Pay no attention to the girl behind the curtain…

6 Mar

Sometimes life is flying by at such a rapid pace that you don’t have time to stop and think.  Whoosh.  And it’s gone.  Other times, I suddenly realize, “Oh my God. I’m an adult. How the hell did THAT happen?” My brain starts to let that reality settle in a little bit. I’ll be 40 in a few short years. I start thinking back to when my mom turned 40. Oh crap, that’s ME now. Then the denial starts. Oh no, this can’t be. It wasn’t that long ago that I was a teenager wearing acid washed jeans, listening to Def Leppard, and trying desperately to tease my bangs and shellac my hair in unnatural ways. I’ve gotten rid of the jeans and the Aqua Net. (Thank God.)  Honestly, not the music. And not the feeling that I’m still that teenager. Or at least an early 20-something.  With everything still ahead of me.

I’ve been married 10+ years. I have an amazing kid. I have a mortgage and a 401k and dental insurance. And business cards. People come to me at work and actually expect me to know something. I feel like I’m just pretending to be a grown up. Masquerading as someone that has responsibilities and a career. Someone that needs to seriously consider dying the gray hair. Don’t they know that I’m not really an adult? My bosses trust me to research complex medical issues. To actual comprehend it and give useful information to them. To be able to work independently; to analyze, organize and whip a file into shape. I train new paralegals in our department.  I have to admit, it was a little nauseating when a paralegal was hired that was younger than me. I’ve worked in a law firm since I was 17. I was always the youngest. Now the new associates look like 14 year olds. 

But I still feel like that unsure teenager. I see old friends on Facebook, and I can easily remember our friendship and what those days were like. Then I realize I don’t really know them anymore. We’ve both had years of experiences and moments between then and now that have changed us. Or maybe just them. Because I’m still me. I don’t feel like I’ve really changed that much. I still feel awkward in most social situations, but I know better now when to hold my tongue. And I know to trust myself more, to give myself more credit. I’ve still love to turn the music up loud and sing in the car and play air drums on the steering wheel. Except now I don’t care if someone sees me. And sometimes I’m singing along to a kids song with my son in the backseat. It’s not Def Leppard, but damn if I can’t get that Imagination Movers song out of my head. I still get a little jump in my stomach when I kiss my husband. Except instead of long, dreamy make out sessions, it’s a quick instant.  Usually right before he goes in one direction and I go in another.  Packing lunches, paying bills, taking out the trash.   

So when do I finally feel like a grown up?  You’d think by now I would have caught on.  You’d think I wouldn’t be shocked by the wrinkles showing up.  I’m thrilled when I get carded to buy wine.  (It so rarely happens.  Getting carded, I mean.  Not the wine.)   I don’t want to be a stodgy, boring, stiff GROWN UP.  But I wonder if it will ever feel like this is really MY life.

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7 Responses to “Pay no attention to the girl behind the curtain…”

  1. Kathy March 7, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    This blog could have easily been written by me. It is exactly how I feel, even after 25 years in the law field. I am waiting for someone to say, hey you really dont know what youre doing, even though I do. lmao. Thanks! Great blog!

  2. Another ParaLegal March 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Oh Mom-Alegal! I can so relate. 40 has come and gone for me but I sure as hell don’t know what it or being a grown up is supposed to feel like. In my mind’s eye I am still 20 something and ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, I am reminded rather rudly that I am not 20 something anymore. Case on point – my “baby” just turned 18 last month, my oldest turned 20 this month and I just got an email that our graduating class is planning the 25 year reunion(gasp!). Not to mention all the freakish shit going on with my body! WTH! Don’t my eyes realize we have another 30 plus years?!?! Won’t mention all the “other” parts that are losing their minds!

  3. Practical Paralegalism March 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    I’m looking at 50 like you’re looking at 40, and yep, I still have those “Why do I have to be the grown up?” moments. Every once in a while I’ll stand in the house that has just my name on the deed (and the mortgage) and feel like I’m seven years old and just *playing* house. Other times I’m all, “Go, ME!”

    I recommend loads of sun screen, a good colorist, and box wine 😀

  4. Cher March 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    I agree with the others…it’s as if you read my mind! I often wonder when I will “feel” grown up because most of the time I still “feel” like a middle-schooler; not in an immature way, but more in the way that I feel like all of life is ahead of me. I certainly don’t “feel” 36, and I’m betting that I won’t “feel” 40 when that arrives all too soon, either. Makes you wonder if our parents feel the same way.

    I understand about the friends, too. I have friended only certain people on Facebook from high school because, honestly, with some, there has just been too much time to pass between us. We’re just too different. It’s like I don’t know them at all, and when I did seems like a different lifetime. It’s very strange.

    Nice to know I’m not the only one in the “when the hell did I grow up & why doesn’t it feel like it” boat. 🙂

  5. Momalegal March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Ladies, it’s nice to know I’m in good company! I’ll never forget the day I realized that when I furrowed my brow (a/k/a scowled at my husband/son. Or my boss behind his back), the lines between my eyebrows didn’t go away. *sigh* Fun times. Boxed wine…or as Rants From Mommyland calls it, a T-box. (usually procured from Target.) I prefer “Mommy’s juice box.” 🙂

  6. Paralegal Crossing March 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    I know what you mean. At 48, I’ve finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I still feel the same as I did in high school. Oh sure, I can’t stay up and party until dawn anymore, but I still feel like a teenager deep down in my heart!

    • Momalegal March 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      I don’t think I even WANT to stay up and party until dawn anymore! 🙂

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