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Jude's avatar

Teens, Twenties, Thirties, Forties and up? When was the best time for you, and the worst (thus far)?

Asked by Jude (32144points) May 1st, 2009

In two weeks I’ll be turning 37. The big 4 0 only a few years away. I truly feel younger and have been told by many that I look 10 years younger, but, still..

Probably the best time for me was during my mid twenties. Just starting out, but, I was pretty enthusiastic with tons of energy, lots of goals and loved the challenge of being on my own and making a life (career) for myself.

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31 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Early to mid twenties. So many women loved me. I was surrounded by friends. Never lonely. I was doing work I could believe in. It ended because I wanted a family. I truly love having a family, but I still miss those times.

aviona's avatar

Well then according to YOU I’m my best years are not far off.


Triiiple's avatar

My best time had to be age 17–19 when i had this golden era of all my friends hanging out in the same place every week so it was always a blast, but 21 hasnt been a bad year for me either, well not to bad.

Worst had to be High School, boy did i hate that shit.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Teenage years sucked, but my twenties have been a bit better.

now if only i could ditch this horrible luck that follows me around

flameboi's avatar

my 20’s are fantastic so far, my teens were, you know, like swimming with the sharks :s
I got all my hopes that my 30’s will kick ass!!!!!

Velvetinenut's avatar

20s. That’s when I was single, had a good savings account and lots of friends my age.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Every decade past age 10 has had its good times.

16–17 – I was fit, I was doing more things independently (limited compared to most people my age, but for me even small amounts of autonomy was a lifeline) and making my own money.

21–27 – Graduating college, moving to the big city, getting my bones in the industry I wanted to be in and – the Whirlwind Romance. Sure, it crashed to the ground and shattered by the time I was 29, but wow. I’d never had anyone I cared about claim to love me before (even if in the end it was really just infatuation on the young man’s part). It would’ve been a nicer feeling while it lasted had I trusted and allowed it to be.

35–37 – Starting improv and sketch writing classes was very good for me. Getting the sack from the awful office job I had felt like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. Never again will I work so hard for such little money and for no recognition of my efforts and accomplishments, no matter what I end up doing, nor will I use my job as the basis of my identity.

I think this is going to be a good year too. @jmah, I will be 40 in 2 months, but I pass for “You just graduated college, right, so you’re, like, 22–23, right?” “Sure, OK. Why not?At 20 you have the face nature gave you, and at 40 you have the face you’ve earned or something like that. I totes lucked out, yo. :D

casheroo's avatar

After turning 20 is when things started settling down (well, it took a few months into it…) I’d say ever since then, it’s been the best so far.

Aethelwine's avatar

I think my 30s have been the best and worst for me. I have had some of the most difficult times in my life during my 30s but it has also been a time in my life that I have felt the best about myself. Like you jmah, I’m 38 but I look and feel 10 years younger. I have more confidence in myself now and I have a loving family to share my life with.

cookieman's avatar

Grade School (5 to 11) – Sucked
Good: Family | Bad: Friends, Emotional Issues

Middle School (12 to 13) – Sucked Worse
Good: ??? | Bad: Everything Else

High School (14 to 17) – Pretty Good
Good: School, New Friends | Bad: Family

College (18 to 22) – Good
Good: Most things | Bad: Family, Money

23 to 29 – Great
Good: Friends, Married at 26, bought house, lots of travel | Bad: Not much

30 to 37 – Fucking Insane
Good: Adopted my daughter, Wife is great | Bad: Lay offs, Work, Money, Deaths

38 to ?? – I don’t know yet, but I’m shooting for “well-balanced”.
Good: Wife back to work, me working less | Bad: Nothing yet, fingers crossed

Personally, I like myself better now than I ever have. I think I’m finally comfortable in my own skin and feel I’ve gained some wisdom.

peyton_farquhar's avatar

1–8: Awesome
Good: Friends, Family, School | Bad: ???
9–10: Not Bad
Good: Family | Bad: School, Classmates
11–14: Bad
Good: ??? | Bad: School, Family, Classmates
15–17: Great
Good: Family, Friends, School, Sports | Bad: ???
18—??: Looking Up
Good: Boyfriend, Family, Work | Bad: Friends, School, ???

I’d say the best years of my life were probably those of my early childhood, since all of my memories from that time are pretty rosy happy pony.

SuperMouse's avatar

My teens were the worst by far. So far the 40’s are shaping up to be the best!

MrKnowItAll's avatar

They all beat the hell out of the alternative

cookieman's avatar

@MrKnowItAll: This is true. he really does know it all, doesn’t he

cwilbur's avatar

The happiest years of my life so far were between 17 and about 26. I was in college and later in graduate school, I had an active social life, and I was on the life track I had chosen as most likely to make me happy.

26 to 33 were not so great. I was in a toxic relationship (although I didn’t realize it at the time), and I had fallen off the track. Also, I worried a lot more about money than I had earlier—there’s something about being in college with parents paying most of the bills, and then in graduate school where you don’t have any real money but you don’t have any real bills either. Things weren’t so bad at 26, but by 31 it was clear that things were not working, and it took about two years to get extricated from the mess.

33 to now is complicated. I’m out of the toxic relationship, and I’m figuring out whether to stay on the track I’m on or to try to get back on the original track. The tradeoff is that the track I’m on now is lucrative, but my career doesn’t give me much fulfillment, while the original track is not lucrative at all but would be extremely fulfilling if I could make it work. So the question is, do I do something I don’t love, and use the money I make at it to find fulfillment? Or do I do something I love, and hope I can get by with less money?

tinyfaery's avatar

Childhood sucked. I had shitty parents and suffered abuse

Teenage years were a little better. I stopped listening to my parents, and they stopped parenting me, and I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted from the age of 15 on. But, being a teenager is awkard. I had a boyfriend and we constantly had problems, I drank, did drugs, and somehow still managed to graduate high school.

My early 20s were fun. I worked in a bar, partied a lot, and dated lots of hot guys and girls. By the time I got into my mid 20’s I decided to go to college. The college years were rough. I had to work full time and go to school full-time and I was very busy and stressed.

My late 20s early 30s I suffered from a lot of depression, I hated my work, and I was unsure of who I was and what I wanted to be.

I turned 35 in March and so far, my mid 30s are looking up. I’m finally accepting of who I am and what I want, and how I want to attain it. For the first time in my life, I am looking forward to the future.

Supacase's avatar

My thirties have been the best so far. I was never a partier and always a bit quiet, though I did have a touch of a wild side. Now I feel my personality fits my age; before I just felt boring.

VS's avatar

I’m turning 60 in three weeks and so far the best time of my life is right now. High school sucked majorly for me. I had horrible skin problems and was totally UNpopular. I came into my own being about 24 and my 20s were a mishmash of great and terrible. I was married to an abusive man who was murdered and I had a baby, so it was like the best and worst of it all. My 30s were a ton of fun. I had great friends, a job that paid the rent and the ability to party until 5 am and still go to work the next day! My 40s were fun and sex was better than it could have ever been imagined. My 50s have been a time of purpose in my life and a new career, home ownership, a grown son, and renewed relationship with my husband. I wish that some parts of me didn’t ache so bad and that I could lose the ten extra pounds I’m carrying around as easily as I did when I was 30, but it’s a small trade off for a life that has been as full as mine! I think the last ten years have been the happiest for me.

YARNLADY's avatar

The ups and downs in my life had little to do with age, and everything to do with the people I was around. Like @VS all my school days were the worst time of my life, but during that same period of time, my whole extended family lived nearby and life was wonderful around them.

As I got out on my own, my life went from perfect to horrible without any warning from time to time. I lived through it anyway, and before long I realized that the only thing I have any control over is how I choose to live my day. I made a pledge to myself to be happy every day for the rest of my life.

Judi's avatar

40’s best by far!!!
Teens, Yuck. Drugs, low self esteem, to worried about what others think.
20’s dysfunctional marriage which ended in suicide. Not a fun time.
30’s raising wounded teenagers. heartbreaking.
40’s, living life, traveling, playing with grand babies, happy children, perfect husband. Couldn’t get much better than this!!

hitomi's avatar

I love that reading a lot of these confirmed something that I learned in a Human Growth and Development class. People like their late teens early twenties as a general rule and in general there is something good to be said about every decade, but one period of time that we seem to block from our consciousness is the pre-teen Middle School era of our lives.

It’s like everyone tries desperately to repress those memories. It’s that early adolescence ugly phase. Everything sucks, you’re between child and “adult” and very very very few people are ACTUALLY attractive at that stage…most of us were awkward and uncomfortable and emotionally confused. (This was definitely true for me)

Some people got out of that sooner than others (High School), but college age tends to be the REAL end of that awkward phase and that’s when you really start becoming the adult you’re going to be.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Its just back an fourth all the time

ubersiren's avatar

Early 20’s. I was the absolute shit.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

My early childhood and teen years were absolutely horrible, for a few different reasons. My twenties have definitely been the best simply because I’m in control of my life now. Things aren’t perfect but I know now that I can actually do things to improve my situation.

augustlan's avatar

My childhood was a freakin’ nightmare. My very best years were just after that, because I had escaped (for the most part) from that life. In a very real way, I only started enjoying my life when I was 14 or 15 years old… I was finally unafraid. That said, I did a lot of foolish and dangerous things back then because I was so fearless. In a much more balanced way, I am living the best years of my life right now (I’m 41). I have a great husband, and 3 wonderful daughters. Perhaps most importantly, I have come to love and accept myself, warts and all. :)

filmfann's avatar

I started thinking what was my favorite car, and it was the Subaru. My favorite age for my kids? When they were small. My favorite pet? The cocker. My favorite crew I worked on? My favorite TV show? My favorite vacation place? etc.
I put all those answers together, and found they were all in my life in the early 90’s. And I will tell you, my life in the early 90’s was not happy times. Parts of it were great, but I wouldn’t ever want those times back again.

VS's avatar

@hitomi – Your answer reminded me of something my mom told a friend of hers when I was about 13. Her elderly spinster friend, in asking me how old I was, stated simply “oh, honey, these are the best years of your life!” to which my mother replied “Erminee (that was her name, Erminee), you are as full of shit as a Christmas turkey!! There is NOTHING wonderful about being 13 – it sucked for me, it sucked for you, and it sucks for her, but thank God, someday she will be 14 and then life will suck slightly less.” I have remembered that conversation all these years later for the sheer truth my mother told that day and for her ability to recognize that pre-teens and early teens are the worst!

hitomi's avatar

@VS That was fantastic! I love the kind of parents that are honest about things like that and REMEMBER how miserable that age bracket was. It makes them better able to handle children at that age. Congrads to your mom for recognizing that and being honest about it!

Krag's avatar

12 to 19 were the best. I played sports and through all those years we were winners. It’s hard to find team players in the working world.

lostman101's avatar

1–10 probably best time of my life, popping baloons going to mc donalds parents paying for Everything! But can’t really remember.
10–15 was alright, was fit played lots or sports had lots of friends etc,
16–18 was pretty bad, school turned to crap, but now
18–19++ Its looking real good, new job, new car and back into my fitness and plan on going up up up.

barbiedoll's avatar

Twenties best.
Now – the roughest.

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