A Case of the 23s

“Um, I’m 23.”
“Ohhh, I’m sorry.”
That exchange happened today.

“Damnnn white girl, back dat ass UP.”
So did that. I digress…

Today was a bad day. I broke out into hives around 1:30am last night and woke up every hour on the hour after passing out around 2am. At 6am, I thought it was time to get up so I hopped out of bed and started getting ready. Twenty minutes of makeup and number-crunching in my head, I realized I didn’t need to be up until 7am, so I took a cat-nap and frantically re-awoke around 7:45am. I managed to pull myself together and was two trains into my commute when I whipped out today’s amNewYork. The entire paper was less than stellar, which was gravely disappointing, but it wasn’t until I saw my daily horoscope rating of a 6/10, that I knew I was in for trouble.

I have been reverse commuting a few days a week for the past two weeks to a lovely small town I like to call New RocHELLe. In efforts to not make the description longer than need-be, it hasn’t been awesome. Every day gets a little better, but the work I’m doing almost feels like an entirely new job and the additional commute is honestly treacherous (P.S. I’m up to three unintentional Taylor Swift song references so far, if anyone’s counting).

I get to work and blah, blah, blah. *Cue almost mental breakdown* I go to lunch. I call my mom and complain. I come back to work and have a real mental break down. *Cue embarrassing crying session at the new job* It gets a little better. I call my mom on my way home and have yet another mental breakdown. I travel home. I make dinner. I receive encouraging text messages from my boss. *Cue ugly-crying* *Cue calling mom* *Cue ugly-crying about my boss’ niceness to my mom* I work-out, it relieves some endorphins and I come to my senses about all the crying. I come home and blog. The end.

Excerpt from my last cry-session with my mom:
“I don’t know, we all have those days. Are you on your period?”
“Are you still….getting that?”

That was my mom indirectly asking me if I was pregnant MID-BREAKDOWN, MIND YOU. Like I said, It was a bad day.

As you may have noticed, nothing of extreme importance happened today, but it was MY BRAIN/BODY’S INHERENT MISSION to make sure I had a terrible time doing all of it. I had no control over my emotions, and nothing pisses me off more than A) lack of control and B) having emotions. Why was I so miserable when nothing was actually wrong? Why was I completely hysterical all day and WHAT PART OF MYSELF allowed CRYING in the workplace?? The only sensical answer: I had a contracted a case of the 23s.

Against common belief, 23 is NOT that age BETWEEN the time you’re young and crazy and the time you’re old and wise–it is the age you are BOTH. At 23, you almost constantly tell your 30-year-old friends, “your skin looks great!” while mumbling under your breath, “for a 30-year-old.” At 23, you hang out with your friends who just graduated college, and think, “a 40+ hour work-week is going to slap some sense into that lazy idiot.” At 23, you look at your peers who are married and with children and think, “I couldn’t imagine being with one person for the rest of my life.” At 23, you see someone who brings a different person home each weekend and wonder, “how many STDs must that guy have by now?!” At 23, if you are anything like me, you are hard-working, a little judgmental and mind-numbingly afraid that any small decision you make might impact the big-picture of your life. At 23, it might; but it also might at 32, at 45, or at 71.

What was wrong with me today? I cannot directly answer that question. Was it because I forgot my coffee in my apartment upon leaving for work? Or because yesterday was my best friend’s one-year wedding anniversary while my latest hookup was in a hallway of a piano bar with a Fios salesman? Or because I’m 23 and if life had gone my way, I would have been the world first Popette (female pope, duh) by 25? I can’t rightly answer the question. I do however, know deep down that my 23ness is both the problem and the solution.

I am 23, but I am also ONLY 23. I don’t have it figured out just yet, and I can only hope that with some more time, I will. I am only 23, and I live a pretty good life. I have a fantastic job with an amazing mom who puts up with my 35 phone calls of hysterical crying-fits per day, a pretty cool boss who at the very least pretends to care about my well-being and some amazing friends who never hesitate to lend a shoulder to cry on–even from three time zones away. Some days, being a 23-year-old girl creeps up on you, and being a 23-year-old girl just plain sucks. But as long as what the LGBT community tells me holds some truth, it gets better.


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