility. All that was over years ago, and it never occurred to me at the time it wouldn’t always be out there.

  13. Natalie on November 17th, 2010 5:34 am

    I miss the angst….because it was so decadent and indulgent…but mostly, I miss the euphoria that came (and it always did) with that moment when things actually DID work out.

    I like today’s me… I guess yesterday’s me did a few things right….but damnit if I didn’t wish that I spent less time stressing (back then), and more time drinking and smoking because things really DID mostly work out.

  14. Peggasus on November 17th, 2010 6:25 am

    @ Barb 4:11 am:

    Are you me? I’m ‘vain’ in that way too, it’s been a pretty hard pill to swallow in these post-menopausal years. I guess this is what ‘older’ feels like. Well said, girlfriend.

  15. Stacy on November 17th, 2010 6:29 am

    Yes, but keep the faith. When you get into your 40s the hormones start flying again!:)

  16. KC Brown on November 17th, 2010 6:34 am

    Yes I miss the dancing and the falling for someone new feeling, I miss the girlfriends that are now spread out over the country, but I don’t miss being broke, lonely,the drama and the not knowing what will happen. I wonder if there is any way to send this to the 20 somethings now so that they know?

    Bravo on the dune ref.

  17. Claire on November 17th, 2010 6:35 am

    In a word, yes. But I try not to keep thinking about it because it’s one of those things where you can think ’till you go crazy but there’s still no going back. Doc Brown hasn’t been to my house lately with a time machine and hell, I don’t even own a Delorian!

  18. Jean on November 17th, 2010 7:02 am


  19. SG on November 17th, 2010 7:22 am

    I think I just miss all the options. Of feeling like life could be ANY way and now it feels like life is just THIS way and I keep thinking “Maybe I should have….”. Someone near the top commented that they get waves of nastalgia so overwhelming that they’re brought to tears, and I 100% agree with that statement.
    But then there are days that the awesomeness of now brings me to tears too. So I guess it’s 50/50.

  20. Meghan on November 17th, 2010 7:44 am

    I miss it, definitely. Even though I was insecure and kind of miserable, I miss the excitement of going to parties and meeting new people, of the rush you’d get when you met a new guy. I miss how easy it used to be to make friends. I miss how long the days used to feel. Time seems to go so quickly now and I’m always shocked when it’s already 10 p.m. and time for me to go to bed.

    I am in a good place now, with a good job, a good kid and a good husband. But sometimes I do feel like I’d say “yes” if I had the chance to re-do my late teens and 20s.

  21. cakeburnette on November 17th, 2010 8:17 am

    Nope. Not in the least bit, whatsoever. I was born to be middle-aged, I think. :D

  22. cakeburnette on November 17th, 2010 8:17 am

    Nope. Not in the least bit, whatsoever. I was born to be middle-aged, I think. :D

  23. Tammy on November 17th, 2010 8:19 am

    Weird that you should write about this. It’s pretty much all I’ve been thinking about lately. I am fast approaching 45 years old (how the hell did that happen?), married with two teenage girls (19 and 17), laid off 18 months ago with 500 ignored job applications under my belt.
    Now I am contemplating going back to school and training to become a paralegal. So the questions start…Am I too old to go back to school? Will Ibe the oldest one there? Will I feel like a dork? Would anyone hire a 45 year old paralegal with no hands on experience? Am I wasting my time? If I were twenty something, there would be no questions, only excitement at the possibilities..
    Yes I miss it..

  24. Courtney on November 17th, 2010 10:33 am

    How timely. Today is my 33rd birthday and I’m reflecting on how quickly I went from 24 and newly married to the boring MOM I am today. I love my kids, husband, but there are many days I think… What Have I Done???

  25. Erika on November 17th, 2010 11:37 am

    I miss what could have been. I was in love by Junior year in college and pregnant. We got married and are truly happy with three kids BUT…I never had the living single on my own moment. I never had the just living for me on a shoestring budget but still spending way too much on shoes moment. I WISH I HAD! Although, I still buy shoes just not the $400 pair. :)

  26. Genny on November 17th, 2010 12:43 pm

    I totally yearn for my college years…crammed into a 10×12 dorm room with everything precious to me in the world, shelves of alcohol and text books intermingled, pictures everywhere and all the decorations I thought were cool at the time. Having friends next door and down the hall to hang with any time you wanted. Working 10 hours a week for $70 in beer money, spending weekends at the bars with the chinese resturant on the corner that was open until bar time. God I miss those days, but then I think about public showers, toliets, cramming for tests and eating in the cafeteria and I don’t miss those aspects of college living. I love my husband and daughter, but sometimes I wish I could go hide out in my dorm room when I just need a break from all of this!

  27. ang on November 17th, 2010 2:34 pm

    i do.

  28. MRW on November 17th, 2010 4:25 pm

    I don’t miss my teens, but sometimes the freedom of my college years and early 20s calls. Mostly I miss being able to eat whatever the hell I wanted to and exercise as much as I liked and still be reasonably sized and not sore. Also go to bed when I wanted and wake up when I wanted without interruption. Sometimes I miss drinking caffeine all day and staying up half the night at a party without consequence. However, I don’t miss the feeling of being insecure and uncertain about my future and being broke most of the time.

  29. MRW on November 17th, 2010 4:28 pm

    Sorry to post again, but also don’t miss the whole trying so hard to fit in/get a date/be invited the “right places”/wear the right thing. There is also so much freedom in being 40, just of a different kind ;-)

  30. anne nahm on November 17th, 2010 5:27 pm

    I miss the idea of staying out late and nobody worrying where I am.

  31. Carrie on November 17th, 2010 6:02 pm

    You guys are kind of scaring the shit out of me. I’m 24 and mostly young and stupid, but starting to settle down. I’m living with my boyfriend with two dogs and plans to be together for the long run. There are days that these commitments feel suffocating and I wish I was living in a studio in a city and exploring the freedom of my youth. But there are more days that I read your blog and see the beautiful life you have with your boys and can’t wait for the comfort, love, and stability of the future.

  32. Kris on November 17th, 2010 7:17 pm

    No way in hell would I want to be 25 again. So insecure about EVERYTHING, spending more than I earned without thinking of the consequences, swapping cars and men as if they were new pairs of shoes to wear for a month then throw away.

    At 38, I’m not always happy; but I would never trade this comfort & security for all the Corona in Mexico.

  33. Shawna on November 17th, 2010 8:28 pm

    Oh, I remember slow dancing in the rain to the music filtering out of the campus bar. I remember when an average night out was when I only got asked once for my phone number. I remember steaming up the windows of cars in the dead of winter because I certainly couldn’t act like THAT at home where there were parents. I remember meeting up with friends for brunch at the same diner we’d gone to once the bar closed 10 hours earlier. I remember when 11:00 was the start, not the end of a late evening.

    And sure, I miss THOSE sorts of things. But I also remember feeling all kinds of F’ed up over what seems like the stupidest stuff now, including men that were NOT worth it.

    I wouldn’t relive my teen years, or my early-to-mid 20s, for anything if I had to take the bad with all the good. I’m sometimes surprised I survived it even once.

  34. lisa on November 17th, 2010 8:59 pm

    Nope. Not at all. In fact, HELL NO! And I was a full-blown goth-punk teen, now a 35 year old suburban mom of two and a elementary school teacher.

    But age = less bullshit angst, less acne, less worry, more self confidence, more of a sense of humor, more fun, more booze, more money, more sex. I’ll take my 30’s, thank you very much.

    Of course, I never, ever lost the up-and-down excitement over little things (I am totally 13 years old), never stopped dying my hair, wearing a nose ring, and listening to loud music. Maybe that helps.

  35. Nancy on November 17th, 2010 9:11 pm

    Your writing is lovely.

  36. trope on November 17th, 2010 10:44 pm

    oh, YES.

    I think it has something to do with being almost-winter… everything is going cold and dark, and my brain is just screaming for something to distract me before we all get old and die. As if all of my aging and suffering will happen next week.

    I’m a little more resigned now that the time change is over with; next week it will snow, I will fall on the ice and land on my ass, and then I really will hobble around like an old woman for a week or two. Recovering from that will feel like a gift, and I’ll probably be all right again until next summer.

    But tonight? Yeah, I want to tear up the town.

  37. Jennifer on November 17th, 2010 10:56 pm

    Wow, I’ve been having these same feelings lately, and its been driving my crazy (I’m the same age, 36 turning 37). Not sure how my body is going to survive another pregnancy – please could I be left with a *little* vaginal muscle tone?. Deeply loving my husband, but missing the excitement and infatuation of falling in love, knowing I’ll probably never experience it again. My memory is so poor, I’m hardly able to remember what it felt like to fall in love with him. I had complaints about my body then, and had no idea how good I had it.

  38. JMH on November 18th, 2010 3:48 am

    Nope. I turn 40 in March and I love my life. I have a great marriage, 2 healthy kids and a job that I like. I like the stability, the confidence and the money that I have now. My college days were GREAT, but I wouldn’t want to re-live them

  39. Renee from GA on November 18th, 2010 8:48 am

    I am 44, and I while I don’t want to repeat earlier years, I miss the younger, more optimistic me. Friends and family are good, but it never occured to me that the experience of owning a new house would be marred by the reality of living in it alone. I really envy what you have now, but completely understand the temptation to focus on what is missing.

  40. tanya on November 18th, 2010 1:13 pm

    I had a little flashback from the song title of this post. Oh yeah.. I love being a Mom but miss the party days…

  41. Jen on November 18th, 2010 5:37 pm

    I don’t. Because my teenage angst spilled over into my 20’s and right on into my 30’s. Half of me is grown up and responsible, but half of me is still trapped in that time warp.

  42. Karl on November 18th, 2010 8:42 pm

    Coming late to this one …
    Nope. Not a bit. The stupid and the mammal and all? Do I miss THAT? nope, not the slightest.

    I found my mate at 25, had 2 of mine and one of hers and one of theirs all within 3 years, and raised them, and booted them out and they are what they are, doing fine, in some cases better than anyone could have expected.

    Do I miss being stupid? cause that’s how it looks to me now, in my 50’s. Nope. Not at all.

  43. Jenn on November 19th, 2010 8:59 am

    I love that you wrote this on the week that I buy my first minivan and the first week I went to bed at 9:30 each and every night of the week. Hell ya I miss my 20s.

  44. Etuko Sato on November 20th, 2010 12:41 am


    It is a very wonderful site.

    I am introducing beautiful autumn of Japan.
    As for the scenery of the country, the mind is healed.
    Please come by all means. We will wait.

    Thank you.

  45. Anonymous on November 28th, 2010 8:03 pm

    Yes, especially those young hippie-looking rock-n-roll boys.

  46. Beth Navarro on November 30th, 2010 9:28 am

    Love this! And love your blog. Here’s another that might be right up your alley.

    I write for it too. This month I had the pleasure of venting my adventures in being the parent of THAT KID.

    Thanks for all the great writing!
    Beth Navarro

  47. jennifer on March 15th, 2011 6:02 pm

    I do miss it. I wrote about that feeling here:

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one feeling it. Love the honesty!

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