Back in late 2012, rosefox posted her reply to this meme, in which you're supposed to give your best memory, worst fear, and relationship status at a certain age. I posted a comment and she gave me the age of 21. Seemed simple enough.
Ah. But not so fast.
The more I thought about it and tried to recall, the more I realized that I really *don't* remember much in those years. I have a continuous sense of... existence, yes, but trying to put particular events on that timeline? Not so easy. And that goes on for some years later. I'm not sure I can get a good continuous ordered memory sequence until sometime in the 1990s.
I was 21 in 1983-1984. I know that I graduated from HVCC in 1984. So from that and making some deductions, I was able to figure out some things about what I must have been doing in that year.
I had attempted to enter the U.S. Air Force in early 1983, I'm pretty sure. I'd taken a year off after I completed high school in 1980, then came back and started going to HVCC for engineering. During my time at HVCC I first met Dana Lajeunesse, and through her, Kathleen Moffre (who is, today, Kathleen Moffre-Spoor). Dana and I were going through issues at the same time, and both of us ended up deciding to go into the military. Neither of us were really mentally ready, and I did not finish basic training -- though even that short period of time gave me a great respect for those who DID complete it and something of an understanding of what a military life would be like.
After being bounced out of the military -- for reasons that really boiled down to my having no discipline to force myself to do things I didn't want to do, and having excellent defense mechanisms to convince myself that I *couldn't* do such things -- I ended up going back to college, which really seemed the only choice left. During that summer, I also played in a country-rock band called the Marty Wendell Show; I was in that band for two years, one year as sound and lights and the second as bass and backup vocals.
So to the specific requirements of the meme... my best memory (as in, most pleasurable) that I'm pretty sure comes from my 21st year (i.e., between July 21st, 1983 and July 20, 1984) would be playing at a dive called the Riverbend Inn (IIRC, in Vermont) and the associated hijinks our group got up to during that time. The Riverbend itself was a TERRIBLE venue, but because it was so terrible there were just some things that were so funny -- and so very young-men-out --- that I remember it fondly; this especially because it was the only group of that sort that I ever was a part of, really; being a very self-isolated nerd with no social skills or knowledge of how to deal with people, my major interactions with people were through gaming. This was a completely different social setting, and being accepted as "one of the group" in the band was one of the elements that started me on the road to learning how to be somewhat less isolated. This was assisted by the fact that one other member of the band was my brother Phil, and another was Phil's best friend Jeff Thomas.
My worst fear, at least, I can be certain of, because it's been pretty much the same since I can remember: suffocating to death. I'm an asthmatic, have been since I was 21 months old, and I've known for most of my life that it is very probable that asthma is what's going to kill me in the end. Thus I have a worst fear that will fairly regularly try to come true, and that I have to confront with iron control over myself not to panic -- which will make it worse.
Insofar as relationship status... during the latter part of that year, Dana and I started dating, a relationship that would last for more than five years. It would end badly for us both -- neither of us were mature enough, and we both had psych issues that made the relationship, long-term, damaging to us. But during those five-plus years, Dana's friend Kathleen kept trying to patch things up... and eventually, quite some months after Dana and I broke up, Kathy and I started dating... and eventually, of course, got married. Several years after *that*, we re-established contact with Dana, who'd also found someone else and gotten married, and to our great joy were able to restart the friendship and now she, and her husband Joe, are two of our best friends and supports (and I like to think we are the same to them).
So, rosefox, sorry it took so long for me to post on this, but as you can see it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought when I first volunteered!