Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead

torpedo, age,make a differenceDo you remember what it was like to be 25?

Me neither.

Although some of my wonderful blog followers ARE around that magical age; most of you are … ahem… beyond it.

So let’s go back. What was it like? To be young and unfettered and feasting on the newness of adulthood and freedom, relationships, and a wide world open for exploration and delight.


For me, the wide world was confusing and frustrating. So much to do and learn, yet so confining for a woman in the late 1970s, married, no children, ready to make a ‘mark’ and yet wondering what mark to make.

I had a graduate degree in literature, but could only get hired as a secretary or a teacher (or billboard saleswoman, but that’s another story).  My family couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t pregnant yet and making a ‘life’ literally and figuratively.  I was, after all, 25!

Ahh, how things have changed.

Flash to this spring, when my marvelous nephew arrived to spend a little quality r & r time with his aunt (me), cousin, and brother here in the bay area. He turned 25 on this visit and his 25 is so different from mine.

X is involved with the D.C. political world (working for Senators from two states that begin with an “N” and end in an “A”). He lives in the city of large egos and bigger mouths, and despite his decency and decorum (or because of it) he is surviving.

No, more than that, he’s thriving and learning and MAKING A DIFFERENCE, something I strived to do at 25 but with much less success.

X has a few bumps and bruises, but he’s crashing down that wall between childhood and adulthood, between the naivety of  youth and the cynicism of experience, between wanting to do it all to realizing that what he can do, should be done with gusto and fervor and faith.

And truly, even at our age, whatever that may be, isn’t that how we want to live our life?

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Wow, that’s an old expression from the American Civil War (!), yet that’s what pops in my mind when I think of my nephew. At 25.

We should all exist like we’re 25, and damn the torpedoes of ‘life.’

Full speed ahead.

25, age, D.C., make a difference

21 thoughts on “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead

  1. I had two children at 25, and then another at 39, so life was been good to me. But sometimes I wonder how good I’ve been to life. I let too many stressful things (those damn torpedoes) get in the way of simply “smelling the roses” and enjoying the people who really matter to me. Your post has allowed me to stop and think about who and what I want sailing with me from here on out to make the rest of this lovely journey what I want it to be. Thanks, Pam, and I hope you’ll continue to sail with me.


    • Love your response! Yes, we all look back and think, ‘hmm, I should have ignored some of those torpedoes…’ but easier said than done, for sure. I like your metaphor of sailing along now. I will gladly continue to sail with you, for sure!


  2. At 25, I had just finished my second education degree and realized it still wasn’t enough to get a job teaching. I was back to being an EA and beginning to wonder if it wasn’t about time to start our family, something that I had put off for a few years after getting married hoping to get a career off the ground. Frankly, looking back, I don’t think I would have changed a thing! The timing of my family was perfect. I’d had lots of time to enjoy married life before the kids arrived. We had a beautiful new home. I felt as though I had matured enough to be a parent but still had the energy to enjoy my kids. My fields of study had changed so much that I would not have enjoyed either one. My preference was to work directly with kids, which was what I do as an EA, not stuck behind a desk doing administrative work, so all’s well that ends well! 🙂


  3. Good to hear people’s stories. I had lots of dreams at 25 – some have been fulfilled, others not – but I love the fact that I’m happy despite it all…and I still feel like it’s ‘full steam ahead’. Thank you for this one Pam


    • And you know what might be must important? That we allowed ourselves to DREAM at 25, and struggle to obtain that dream. Some of it worked, some didn’t, but at least we torpedoed on…


  4. Gosh, at 25 I had recently finished an MA in English lit, but I was confused. Professionally successful but a mess emotionally. At 50 I look back and wish I could share what I know now with the younger me.

    At any rate, I enjoyed your post. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. Hope you’ll come back soon. Great to hear from you!



    • Maybe that’s why I love the movie “When Peggy Sue Got Married,” – that fantasy of going back to ‘us,’ in our youth, with our experienced mind. I do know that I’d not want to go back there, for real, for anything!

      Nice visiting back and forth!


  5. YAY! (That was the sound of me jumping up from the keyboard and cheering). Thanks for the reminder to live life to the fullest —to get out there and “Just Do It.” I’m inspired to do just that. 🙂


  6. Hey Rough, I followed you over from Vikki’s blog at http://the-view-outside.com/. Love your sense of humour. When I was 25, I was just getting married. My 25 year-old son is nowhere near that though he does have a long-term girlfriend. He says “they” just don’t that these days. Wonder if the kids think of marriage as a torpedo?


Comments are closed.