This bit comes from her journal entry of May 22nd 1986, during her year of study at the University of Bradford, in the north of England.
I have a theory about success which comforts me a great deal. Looking back through my family’s history, I can see the various trends in the women: my great grandma Wilkening was a strong, sturdy, hard working, and loving woman, but her downfall was religion. She let it rule her life. My grandma “onna” was a hard-worker who led a somewhat “fast” life (back then) by drinking, smoking, neglecting her daughter, and getting divorced, but her downfall was booze. My mom was a trend-setter by surviving her patchwork up-bringing and wanting to go to college, but her downfall was getting pregnant with me.
Now I have set the family-trend by getting a college education and traveling at a young age, but maybe that is all I will accomplish. I haven’t discerned my downfall yet, but maybe I’m not destined to write books and do anything out-of-the-ordinary. Maybe that destiny belongs to my child. That thought comforts me when I fear that all my scribbling will come to nothing. I can imagine that all of us, the women in my maternal line, possess(ed) great ambition, but are premature in our desires. My mom wanted to do the kinds of things that I am doing. Maybe my child will do the things that I want to do. On and on in an “improving progression.”
Lisa at the University of Bradford, "C" floor kitchen sink. Photo by Kevin Colling