It happened slowly. So slowly that it almost swept over me- gradually, unnoticeably. But when I did realize it, it was far too late. The damage had been done. My life had been changed irrevocably and I was left feeling violated, robbed. The memory still brings unbearable pain. But okay, fine, I’ll tell the story anyway.
It was an ordinary evening in late October. I was cozy in my bed, probs reading my inbox full of fan mail or scream-crying at all the Sallie Mae bill reminders. Either way, I had plenty on my plate, so I decided to relax and innocently watch some Netflix and that is when tragedy struck.
I had typed into my web browser the single letter “N” and instead of Netflix opening, the New York Times did………..
.Why is this so spooky you ask? Did it happen on Halloween?
No, it did not. And I shall explain.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the New York Times. It’s a reliable source of news and I am rather fond of the array of topics and the writing style of the journalists. So, it’s not the NYT that has me so troubled, it’s the implications that follow the NYT. You see what happened is, I spent more time reading the New York Times than watching The Mindy Project or Grey’s Anatomy for the 12th time. Do you get what that means yet?!
That means my interests have expanded from things like giggling with Mer & Christina or drooling over McDreamy, to things like politics, immigration, and the objective effects of climate change. That means my cognitive development has reached maturation.
THAT MEANS I’M OLD.
I just find it difficult to fathom that I am already embarking on my adulthood journey because I swear I am still a kid. My childish ways are still prevalent and they often inconveniently emerge in the midst of me getting my adulthood swag on. I think the coexistence of the two is commonly referred to as the struggle bus.
I also think I have been regularly hopping on and off of it for a while now.
I also think Britney Spears is the original Queen B but that is beside the point.
Now it’s November, the best month of the year, and my 23rd birthday is rapidly approaching. When I was a small little wee child (let’s say eight), I thought 23 was far off into the future. I thought that I would have a steady career and a house filled with offspring that I reproduced myself. I just thought those things appeared, that that was how life worked. Thankfully, that’s not the case.
But still, all of a sudden 23 is here and instead of a white picket fence, it has taxes and fines, and a million types of insurance payments and some more school as the cherry on top it all. This conflict of trying to function in society when adulthood terrors collide with the former non-adulthood joys is apparently a problem for most people my age.
Therefore, I shall coin this phenomenon, Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman Syndrome (NGNYWS) and hope that my girl Britney doesn’t sue me. So I have bestowed the privilege upon myself to compile an alphabetical list of common signs and symptoms of NGNYWS and what they may entail for a person.
Here are the ABCs of Not a Girl Not Yet a Woman Syndrome.
A) Adult: You stand among them. You learn among them. You enjoy conversations among them. But sometimes you feel like you are child undercover because you still impulsively gasp and scream with delight when they stop a meeting for a lunch break.
B) Bills: they are everywhere! And not the ones with Franklin’s face on them. The ones that say “FINAL NOTICE, RESPOND IMMEDIATELY blahblahblah.”
C) Coffee: You live and breathe for it. It is your main source of fuel to get you through the days of terror and responsibilities. But you are not yet adult enough to drink it without spilling it all over your white, wrinkled blouse.
C also stands for credit card. All of a sudden you have a couple of those things and they are actually yours. Not the one your parents gave you in case of an extreme emergency. For the record Mom, Wendy’s Frostys are an extreme emergency! So are burritos and corn dogs.
C can be for commitment, too. You run away at any sign of commitment: purchases over $50, pets, boys or anything that breathes really. But that’s okay, because you are a victim of Not a Girl Not Yet a Woman Syndrome and so scientifically speaking, it’s really not your fault.
D) Dinner: Dinner usually involves a healthy three-course meal of whatever you can make/afford. Frozen pizza? Sure! Peanut butter sandwich? Yum! A can of baked beans and half of a pecan pie, why not!
E) E-mail: Your e-mail is flooded with a lovely mixture of your subscriptions to funny YouTube accounts and subject headings of “Financial Literacy Workshops.” It is also a main form of correspondence among colleagues but sometimes a little *~*~* from your middle school days accidentally gets slipped into the message somewhere.
F) France: You may all of a sudden have the urge to go to France. This symptom is less researched or understood, but from my Instagram feed it seems like many NGNYWers have experienced and acted upon that urge. It is also the first thing I could think of for f.
G) Gas: You stop running out of gas on a bridge in a snowstorm or on a highway in the middle of the night. You see your tank approaching empty and you say, “Hmm, I better get some gas.” This symptom is often called “learning from past mistakes.”
H) Hair: Your hair just so happens to be getting older as well. The blonde color (colour, for you Canadian readers) that was present in your younger years has now faded into a darker brown. Attempts to save the blonde hair range from spending copious amounts of money getting highlights to rubbing your roots with drugstore bleach until your hair turns orange. Don’t do the latter folks.
I) I don’t want to think of one for I.
J) Just about ready to wrap this blog up.
N) Not kidding, this blog really needs to end.
O) Okay, so we didn’t make it through the alphabet but that’s fine cause there may be a part II of this blog. I will not guarantee or make promises though because that requires commitment.
I suppose I will admit it. I was being a tad dramatic, only for theatrical effect though. In reality, being a young adult is kind of fun and freeing and not as tormenting as one would think. Being a young adult is, dare I say it, kind of nice. The adults that have been adulting for longer are wise and welcoming and may even cheer you on as you learn the little dance of life. And often, you’ll realize they are just like you, mostly making shit up. Oh, and I do sometimes make better dinners than those listed under the D section. But yeah, moral of the story is this whole aging thing is happening ready or not. So you might as well *~*embrace it*~* taxes and all.