Hey, Nineteen: A post to save lives.

EVERY comment on this post means a life-saving vaccination will be donated to a child in need, thanks to the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Blogust campaign and Walgreen’s participation, starting today. If you comment on any post of mine (or share one!), please make it this one. Even if just to say hi.

Also, I’m posting hugely embarrassing photos of myself so it seems only fair in return.

Thalia at 8. Me at 11.

My oldest daughter is now eight and the youngest, six. It’s a strange thing to now have children at ages where I can remember so much of those years myself. I catch myself saying “I learned to ride a bike with training wheels at six too.” Or “when I was your age I remember a dollar would get you 2 slices of pizza and a small fountain Coke! Now go get my cane.”

I cannot project what my girls’ memories will be of the next few years, as they hit their tweens (when did we invent that awful word anyway?) and ramp up into their teens, stumbling toward adulthood hopefully with more grace than I did. But I do remember my own memories of each of those years. And I can’t help but compare, predict, wonder, where the similarities will be.

We don’t remember days, we remember moments. -Cesare Pavese

9 Getting my ears pierced and not having to wait until 13. (Happy birthday to me!) My first R-rated movie with my dad: Animal House. I still recall wondering, “what’s the big deal with the dean’s daughter admitting to that fraternity boy after they spent the night together that she’s only 13? That’s a teenager. That’s old!” The rambunctious, undisciplined boy in fourth grade who made the teacher cry. Falling in love with music through the AM-FM clock radio on my nightstand. Hearing the word goddamn in an Eagles song and asking my parents, can they do that? Is that legal?

10 Reading Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself and Are You There God It’s Me, Margaret. Sleepovers and girlfriends and experimenting with slam books and cliques and social power structures that sometimes hurt. Accepting that I could dance and I could write, but I would never be picked first in dodgeball and that my little league team would really prefer that I do something else on Saturdays. Turning down $50 from my father to try a bite of lobster. Playing with the Ouija board with my brother and thinking we had a friendly ghost in our house named Smitty. Finding best friends, some of whom are still close with me today. The first serious, serious crush. The horrible embarrassment of my father driving slowly past his house and calling, Jaaaasooooon…while I ducked as far as I could down into the car floor.

starring sally j freedman as herself

Other Judy Blume books get more attention, but this might have been my favorite.

11. The beginning of girls who had boyfriends and breasts and bras and periods and things I didn’t have. I had a waist you could wrap two hands around and your middle fingers and thumbs could touch. But I didn’t have the boobs and that was all I wanted. It was the beginning of boys in a way that might have made me say ew only two years earlier. A first kiss in a game of spin the bottle at summer camp that led to a first kiss up in the sand dunes with the chubby but sweet boy from Long Island.  The ability to write my mother about it because I could tell her anything. The letter back about how proud she was that I did. The ability to write my father a different kind of letter because starting that summer, they didn’t live together anymore.

12 Discovering teen magazines and R rated movies, willing myself to have a crush on John Schneider even when the other girls liked Scott Baio, and wondering if the rumors about those girls in eighth grade and the things they did at parties were true. Thinking roach clips that you wore in your hair with dangly feathers hanging from them, had something to do with insects. Believing green MnMs made you horny. Having to ask what “horny” meant. Hugging friends hello in the junior high halls between classes. My father’s girlfriend buying me Frye boots that made me feel so fancy. Finding a love for theater and the nervous thrill of backstage moments before the curtain first rose. Loving Kate Bush. Experimenting with eyeliner but still clinging to overalls and soccer cleats. The cleats were black. The eyeliner was shiny, metallic turquoise. Not a good look. But then, nothing really was. Except the dress I wore to my father’s wedding: sapphire blue taffeta. Sweet.

13 Taking a big fluffy maxi-pad, turning it over and over in my hands and sticking it–to me. Upside down. For a good half-hour. Until finally, my best friend at my sleepover party that night told me I was doing it wrong.

High school begins.

14 Coordinating my first day of high school outfit with my first day of school with braces: black striped pants with funky lace overalls, a white puffy shirt that may have very well inspired a Seinfeld producer, silver jewelry as an homage to the teeth. Being called Square Pegs by the upperclassmen. (I was Sarah Jessica, presumably. It was the long, frizzy hair.) Realizing I would never dance for a living, but I could maybe, possibly write. Running for student council as a joke, simply to write funny ads and post them around the school halls. Making new ones each day as the old ones were claimed by upperclassmen for their lockers. Losing by only two votes.

15 Discovering a best friend isn’t always a best friend; that she may find a new best friend who’s more outrageous, more rebellious, more earnest when she writes brooding poetry. And that this best friend may find a boyfriend who is the boyfriend you hoped to have and she knew it. Rediscovering the earlier best friend, the one who would never ever make out with a boy you liked right in front of the school, in front of everyone–and never ever did. Learning to value loyalty above much else.

Hair inspired by Jon Cryer, pearls by Annie Potts.
Pretty in Pink era, ooooobviously.

16 Attempting my drivers test on a stick shift and stalling three times as I parallel parked on a hill. Passing anyway. A first job making Carvel ice cream cakes, and decorating the small ones with too much frosting and half-cherries and almond slivers, but that’s what it took to make the design look like a punk rock guy that someone with a sense of irony eventually bought. Trying to convince my brother he’d look cooler with an earring. Finishing the SATs with a math score I swore couldn’t have really been mine. Scrounging summer invitations to the beach club with the cute lifeguards. You could pay for food just by signing the check. You didn’t even need money! Technology! Amazing!

16 or 17, with my cousins and grandparents. Man, I loved my family. But not the braces.

17 Making myself learn how to type without even looking at the keys because I thought one day I might need it (though I still had no idea why anyone would ever use an @ symbol). The early rejection from the only real college of my choice. The later acceptance to the only real college of my choice. Freedom and independence. Senior Cut Day on the beach. The first pedicure. (Yeah, we waited back then.) Prom in a sequin flapper dress and bright red lipstick. Winning my first ever award that really mattered to me, from my school dance company for choreography. Summer days spent teaching 10 year-old girls to swim and play kickball and dance in the day camp talent show. Summer nights spent with the boyfriend who should have been way nicer. Or with the friends who couldn’t have been more perfect. Making up the Vogue dance in a friend’s basement long before Madonna, though no one ever believes us. Renting Eraserhead and A Clockwork Orange and thinking ourselves very, very alternative. Packing for college and watching my mother move out with her boyfriend the same day. The braces coming off. The retainer I never used once.

18 Experimenting. A lot. Figuring out college. Figuring out my relationship with my parents. Figuring out that the high school boyfriend was long gone, probably even before I was. Figuring out who I wanted to be when I grew up. Figuring out whether I really was grown-up and what that even meant. Figuring out how many foods one could cook in an illegal crockpot on a dorm room desk. Figuring out that I could eat sugar cereals every single day for breakfast and no one could do anything about it. Figuring out why I put on ten pounds so easily before the holiday break. Figuring out that the art major, the one with the pouty lips and cascading hair would never like me as much as he liked Wendy. Figuring out that I didn’t have a home anymore unless it was one I was making myself. Figuring out that surviving mean girl summer roommates took strength, friendship, and a little more vengeance than I’m proud of. Sorry about all those dishes of yours I threw away, Sylvia and Alex. They must have broken or something.

With my mother at 19. She still carries these in her wallet. A mother’s mind can freeze her children in time, no matter how old they get. Maybe I’m still this age to her in a way.

19 Moving in with the boyfriend, the drummer, the one with the long hair and New England accent and the roommate who I was sure was on Steroids. Dying my hair jet black and shaving the sides. Starting to accept a new stepfather (kind of). Carrying a terrible fake ID that was only good enough to get me into the bar with a wink from the bouncer. Committing deeply to a career as a copywriter and knowing it would make my dad proud. Sitting in the first row of my advertising classes and reading three chapters ahead in every textbook. Falling in love with social sciences and the study of people. Wearing black plastic hoop earrings that touched my shoulders. Dancing on the speakers in the clubs to the Cult and Big Audio Dynamite, like I’d be nineteen forever. Looking forward to my brother visiting me in college before he headed off himself. Learning the concept of networking. Gunning for an internship that should have been for students a year older–and getting it. Wondering if it was time for grown-up hair and fearing it terribly. Taking off the Doc Martens and trying on a a navy suit and power bow for a hostess job at a restaurant–then bursting into tears in front of the mirror at Ann Taylor. Seeing the beginnings of my life ahead of me. Seeing myself start to become the woman I would be, if only the teeniest little bit at at time. Liking what I was seeing.

If only the teeniest little bit at a time.


This memory of 19, and the tween years preceding it, is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation which helps get vaccines to kids as a cost-effective way to save lives. Thousands of lives. Every single comment here and on the other Blogust posts about moments that matter, year to year, means one vaccine will be donated so please leave one! Whatever it is you write, no matter how heartfelt or how short and sweet, you’ll have saved a life. Find the other posts and follow the feed on Twitter with #blogust.

And: huge news. Announcing today and beginning September 3 through October 14 (whoo!) Walgreens starts their “Give a Shot. Get a Shot.” campaign. Go there for your flu shot, and they will donate one vaccine to the campaign. Walgreens has committed $500,000 to donate up to 3 million vaccines for those kids who need them most (the pharmacy will have all the details). Because one child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease and we all know that’s way way too many. Thanks Walgreens, 500,000 times over. You’re doing good.


420 thoughts on “Hey, Nineteen: A post to save lives.”

    1. amazing anecdotes,thank you for sharing. Vaccines are important for development of a poor country.

  1. Oh the memories. You capture them perfectly. So many are similar and yet not. But those first inklings of knowing in your own self that you’re going to turn around alright. 18/19 was that time for me too. And what a phenomenal feeling it is! Fantastic post. Thank you for being a part of this incredible project and in many ways, being its muse. xo

  2. Great post. Love the snapshots of who you were each year, so fun.

  3. This post was adorable up and down, and one I’m sure your own kids will be thrilled to come across one day.

    Thanks for providing such an easy way to further an important cause.

  4. What an important cause, thanks for supporting it. And the news about Walgreens, too.

  5. Loved the post! Is it bad that I don’t have nearly as good a memory as you do? What am I going to tell my daughter about my childhood if I can’t remember most of it!?

  6. At 19, I learned how to eat. No, literally. I broke the chains of the eating disorder that I didn’t know I had and ate enough food to walk the streets of London without fainting, the first time I had eaten that much in my life. At 19, I resolved to stop lying to make other people feel better at the expense of myself and my own soul. At 19, I learned myself.

  7. GREAT post – and I remember you through some of those (and loved seeing the pictures). Oh the things we could tell our younger selves…

  8. Such an awesome trip down memory lane. Amazing how familiar it all sounds. Thanks for the nostalgia on a dreary Monday morning. 🙂

  9. I was therrrrre! You forgot to write about the time Chris put the fish eggs in my glove though, because that was important. xo

  10. You’re pretty in pink, in braces, in black, in short hair, in glasses, in pearls, in gold chokers.
    Love this. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I especially love the pictures – what a hoot! Thanks for sharing – and for helping with the vaccines!

  12. This post is rad, dude. I love (and often relate to) your confessions, and the side-by-side pics of you & T- wow. Beautiful, the both of you.

  13. Different details, some similarities. I love that my kid is getting to the age that I can remember in my own life. Which I’m suddenly realizing puts some extra pressure on me, since he will presumably remember these days for years to come.

  14. Whoa. I should make my own list like this, for my daughter to read some day.

  15. It was fun to walk down memory lane with you. 🙂 Do you know what kind of vaccinations are being donated? Various kinds, or one specific kind? What an interesting project.

    1. Thanks J. And good question.

      Measles and polio vaccines will be donated to children in developing countries directly through UNICEF and WHO.

      More from the faq page:

      Walgreens and the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign are partnering to send 50,000 polio and measles vaccines to children who need them the most in developing countries. Polio vaccines cost on average $0.13 and measles vaccines cost on average $0.23, with an additional $0.70 per vaccine for delivery costs (refrigeration, health worker education, transportation, proper disposal of waste, etc.).

  16. Amazing memory, Liz, but that’s why you are-and always were-a writer. As a mother, the hardest hardest part is biting your lip and refusing to say, “One day you’ll learn ,” as often as you wanted. In fact, I have a permanent scar on the inside of my right cheek where I bit it for 6 years!

  17. Great stories, and one thing children always leave behind are the memories of them.

  18. I still kind of want to dress like that and dance like that again. Oh, and play Spin the Bottle. Even more though, I want more kids to have the opportunity to make memories like these.

    I’m so glad to be part of Shot@Life with you!

  19. I wish I could comment on this post a quazillion times. For the vaccines AND the hair.

  20. This brought back some memories, most made me smile. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Enjoyed your journey!
    And hoping you help a lot of kids as well!

  22. Fun and brought back memories of bad hair, braces, and 80’s movies!

  23. Liz, good thing for all of us you knew you wanted to be a writer – and stayed with it! You have got the chops, girl, and this post is CRAZY GOOD.

    How much would we all love to see the ad slogans that nearly got you elected to student council as a freshman?!

  24. Love it. The pictures are fab. I see we both shared braces and big hair! Thanks for being the inspiration for Shot@Life – it must blow your mind to know that because of your words you have saved thousands and thousands of children’s lives. So amazing — what a legacy.

    ~ K

    1. I remain in denial. I think what YOU and everyone else does is what’s saving lives. Thanks for participating Katherine, and all the support and shares.

  25. Wow, what a post. You took me back to a time that seems ancient..and wonderful. I also had the same hair at 16 – oy vey! Thank you for this wonderful cause you are supporting, as always.

  26. What a great post! It brought tears to my eyes because it revived so many memories that I had inside and haven’t thought of for awhile! Thank you so much for that and for helping to save lives through the vaccines.
    You’re a beautiful person, inside & out!
    God bless!

  27. I can see myself in those posts, substituting the gender roles. The photo of you and your daughter at the same age is uncanny.

  28. lovely. oh to re-live the past knowing what we know now. grateful I don’t have to. thank you…keep up the good work

  29. Beautiful, beautiful post- and I llooovveed the Sally Freedman shout-out! It was my fave Judy Blume till I was old enough to really “get” Tiger Eyes 🙂

  30. Sometimes I wish I had a vaccine for the years 11-14. Just something preventative for the whole era.

  31. I joined the navy at 19 and traveled the world. Some brushes with the end of the Vietnam war aside, it was an incredible year of my life. In Australia there is a famous (to us) song about 19 year old men headed to that horrible war. You might find it poignant considering your post. It’s called “I was only 19”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urtiyp-G6jY

  32. wow. such a flashback. and i totally need a copy of Are You There God It’s Me Margaret in my house right this minute.

  33. Such a nice article! I am 19 now and it made me feel really emotional thinking about all the years that passed.

    Great innitiave by the way, hope you get thousands of comments!

  34. Reading this and realizing how close to growing up my own 10 year old daughter is. In the blink of an eye, she’ll be off to college. Whoa…

  35. Never “knew” that about green m&m’s – might have changed my whole path?

    Nicely written!

  36. You’re the first person I heard also admit to sharing the wrong-side-of-the-maxi-pad experience. lol My friends looked at me like I’d gone mad.

    I want to share this blog with everyone. What a wonderful way to save children. Thanks.

  37. I salute this wonderful initiative!
    I enjoyed reading the blog as well….
    Thanks for what you’re doing….

  38. Fitting that today I’m getting my last installment of the HPV vaccine today. Here’s a comment for all the children who aren’t as fortunate as we are to have access to these life-saving vaccines.

    These are all beautiful memories, Liz. Thanks for sharing and for making me feel a little bit better about growing up.

  39. Thanks for sharing Great memories. Also thanks for sharing beautiful photographs.

  40. I have a 12-year old daughter, good lessons for me here. Thanks for the post and thanks for supporting Shot@Life.

  41. Oh. My. God. The hair. Judy Blume. Maxi pads.
    So glad those days are over for us (our hair is better now) but I loved reading it!

  42. I just had my second daughter (she’s 13 days old), and thinking of being able to remember stuff I did at her age when she turns that age is more mind-boggling than my sleep-deprived state can handle. love it.

  43. What excellent detailed memories, physical details that convey so much emotion.

    Also, you had the best 80s haircuts.

  44. An incredible post for an awesome cause! What I would do to go back to those awkward tween/teen years and relive them all over again. Everything seemed so serious and monumental then. And, while each experience was life-shaping in its own way, all of the drama and challenges passed as quickly as they arrived, life went on, we grew up and new challenges and life lessons continue to present themselves. Life is an incredible journey and I count my blessings everyday that I was able to worry about boys, and prom, and pedicures, not basic survival as many of the Shot@life beneficiaries are. Thank you for participating in this incredible cause!

  45. Ah yes, 80s perms and those overalls – I remembered and laughed along with you. Hoping that you like what you see most of the time now 🙂

  46. I think I was your sister back then. We definitely had the same hair. Oh, and I’m sorry I took all the boobs. I didn’t share well back then!

    Thanks for the memories!

  47. In some ways I feel like we’ve grown up together, but this post makes me REALLY feel that way. The details are different (and you were so much bolder than I was at those ages) but the feelings…wow, I haven’t thought of them like this till now. Thank you for this (and thank you to Shot@Life).

  48. #17 changed a lot for me in how efficient I was able to work in school and jobs. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference — like this post! 🙂

  49. Nineteen what a time. Sometimes I still feel nineteen, then I realize I have a nineteen year old daughter and I am brought back to reality.

  50. Totally well-edited pars! I kept reading and reading all the way to 19. That’s how it supposed to be right?) The pics are a nice feature. Keep wearing silver jewelry hun!

  51. Nineteen! My husband came back from overseas. We had lost eighteen months, when we should have been adjusting to each other. The military should never separate young families.

  52. Poignant, truthful and relatable memories. Beautifully stated!

  53. I remember you at 12, sitting together in junior high, the other, hateful girls. Glad we made it out (more or less) intact. Beautiful post ♥

  54. Ahh, the hairstyles, the movie and book references – a walk down memory lane for me. And also makes me so thankful to be an adult! Lol. thnx for sharing!

  55. Great post! Thanks for sharing! I too would love to see those ads you wrote in your campaign. You sound like a delightful woman, and your kids are lucky to have you as their mom.

  56. Liz, you spill yourself onto the page like no other. Thank you for being you, for sharing your wonderfulness with us, and for helping to save lives in the process. I love you, Rane

  57. I LOVE the side by side pictures of you and your daughter at age 11!

  58. You have a great memory or did you keep a diary. Enjoyed your blog.

  59. My memories of you starting in 1986 are indelible and part of my “grown up DNA.” Besides sharing horrible road trips to Wooster to support our boyfriends and working together to launch our careers, you always did and still do inspire me. I knew I was lucky to have had you as a friend and partner then–I’m glad to still call you a friend today.

  60. Ahh, braces. I got them on in 7th, they took the top ones off in 8th because I didn’t have enough permanent teeth to straighten, put them back on in my junior year in HS and I had to beg and plead my orthodontist to take them off the week before I graduated from high school.

    They were on my bottom teeth that entire time. SIX YEARS. I think I wrote really bad poetry about the agony of them.

  61. What a message! And the memories and insight – more than I can remember of that point in time – other than always wishing I could do more and be more adventuresome.

  62. Thanks for sharing your teens! Love your post and I was fond of Cesare Pavese (I met him just at nineteen). A big heartfelt hug!

  63. Love this post! Given the Big Audio Dynamite reference, I think a BAD II lyric fits perfectly here: “If I had my time again, I would do it all the same…” (And yes, I still listen to that album.)

  64. Amazing to read all that backstory. and THANK YOU for reminding me about Sally J Freedman—I remember bits and pieces of the book but completely forgot the title (and you’re right, its never mentioned when Judy Blume comes up).

  65. Yay for vaccines.
    Boo for braces. Yay for straight teeth.
    Double boo for braces at age 40.

  66. Those tween years are awkward and heartbreaking and I would rather have a newborn for a year than relieve those days!

  67. Wow, totally radical memories! (Oh my gosh, I’m embarrassed that I type that.)

  68. Fantastic post! It’s amazing how universal so many of these experiences are.

  69. Great post! I’m a couple years behind you but so much of that resonated with what I remember from that time too!

  70. Thank you for sharing these heartfelt memories about your life.

  71. Growing up is all about adjusting to new realities. You’ve done a lovely job of recounting many of those adjustments.

  72. wow. fun memories! Almost makes me not want to let my girls grow up though… it’s hard to be a parent and let go!

  73. I am here at your mother’s urging (she was my 4th grade teacher–I still obey…)-and love this post. I see myself and my 20-something daughters in your memories–growing pains are universal ! And so should be access to childhood vaccines–great idea.

  74. What a beautiful, rich sharing of your memories, thank you very much for bringing them into a vivid present!!!!

  75. What a wonderful, thought-provoking post. Some say looking back is scary–but it is one of the healthiest things we can do–especially as parents and–in my case–as a grandparent. So many bumps along the road–yet here we are. Thanks for your wisdom–and for joining with Walgreens and Shot@Life in removing some of the unnecessary bumps in the road for children who need life-saving vaccines.

  76. Making a comment for Blogust. Keep the comments coming!

    – William

  77. Wonderful article- funny, poignant and well-written. Thanks for sharing!

  78. Totally agree on the Sally J Freedman book. I think I still have that copy of mine somewhere! So, did you not go through the neon-colored clothes of the 80’s phase like those of us in the Midwest did? Oh, and your mom looks like she could be your sister in those photos.

  79. I also wonder what my boys will remember most… and hope that they don’t give me heart attack in the process! Which, truthfully, based on what my parents went through with me, I really have coming!

  80. Oh Liz! This is just lovely. I was years ahead of you but it all sounds so familiar. Rendered with such warmth. OH and the photos may be embarrassing but they’re also darling. I just wish there were one of the pink sequins and red lipstick!

  81. Great to have all those photos – they will be worth something some day – so hold on to them!!! The memories and stories are also so important, your children will compare themselves to you and they may even be jealous!

  82. I had the same hair – and braces – during the same Pretty in Pink era. Yup.

    Thanks for sharing the love & the awkwardness (and your doppleganger daughter) with us, for such a great cause.

  83. what a fun walk down memory lane! I too often wonder what my kiddos will remember and what will just be a blip on their radar. My son started kindergarten this week and I vividly remember kindergarten and everything after, will he?

  84. Great post. So many memories came back to me reading it. Thanks for doing this. Vaccines are important.

  85. I’m older than you by probably 20 years but the memories are universal!

    Thanks for sharing the wonderfully written moments.

  86. Thanks for this lovely walk back through time. I should do the same soon.

  87. Pressed submit too soon. Thanks also for supporting Shot@life!

  88. Sending a note of thanks for this inspiring post. So fun to think back on the memories that seemed so little at the time but are such a big part of who we are. I found a note written at age 12 and stuffed in a teddy bear for my ‘older self’ to find. Amazingly I had forgotten it was there! Fun to read and remember what mattered so much at the time. Thanks as well for your support of Shot@Life – it’s a great program doing great work!

  89. Great memories! Thanks for sharing. This is motivation for some interesting conversation with my nine year old.

  90. Great time line filled with endearing benchmarks of your life. Thanks for sharing a part of your journey. Sending a gratitude shout out to your for using voice to touch lives, make a difference.
    Melanie Jones

  91. You’ve really captured a good bit of my own reality here. Thanks for being brave enough to share, especially your photos. Mine are…well, I would have burned them if my mother hadn’t hidden an entire period of my life on printed paper from me. And thank you for supporting Shot@Life!!

  92. thank you for this walk down memory lane….I was thinking about my own experiences as I read this! Thanks for lending your voice to this great cause!

  93. What a fun reminiscence! Thanks for posting, and I hope you get lots of comments.

  94. KEEP GOING. I want to know all your memories. #NotCreepy

    Thank you for being involved with Shot@Life!

  95. Lovely post. My (older) sister put a tampon in with the cardboard still on, and wondered why it was so uncomfortable.

  96. Thanks for being so open and honest with your memories. It made me think of all my own over the years. It is interesting what we remember the most or do not remember so well.

  97. I was actually just thinking earlier in the weekend how grateful I was for the evolution of the maxi-pad from the ones I endured during my teenage years and this post reminded me why!

    Keep up the good work–I love the introspection your blogposts plant in my head. 🙂

  98. Thank you for writing this story and for participating in the Blogust Shot@Life campaign!! I enjoy your writing!

  99. The other day my 12 year old said “it’s so weird that you had a life before all of us” oh kid, you have no idea how weird it was. Thanks for supporting Shot@Life and other families!

  100. Loved! Makes me reminisce and ponder my own big hair, poor fashion and amazing memories.

  101. Favorite quote and I’m hanging in my classroom! We don’t remember days, we remember moments. -Cesare Pavese

    Thank you for sharing!

  102. Cannot even be explained, what a great memories!!! thanks for sharing!

  103. I love that you can remember all that stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  104. Great memories, great pictures kept.. wow so lovely and interesting.

  105. Cannot even be explained, what a great memories!!!! thanks for sharing!

  106. Thalia looks so so much like you!

    Those were good years (I share many of those memories) but I wouldn’t do them again!

  107. Thank for making me remember some wonderful milestones in my live and in my children lives. more important THANK YOU for supporting Shot@Life!

  108. YES, we remember moments, not days. And your memories stir others’ memories. Thanks.

  109. I’m gald UN does this kinds of things. Hopefully more children will be vaccinated 🙂

  110. I was LOL-ing at some things, and some things just melted my heart. Great post!

  111. Thanks for for the trip down memory lane and for the vaccination effort!

  112. Thanks for reminding me of all these fun things from when I was growing up. We must be close to the same age because I recognized every single reference.

  113. Well done for supporting such a great cause, and for sharing your stories!

  114. Wow, what an amazing memory you have–or a really good diary! This brought back so many memories of what it really felt like to be those ages. Thank you for this beautiful post–my absolute favorite!

  115. Beautiful memories! Thanks for sharing, and hosting the vaccine drive-thingie.

  116. This was lovely to read – and fun to remember. Those days stay with us, for better or worse, and I agree, it’s nice to share the “I remember when”s with your kids. Makes the good times golden and the bad times educational.

  117. I enjoyed reading your lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

  118. Thanks for such a sweet, funny post and for enabling support for the vaccine initiative.

  119. Ref- Hey 19,A post to save life,society&communities should develop
    social culture for education/play/freedom/dignity for adult -childhood
    to overcome life growing complex conditions.Street children &under nutrition conditions are vulnerable to diseases&exploitation.Juvenile rights should be addressed by communities for prevention of juvenile
    ant-social practices.

  120. Totally enjoyed your throwback pictures. A lot of your memories remind me of my own childhood and teen years. Also, I love this promotion of providing vaccines. Wonderful cause! Take care.

  121. I LOVE this post, maybe because we must be the same age and so many of the memories resonate from that time period, (Judy Blume, Frye boots, metallic turquoise) plus you are adorable in the photos and very brave to pull out the 80’s/ early 90’s hair photos!

  122. I’m a long time reader but this is my first time commenting. Loved this post. Your writing is so emotive, and you really are an inspiration.

    1. I also hardly ever comment on blogs, but I too am a long-time reader who appreciates your perspective tremendously.
      In my pre-mom life, I worked for Rotary International, whose members give relentlessly of their time and talents and funds to ensure kids around the world receive polio vaccinations, so its a cause near and dear to me – such an important part of ensuring childhood health around the world. Happy to participate in a small way today!

  123. Oh, the memories. Never locked in there. Bursting to find freedom. Flying like wild migrating geese, with such vision and clarity, into the minds of everyone who reads your beautiful post. You brought me back to MY girls’ coming-of-age, discoveries, angst, perfection. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your great support of Shot@Life so that children everywhere will sit one day and unlock a child turned woman…

  124. Well done. I’m not sure that I am yet brave or humble enough to post pictures of me with the big bangs.

  125. Oh my goodness! You remind me of myself! You have the most detailed memory of your childhood! Actually I take it back, mine isn’t that detailed. But thanks for sharing.

  126. Ah sweet memories…what would we do without them? I love this!!

  127. 🙂 So many memories! In the era of blogs and facebook and other ways to record every thought and moment, I wonder what my kids will really remember about their own childhood.

    1. You know, I think I can remember so much because I wasn’t photographing it or busy writing it down or thinking how to spin it for an Instagram post for my friends; just living it. Something to think about.

  128. It really touched my heart , this made me remember my teenager years and also think of my own children now. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  129. A great post! Thanks so much for sharing your story. You sound like an incredible Mom with amazing kids! : )

  130. Wonderful memories….how come I remember them almost as well as you????

  131. Hey I really enjoyed your writing it made me laugh and also I can totally relate to being nineteen at a club and thinking it would be that way forever ! it seems that an American gal can have a similar growing up experience to a kiwi/Australian girl who would a thunk it
    Why can’t you still be a dancer make your own rules stay 19 some where.
    I’m glad you stuck with the writing you are great thanks Imogen

  132. Cool post. Thalia looks so much like you! Who knew that you could pass down the same shoulders!

  133. love these memories – makes me want to take a trip down memory lane –

    even more so…think of the week I just spent with my 2 year old cousin and how lucky she is to have medical care, so I am commenting.

  134. I didn’t get to read this whole thing bc it’s a busy day but I wanted to leave a comment.

    Here it is:
    Sally J. Freedman is the BEST Judy Blume book ever!

    Also, I had hoped to run into you at Blogher to say hello in person but it didn’t happen. Maybe next year.

    1. Sorry I missed you Trish. Especially now that I know what great taste you have in Judy Blume books.

  135. I’m STILL excited about the fact that I can eat sugar cereals every single day for breakfast and no one can do anything about it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  136. What a worthy way to chronicle those memories! Loved reading it and love that vaccines come from these comments.

  137. That was fun! Makes me want to write a list like that. And makes me think that it’s possible we went to the same high school; or at least graduated the same year!

  138. At work I say to people, “when I was your age”…and then I feel so old.

    1. Putting all these selective memories of teen years into writing for your daughters to know that they are not alone in the teenage years ahead and this great cause you have set to serve is at least… very considerate if not HUMANE …thank you for letting us know of this cause and the flood of memories that overwhelmed us of an age we have somehow shared…but alas not recorded like you have done…

  139. Sally J. Freidman! How could I have forgotten her?! Thanks for the reminder and for triggering a host of memories and feelings from my own 19. Wonder what my sweet girl will remember?

  140. Great post! Got me thinking about my own childhood and trigging memories and feelings I haven’t thought about in years. teared up a bit at the notion of a mother’s mind freezing their children in time, so true.

  141. Slam books, roach clips, metallic eyeliner… all that and more! Such fun memories.

    Also, vaccines FTW!

  142. This is an awesome post. You’ve inspired me to look back over my life and remember all the great times I’ve had. 19 was a great year for me, all the freedom I could ask for and so few responsibilities. It’s a pity we can’t stay like that forever.

  143. Thanks for a fantastic stroll down memory lane. And what an awesome initiative. You’re so inspiring.

  144. I LOVE this post! So many great–and not-so-great-but-still poignant–memories. I also loved Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself.

  145. I wonder if my boy with love Judy Blume as much as I did. I do hope so.

  146. Awesome! Vaccination “debates” in our country make me irate, esp. when one considers how many people in the world would do anything to get them.

    Brava, you. And awesome pics, too. 😉

  147. Hope it is not too late to participate and rave about your haircuts over the year. The 80s/90s. Glad to see we all survived them.

  148. Really enjoyed that! You didn’t even have to write so beautifully to get comments because of the good cause aspect, but you did! thanks.

  149. Totally agree with you on the Judy Blume book – that was my fave too. Loved how she signed her letters: Love, and other indoor sports. I did too until my mom saw and tried to explain which I found embarrassing and promptly stopped. 🙂

  150. Great post! Thanks for sharing your fun memories. My favorite was the backwards maxi-pad.

  151. I loved being 19! I worked hard, played hard, was doing what I knew I was meant to do. I was a sponge for life. Many years later the spiral of time has brought me back to this, having survived an impossibly crazy situation.

    Thanks for this post and pics, for finding a way to help kids get vaccines and having come late to writing, being my inspiration!

  152. Great blog and great photos- don’t be embarrassed- we all have them.
    Thanks for supporting Shot @ Life!

  153. I loved Are You There God It’s Me Margaret! It actually influenced a lot about how I view my choice in religion. Great for kids to read, I hope someday mine pick it up and get a chance to reflect on this topic, along with the others in the book.

  154. Wow, this took me back. You’re a little younger than me, but some of the experiences transcend the decades! I have been reading your blog for ages. Love it.

  155. Really those memories are great! I’m glad to learn you’ve captured all of those memories perfectly. I guess your children’s will be delighted to acknowledge such memories of their mom. Good post!! Thanks for popping up.

  156. Just wanted to add a comment for this great cause. Thanks for doing this.

  157. Beautifully written as usual! I could relate to all of it – haircuts, music and all. And I became a writer, too, and have 2 crazy smart girls as well. I tell them funny stories about growing up, but you have inspired me to write it all down for them. Thank you for all you do.

  158. I love the side by side pictures. I am constantly looking at my girls and seeing myself in their actions…both the good ones and the bad! Thanks Liz.

  159. What wonderful memories! Thank you for being the inspiration to Blogust last year and for participating again with your story.

  160. Thank you so much for writing this post and supporting Shot@Life! I’ve volunteered on the campaign since the beginning and believe so passionately in the cause.

  161. My kids both decided to get shortish haircuts this week- the 6 year old because that’s what she wanted, and the almost 4 year old because she wants to be like her big sister. And I had a flashback to all the crazy things I did with my hair growing up, and had to smile at the craziness that is likely still to come.

  162. Read Judy Blume books for first time when my daughter read them in second or third grade. Love them even at my age. Some of the events in your story parallel my daughters life. Thank You for the memories.

  163. Loved this post! To think you started it all by reminding us how commenta count. So many children now have a shot at life thanks to you!!! I don’t think you could even imagine that at 19.

    1. And I leave one back! Thanks for all your support Jeannette and your own post. You’re amazing and I’m honored to be part of it with you.

  164. SLAM BOOKS. I remember reading one where I was roasted over the coals and so, in retaliation, I started my own. Then the kids who started the one where I was decimated cornered me in the bathroom, stole mine and flushed it down the toilet. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW I SURVIVED JUNIOR HIGH.

    1. This just made my whole life Judy, thank you so much. Plus you just gave the 402nd child a vaccination. You are as wonderful as ever.

  165. SO much fun to read, I have a lot of the same tween memories—though I blocked a lot out!!! Catching up on Blogust posts I missed while I was on vacation, this was a great one. Cheers, Liz!

  166. This was a really fun read :] I just wish it was longer!

    Here’s a big cheer for Shot@Life!

  167. Good lord, the roach clips with the feathers – I’d almost forgotten them. What a specific period in life.

    Thanks for supporting Shot@Life!

  168. Great trip through memory lane. It inspired me to think back . . . amazing how fast the heartaches faded and the true friends remain friends to this day.

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  170. The pictures. THE PICTURES! Dying. I think I had that same short haircut at one point. 😉

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