I remember it like it was yesterday: I’d come home from a day of playing at school, watch Dragon Ball Z, then resume playing with friends next door. I was so ignorant to the reality that awaited me, but it was bliss. I think that time of my life made me now understand what people mean when they say ‘ignorance is bliss’.
I had no expectations, no life-changing exams to study for, no bills to pay; it was just simple and beautiful. Ironically, my biggest wish back then was to be a grown-up. Like, I wanted so much to have a wallet with cool plastic cards tucked in the different sections, to drive pass my friends in a real car and do that signature two touch of the car horn to say ‘hey what’s up’ and most of all, to buy into those discussions the adults would have when they told us kids to go in the yard and play.
And I got it. Well some of it, but enough to make me feel like I got my wish. Am I upset that I grew up? No. I’m actually excited and happy because it’s such a crazy ride that you merit from after each checkpoint. But growing up is tricky, it takes place in stages and you’ll have a hard challenge if you don’t know them ahead of time. There’s Stage 1: the beginning of Infancy to the beginning of adolescence, Stage 2: the beginning of adolescence to the beginning of adulthood, Stage 3: the beginning of adulthood to the beginning of old age and Stage 4: your lonesome death.But there’s this fifth stage that happens, but we’re wired mentally to expect four stages that we never see it coming. I call it the fifth STAGE OF AWKWARDNESS
It’s that weird, confusing and often times depressing stage that happens right between the end of stage 2 and the beginning of stage 3. These are some indicators, I’ve come up with through observation and study, to help you understand this stage:
- YOUR MAJOR SUDDENLY MAKES NO SENSE TO YOU: By now you would’ve realized your strengths vs your weaknesses and stress yourself daily trying to remember what the hell you were thinking in high school when you chose to do this. After accepting the mistake, you become eager to do a second degree as well, and have a million bookmarks for colleges to apply for in your Google Chrome browser.
- RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOW A BIG DEAL TO YOU: Back in the day you just wanted someone to tongue kiss, hug in public places and say you went to the movies with last week. Now, you’re different. Now you’re too focused for the flirtation-ships or situation-ships. You’re thinking to make a long-term, sustainable, compatible union with someone who is also serious about life. It will often times feel like there’s an emotional tug of war inside your chest, between what you wanted back in the day and what you want for yourself tomorrow
- YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM/HIM/HER: For most of you, by now your parents/mom/dad should start showing signs of aging and you’ve probably thought about losing them/him/her at least 15 times. Every mother’s day and father’s day suddenly has renewed meaning to you, and your effort into celebrating it is exaggerated. If the feels are really intense, you might even find yourself starting to pick up the slack with your chores, and stop doing the things that cause conflicts with you and them/him/her.
- YOUR SOCIAL LIFE UNDERGOES SUFFERING: By now it should have dawned on you that you wasted a lot of money back in the day going to those parties that were each no different from each other: basically the same people, same price, same drinks,almost the same music but just different label. This propels you into possibly the biggest saving frenzy of your life. You’ll find yourself repeating clothes the most in this stage and selling some stuff you realized you had lying around just depreciating in value (maybe your Xbox) just to give your asset column a bit of face-lift.
- YOU REALIZE YOU’RE THINKING INDEPENDENTLY BUT LIVING DEPENDENTLY: This is probably the most awkward part of this stage. This is where you wanna be spending your own money, in your own way and on your own time but realize it’s still your parents money. You want to get a part-time job, but you’ve already wasted your time doing this degree so you don’t want to risk the quality of the final product by dissecting your time like that. You’ll eventually find something to do that seems to make money, then start pretending as if you don’t need your parents’/mom’s/dad’s money, because your ‘hustle’ is bringing in a ‘modest’ profit.
There are some other indicators, but I know how hard it is to read my stuff so I’d never make it longer than this. But these are some of the most common realities among people playing this stage of life. If none of what you just read makes any sense to you, then it can mean one of two things: either you’re an adolescent or an adult. Whichever one it is enjoy it while it lasts, because the next stage for you is either what you just read or arthritis and granny diapers. If this does speak to you though, then my advice to get through it is to just embrace it and all that it brings, know that it’s just a temporary stage and be patient.