The Gallery: Youth

This is me in 1991 on my 18th birthday. Look how cool I am. Look at my youthful attitude.

Actually, I didn’t have an attitude. My youthful attitude lasted for the duration of a week-long holiday in Devon at the age of 14.

In my youth, I had two ambitions for the future. I wanted a good job and kids. In my youthful optimism and naivety, I believed it was possible to have both.

I wanted to go to Oxford University. I was a clever kid (I know, hard to believe that now, but I really was) and clever kids went to Oxford. A teacher at school advised that he thought I would be better off studying more ‘modern’ subjects in a more ‘modern’ university. I believe this advice was genuine and not based on a belief that I wasn’t clever enough for Oxford.

And so this advice led me to A Levels in Communication Studies, Art and French. I loved Communication Studies with a passion. I wanted to work ‘in the media’. This was a more unusual ambition than it is now.

I ended up on a course I wasn’t suited to in a university so ‘modern’ it was actually a poly when I joined (apologies to my younger readers, who have never heard of a poly – they are what second rate universities were called until the early 90s).

The youthful me came out of my crap university with a 2:1 in Broadcast Journalism. I wasn’t a journalist, I didn’t have the killer instinct. So my career ‘in the media’ never happened.

I became a career press officer. Career in the sense of being stuck in the same place forever rather than in the sense of climbing the ladder. The job I had at 25 which sounded like it was going places doesn’t sound so great at 39.

Because the grown up me found out something the youthful me didn’t know. You can’t have a good job AND kids.

But at least I got the kids.

This post was written in response to a prompt at Sticky Fingers. Pop over to see how other people have interpreted the theme ‘youth’.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oohh hello young you!! I love your long flowing locks!! I was 12 in 91 🙂

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  2. Beautiful photo! I wanted to be a journalist too but definitely didn’t have the killer instinct. And yes you got the kids, more fun than work! xx

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  3. Thanks very much, ladies! My hair hasn’t changed much since then, Tas. Well, a bit more grey. And dye to cover the grey! 12! You make me feel old… Reckon most people reading this will have been well under 18 in 1991!
    Very true, Louise! I would find a life all about career and money a bit shallow. x

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  4. I wanted the career, wasn’t fussed about the kids.
    My career is a complete shambles but I’ve found having children take my mind off that!

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  5. Gorgeous photo.

    I find your post a little sad. Your children are wonderful and credit to you.

    Career is not everything x.

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  6. you do look so cool and self-assured, and if it makes you feel any better, I was in my 20s in 1991!
    Also did BJ and just about made a career out of it – but all that’s a distant memory now!

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  7. I love the photo. And I truly believe we all end up on the right path for us. You may not have the career you thought you wanted, but maybe if you had, you wouldn’t have your beautiful wonderful children. Very thought-provoking xx

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  8. Thanks very much, everyone, really appreciate your comments. Glad you like the photo. Can you see any spots, Dragonsfly and OneDad? No, nor can I. Grrr!
    I think it is a little sad, Lesley. I always wanted the kids above everything else, but I thought it would be possible to have a decent career too. I enjoy my job, but it’s not quite where I expected to be just before I turned 40!
    I always knew I wanted three children, so you’re right, Dragonsfly, I was obviously on the right path for me!

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  9. Lovely photo! I always wanted children more than anything else too. We were born to be mums!

    I also wanted to do Media at College, but it was so unheard of that they shut the course because nobody was signing up for it! I ended up doing general studies, from which I chose A-Levels in English, Communication studies, Psychology and an AS level in Photography!

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  10. What gorgeous hair you have! I think you are right, you can’t have both and it might not be very PC to say so but I don’t believe a demanding career and kids mix.

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  11. At least there are possibilities for mums to have A job AND look after their kids. I found that if you want to work at all in France it’s 8 to 5 care for the little ones…

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  12. Sarah i am loving the hair!! its so strange to see photos of us when we were younger in my head i am still that age x

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  13. Gorgeous pic! Obviously I was 18 then too!I turned down my Uni places to go off and play in bands, I have no regrets, and also no career or money! But I have had a lot of fun over the years, and some jobs that I have loved, even if I havent made it very far up the ladder. My children are the thing I am most proud of in life tho, and I wouldn’t swap where I am now for the fanciest of careers!

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  14. Great picture. I wish I’d had your attitude as a kid. I rebelled against everything, hence I am only just going to university in my 30’s!

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  15. This is a great post! I did French a level and that went on to do a degree in it at an equally crap Institute! (Now Surrey University). I was never rebellious either…..drinking too much and smoking a puff of weed was probably the closest I ever got!

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  16. Thanks very much, everyone 🙂 I like to think the hair hasn’t changed that much, but I’m deluding myself! The only thing that hasn’t changed is the length.
    Thank goodness I don’t live in France, Mother Goutte!
    We certainly were born to be mums, Emma, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Apart from I would like a great career that I could do three days a week and didn’t impact on my home life!)
    Sonya – you have done something amazing with your life while I’ve been starting at a computer screen working for a council and for that you have my utmost repect!
    Helpful mum – as I read other people’s posts I wondered why I didn’t have more fun when I was young! I did have some, but probably not as much as most people!
    Suzanne – you were still more rebellious than me. I have never had a drink in my life or a puff of weed!

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