Daily post: When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?
When I was 14, I had a job working at Sears in, of all places, the hardware department. I was part of something called the Teen Council which was basically a cover for a group of girls of every size who would model the latest “fashion” twice a year. (I say “fashion” tongue in cheek because even then, Sears was not exactly leading edge in fashion.) Every Teen Council member also worked in the store and I think the assignments were given out based on size – size 0 and 2 probably worked in jewellery or something. As the girl representing the size 14 teens, I guess I was deemed more suitable for hardware. Best part – they had HUGE photos of us placed at an entrance, laid out, you got it, according to size. The size 16 girl and I literally were on an opposite wall to the others, as if, well, we needed more room. I did quit that gig before my year was up. It was just one more place where skinny girls ruled and I didn’t quite fit in.
But, I digress.
As I rode the bus to work one day, I remember two thoughts that launched me from kid to adult: I remember seeing a woman struggling with a baby in a stroller and thinking, “I’m going to remember seeing her all day and she doesn’t even know I exist” and I realized most people don’t know anything about anyone else and I am not all that big a deal. This was not actually a pity party thought, but rather a moment when I realized the enormity of grown up life where I was not the centre of the universe.
This was a long bus ride and as I pondered the thought of being grownup, I also realized how fast time was going. It felt like the realization only sped things up more.
Maybe those realizations had something to do with why I quit my Sears job: there didn’t seem to be enough time to be in a position where feeling bad about myself was part of the experience. That’s a grown up lesson I’m still learning.