At Seventeen...

At seventeen I was beginning the end of my high school years. I was thinking and dreaming and hoping. I was experiencing... seventeen.

At seventeen:

I was making most of my own clothes.

I was wearing a size 7 1/2 shoe.

I was thinking I wanted to be prettier.

I was weighing in at barely 110 pounds.

I was learning darkroom photography.

I was taking Algebra and Bookkeeping (What was I thinking?).

I was strumming my guitar.

I was playing in a band.

I was taming my frizzy hair.

I was sleeping on humongous hair rollers.

I was dreaming of lasting love.

I was spending all my time with friends.

I was collecting signatures.

I was being nice to my brother and sister.

I was looking intently at my parents' faces.

I was longing to go to college.

I was driving my Mustang.

I was enjoying my life.

I was going to church, then...

I was drinking too much, then... I stopped cold turkey...just stopped.

I knew I was in trouble.

I was trying figure out who I was and who I would become.

I was trying to find out where I should go...what I should do.

Seventeen is a wonderful age.

Seventeen is a vulnerable age.

What were you doing at seventeen?


  1. Hi Teresa.... so good to catch up with you and to know what you were about at 17. I hardly remember what I was about at 17...certainly not driving a Mustang!...lots of reading, sewing and sport(Golf & Tennis). I weighed a little less than you coming in at 94 pounds,much to my mother's concern...You're soooo thin.(if only she could see me now). Compared with todays seventeen year olds I was probably still very naive, still a virgin and still sharing a room with my younger sister who played her music too loud! Now that's familiar x

  2. Hi Teresa .. what lovely memories or not .. I was still at boarding school; driving when at home - through snow like now! January birthday. Wishing I had hair like yours - mine wouldn't grow too thin!! Lots of tennis and hockey. I did make my own clothes. We went on family holidays .. big garden and life wsn't easy at home .. so we mainly kept to ourselves. Happy times though .. can't dwell on the difficult times. Life was beginning to get fun .. we only had another two years at that house before my parents went their separate ways .. life is life. Enjoy the rest of the week ...

  3. Hi, WD, It's very good to hear from you again. It's interesting to read what others were like at seventeen- an age that is pivotal. I too was naive, but I still am. :)

    Hilary, My memories were mostly good of that season. I did have a "dark time" but thankfully God was watching over me even back then and it all turned out well.

  4. I was having a lot of fun with my friends at 17--eating out, going to movies, etc. And looking forward to college!

    Love your picture!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. Oh goodness. Time in a Bottle started playing just as I began reading this post. It gave me chills, it was so perfect!

    At seventeen I was living for vocal music, working at Toys R Us, thinking about college, relationships, praying for my dad's health, caring too much about what others thought... There's no part of my life I haven't loved, but I'd not go back.

  6. I was graduating high school and making the terrible decision to study engineering instead of creative writing. Why? Thought it would pay the bills better. I hate practicality sometimes.

    Seems to have worked out all right, though. *shrugs*

  7. At 17 I was chomping at the bit, going to college part time as I finished high school, and eager to get out of school and on with my life.

  8. Glad I had my sound turned on for this blog. How fun! How did you do that?

    Great photo - Great reflections!

    At 17 I was horribly naive! Fresh off the farm, overprotected, optimistic, foolish, didn't know myself, a follower, yet hopeful.

  9. That was wonderfully written! I feel like I actually know that girl now! You sounded like a nice, thoughtful seventeen year old.

    At seventeen, I was very serious about schooling and becoming a cop because I knew once I hit 18, I would have to fend for myself. Graduating, going to college, getting hired with my dream police department were all I could think about. Sure, I had friends, a boyfriend, and softball but they were unimportant when it came to my survival.

    Oh wait, that totally sounds like a downer! Sorry, but it's true.

  10. I've always loved 17, it was kind of an inbetween time, easygoing, no responsibilities to speak of. I was driving my Chevy Nova, standard shift 3 on the tree, so into photography too. Loved going to concerts, and still do too. It's funny how some of the good things about 17, I have kept in my life all these years and still do.

  11. your post created nostalgia for me, 5 years back when i was 17, i was in my 12th grade and really thinking about a good end from school and new start for college..

    everything was so up and down, still i love that era! haha

  12. What a fun post and I could relate to many of the things in your list when I was seventeen. Could I use this idea sometime at my blog? I'll credit you as the source.

  13. A great meme. I wrote at lenght in my memoir about being seventeen and a fish out of water in many ways. There is much more I need to write down.

  14. I was driving a Mustang, too!

    In fact, I was doing a lot of the same things you were doing (except algebra and bookkeeping).

    This is a wonderful post. It took me back to my own teenage years. Thanks!

  15. Great post. At 17, I was editing the school newspaper, graduating from a high school I was very glad to get out of, starting college, and meeting the man who would later become my husband.

  16. At seventeen I was accepted into the advanced creative writing program at a university. I thought I was going to be the female Hemingway.

  17. Elizabeth, If only I could keep my seventeen looks, but have my wisdom. :)

    Janna, Time in a Bottle was my senior class song.

    Simon, Things seem to work out for the good. And you're writing finally!!

    Devon, I would have guessed you were working to get somewhere. You are so motivated.

    Mary, email me and I will tell you about Playlist- if you don't already know.

    CM, I was sweeter at seventeen. My heart was tarnished yet. :)

    Joanne, I love Chevy Novas. (Big Sigh)

    Naqvee, Seventeen is kind of up and down. We are finishing and starting.

    Cindy, Of course you can use this idea. I'm flattered.

    lakeviewer, I would love to read your seventeen memoir.

    Kat- Go Mustangs.

    Constance-So you were writing/editing even then?

    Elizabeth B., That is very exciting. And you are a Hemingway to me.

    Thanks all for sharing your seventeen. I feel I know you all better.

  18. You were/are beautiful, no need to wish for prettier. I was drawing, writing my poetry and hoping to go to college for art. I made many of my own clothes too. My father was from the old school. I graduated from high school and had to leave. Mom took me to enlist in the army.
    I knew everything then and only "know" half as much now. lol

  19. Hi, Judy, Wow you were busy. I think I was just waiting...floating to see where to next.

  20. Journaling Woman.
    Okay. You have outdone yourself. Absolutely Amazing.
    Jim Croce's song was mentioned on my Inkie blog as a secular song that had Godly values. SOOOO cool.
    I may just hang out here all day...

    At Seventeen:
    I hung with some questionable folks.
    Alcohol became a way to rebel.
    I performed high kicks as a member of the Bengal Belles.
    I was an underachiever in school.

    Think I'll stop now b/f I embarrass myself more!

    LOVED knowing about you, especially that you made most of your own clothes. My mom made most of mine, and at that time, didn't really like that because it wasn't "cool."

    Oh, now we are hearing "Woman, Take Me In Your Arms."

    So fun!


  21. Yes dear patti, you are hearing songs from my youth. as i mentioned Time in a Bottle was our theme song. I guess making my own clothes made it less embarrassing, plus they were fabulous. :)

  22. So beautiful memories of our youth!Y ou really pulled on my emotions.Thanks
    Betty XX


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