I don't know, my teenage through early twenties were a blast while living a double life to be honest with you. I didn't lack for a woman during those years, although it was stressful keeping that stuff hidden from my JW peers and folks. My high school years I mostly hung out with nonJWs, quite a few of which were involved with criminal behavior and there were times my car was, "dirty" for those in the know. Had you reached under my front passenger seat you would have felt what you would have thought to be a salad mix, or broccoli. I never sold, but I had friends who did, and sometimes things ended up my car, stupidly I might add. Those years were fun though, and I miss some of those guys and the fun we had back then. After high school, I went to school for a certain trade which didn't quite pan out in the long run, but it put more money in my pocket in the short run than all of the people who went to college, although I would have liked to know about the college experience, but whatever. Without a degree, and with the JW mindset that blue collar work is somehow more honorable, I ended up in tool & die shops and got exposed to the kind of white people I never would have come across otherwise. It was good experience for me, opened me up to classic rock, met quite a few bikers of both the real outlaw types, and the weekend warriors. Not to mention your safe in suburbia types. I'm glad the WT background exposed me to that at a young age.
I'm not out yet, sometimes I wonder if I'm more physically in than ever with some of the bonehead decisions I've made in the past few months, one might even say decisions I allowed to be made on my behalf. Mentally I'm about as out as can be, although Mad Sweeny and Pistoff may disagree with me saying that. As far as the best years of my life, I don't know. I'm in my early thirties, and I'm not unhappy, although I'm not exactly happy either. I'm at a real crossroads right about know because even if upon making the transition from active JW to inactive, I still don't know what the heck I want to do with my life. Every now and then I get the college bug, but as of late I don't really care about that. I've kind of hit a rut in life, a pause that I haven't been able to do anything about. I never thought this system of things would still be here, but whats more is, when I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I never thought about the possiblity that I'd be in my early thirties. Never thought one day I'd be more attracted to 30ish and 40ish women than I would 20ish. Never thought I'd be purchasing and devouring so many books, and especially thrilled by the writings of a certain gay black author. It's weird man, cuz I'm in a rut, but I'm finding certain satisfaction in this rut, like I'm planning or preparing for something, although I don't know what that is.
So I guess I can say that the JWs haven't taken the best years of my life, with the ultimate question being, yet or ever? I don't know if I've possibly lived the best years of my life during those teenage and early 20ish years? Or do I have better years ahead of me? Time will tell I guess.