When I was a kid, I thought that once I turned 16, I would be grown up. All my freckles would go away. And I would look like Barbie.
This, as you know, is exactly what happened.
So in high school, still befreckled and un-Barbielike, I was sure that once I was in college I'd feel like a grown up. In college, I was so lost. I assumed that once I graduated, adulthood would set in.
My senior year, my boyfriend - the one who worked at the Archives - and I were talking about getting married. You know, when we turned 24 and were real, responsible adults.
Kid you not. And then we broke up, which was really for the best, since marriage and immediate divorce would've just been a scene all around.
And then I was the youngest and smallest in the office in my first job. People were very protective of me, and I felt young. And inexperienced. And really, just, so far from adult.
Another Lisa started not long after I did, and so people initially referred to me as "Little Lisa."
But soon realized they couldn't refer to the other as "Big Lisa" - at which point they used our last initials.
But "Little Lisa" stuck with a number of them.
And in my 20s, I felt as lost and floundery as ever. When I hit 30, I figured, that's when I'd be grown up.
Because certainly I'd be married by then. Because 30, 30 was so unimaginably old.
So 30 came and went, and I hadn't established what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I lived one year after another with continual and increasing responsibility - in my job, in owning a condo, in keeping my father alive.
And still, still other people my age seemed so much more adult than I felt. Particularly the ones who wore suits to work and were in charge of people and made big decisions.
I've never wanted to make big decisions, and while I've supervised people, it's not something I enjoy. One old boyfriend, with regard to my work preferences, said, "Basically, you want to be left alone to screen print in the corner."
Yeah, kind of.
The fact is, I have a job, but not a real career. I could be on a career path, but my hope is not to get to the top of my profession, but rather, get off it one day and just write. Which puts me in a not very career-driven position.
And so all this is leading up to the following: You'd think that when you got married, you'd feel grown up. And if that didn't happen, then certainly when you had a kid.
And yet, there are so many moments when I'm all, "Holy crap! I'm married! I'm not grown up enough to be married!"
I kind of elbow myself and say, "Can you believe it?"
And then I look down at sweet little Jordan and say, "AND, and you have a kid!"
Truthfully, I feel like I've done this without ever attaining the kind of grownupness that I thought I would.
But if it hasn't hit by now, when will it?