How do you get over all the things that you missed? The stuff you can't get back
Live in gratitude and be present and it's easier to accept the past. If you're grateful, it's hard to simultaneously feel regret. I still have my days where I feel regret, but then again we always look back with the most optimistic eyes, and things wouldn't have necessarily worked out well. Who knows.
Thanks for everybody's responses, I did go to college, although I went the community college>local college route while living at home. Many of the jobs I qualified for were military research based as that is kind of a big thing where I live. Turned down some jobs and ultimately ended up in a lower paying job outside of my chosen career. Going back would be hard, as it is a fast moving field, and most of my training would be obsolete now.
I did get screwed out of teen love/sex up to my early 20's. By mid/late 20's I started to play catch up.
For guys at least, easy to go 10 up to 15 years younger when in your mid 30's. Women will probably be the ones to have missed out since they usually go for older and not sure when guys drives start to slow down but combined those age differences, feel bad for them if missed out.
A tip for those who are getting out single older than 25.......if you mainly followed the WT rules, you were very repressed and on the dating scene likely have the development of a 14/15 year old, meaning will be very clingy, easily attached, etc. Date a lot, and if not in a committed relationship, even date multiple at a time, just to catch up and learn to keep it cool and how those not in a super strict and conservative religion date.
As for college, started in 30's, so have a good 10+ year delay, but catching up.
Lifelong friendships screwed out on for sure. Childhood things missed out on as well, but if I have children, then I'll live the holidays/birthdays/etc through them.
I am now living my life as if this is it. Not wasting as much time and treasure family moments more. Even though my father is out, he still has beliefs of after/new life I think, and since I am not sure, I want to do things more with him than vice versa it seems.
Joining groups, singles groups, active groups that go out and do things is how I've been making new friends and contacts.
A "Master Artist" and an "MA in medieval history" - no wonder neither of them can get a job!
But hey, if you would rather regret the past and feel sorry for yourself, go on believing that not going to college ruined your life.
Stop trying to make it sound like those are the only alternatives. Besides, I see nobody here claiming not going to university "ruined" there lives.
However, I have lived enough (and experienced enough) to know that turning down the opportunity to do the Bachelor of Engineering course (which a large organisation would have sponsored me through) certainly placed me at a disadvantage. Admittedly, Tertiary Education is not for everyone. But then again, neither is dragging a jackhammer around a construction site for everyone, either!
Winston Churchill is on record as once remarking "To try is to risk failure. To fail to try is to guarantee it."
Young persons who are inclined to ought to be at least given the chance to try for a university education, rather than be stopped from even trying by seven old f@#ts in New York.
I could dwell on a wasted 27 years or be grateful they get no more. We bred children while in the church, attended funerals , even when we leave we still keep some decent things but just the generic kindness principles.
Two of my closest friends were both college educated and they're unemployed and homeless.
WOW - 2!!!! That many? That must be about 1/2 of all people who have EVER EVER gone to college.
You could write articles for the Washtowel and Awake magazine!
Your reasoning is SOOOOO spot on.
Bungi Bill: Young persons who are inclined to ought to be at least given the chance to try for a university education, rather than be stopped from even trying by seven old f@#ts in New York.
That's something I can agree with you on 100%! In fact, I think every young person (or older person, for that matter) should get a fair shot at college no matter what family they had the misfortune of being born into. Personal merit should be all that matters, not their family's economic or social status and certainly not their parent's wacky religious beliefs. For every George W. Bush who got into Yale on nothing but money and family connections, there was a truly deserving and intelligent young person who got rejected.
Ttdtt, do your research before being a wise acre. Yes, my experiences are anecdotal (and I have plenty more where those came from) but they are hardly exceptions. Google terms like "student loan crises" "unemployed graduates" "student debt crises" and "college ruined my life".
Everybody has regrets about their life whether they were JWs or not. Yes, if I had to do over again I wouldn't have spent one minute in that hateful cult. But not everything about that life was horrible, I was healthy, I had friends, a good job, I raised two great kids. I missed out on a lot too, but I make a conscious choice each day to be grateful for what I have now and I don't dwell on what I missed out on, because that would mean the religion was stealing even more of my life and I'm not going to let that happen.
There are a lot of good posts here and everybody's experience is different. Much depends on whether somebody is born-in or not and also the age they leave. I have some regrets, sure. But, I'm not sure they can all be blamed on the JW religion.
Someone told me I should view my wasted time in the Witness religion like being in a bad marriage.
Like LISA ROSE said, the key is gratitude for what I have.
Even though I wasted the best-looking years of my life there, I'm thankful I was raised Catholic and had Holidays, education, friends, travel, (in addition to my first kiss LOL)...So, when I started my "fade" out of the JW religion, I was able to pick up where I left off years earlier (a little hurt and disillusioned, but older and wiser). I reconnected with relatives and friends. The first few years were hard but I'm glad I left. Of course, I could have saved myself grief by never joining but who knows?
I'm also grateful I kept my secular job and am now retired.
My biggest regret is not having children. I thought I'd wait until 'the new system'. Now that I'm almost 38 & 'awake' I think I'm past my child bearing years and it's too late for me. I try not to be angry/bitter about it, but it's hard.