Adulting is hard. Fucking hard. These past few weeks I’ve had to face many of the realities of adulting, and it sucks! I think the worst part of adulting is dealing with things alone, if you’re single that is (and according to the stats many of us millennials are, so I’m sure most of you can relate). Yes, I agree it feels great to accomplish something, especially something that you only saw “grownups” do, but it comes with a set of realities and fears that makes me wish I stayed 17 forever or could climb back into my mother’s womb, you feel me?
The biggest shock came when I realised had all the symptoms of COVID. I had to figure out what my medical aid’s COVID-19 policy is (do you also really hate that phrase by now?). I really appreciated my status as millennial at this point because my google skills gave me the answer very quickly, but I couldn’t help but wonder whether I could’ve skipped this step if I had just bothered to read the emails they sent me. I will never know now, will I? I suddenly feel like Alexis from Schitt’s Creek season 1 and 2; absolutely clueless.
Anyway, I had to call the doctor, got referred and had to get tested, ALONE. I was alone in the fear, shock, and uncertainty. Not to mention how uncomfortable it was. I wished I had someone to share it with. I sat in my car as I waited and turned to my trusty friend the dating app (this time it was Hinge and guys, I love this one, but just to be safe I also worked in some Tinder on the side 😉). How do you tell someone you actually want to meet, that you are waiting in line at the COVID testing centre, knowing they can un-match at any second?
Well…You don’t, but I could be distracted for a while even though I couldn’t share my fate.
After waiting for what felt like a lifetime with only my Mrs Anxiety for company, I was tested. My gag reflex is great (what can I say, practice makes perfect) so I was slightly impressed with myself at that moment, however driving away afterwards was horrible. I felt so unsure, proud of myself, but also pathetic and small – so very small.
Finally the real wait happened. I waited, alone. Isolated in my room in the flat. Fearing the worst – being in quarantine for two weeks. I did not know how I was going to survive that. Fortunately, I got the results the very next afternoon and cue the celebration because I tested negative! Hello wine!
It made me feel so alone. I know I’ve friends (great ones). I know I’ve family, but there is still loneliness in that. Can I please remind you, and myself, that even though we have people, we can be lonely. There is an intimacy in having a partner, someone who knows your heart and can see the emotions you try to hide. When you don’t have anyone like that when life gets fucking hard, loneliness takes their space. I felt that. Celebrating a negative result was not as fun alone as it would’ve been with a partner. Fact. At least Mrs Anxiety left quickly enough.
On 15 July it was 10 years since my dad died. And I was self-isolating at the time. So, I celebrated and mourned and felt the plethora of emotions that goes with a day like that, ALONE. I video called with a friend, but you know that’s not the same. I’m so over the Zoom/Skype/ Hangouts – craze I could die. Can we stop this now? Please? There’s something about going through pain and having someone hold you and letting you mourn with them that cannot be replaced by a video call.
Next, I decided it was high time I went to the gynaecologist. Okay this part of adulting I chose, but I had a good reason! It was my first time. I was terrified. Not of the exam, but of what he might tell me. What if I had cancer or I would never be able to have kids because my uterus was so miserably malformed? Or cysts! what if I had tennis balls on my ovaries?!
The exam started and I was so awkward. Lying in a little coat, that didn’t fit me properly, while my tummy yelled “freedom!”, with a man examining my boobs and vagina was not my idea of a good time (Although it could’ve been under different circumstances).
The pap smear was over in a tick and I couldn’t believe I had been so afraid. It was not that horrible. The most alarming thing had yet to happen.
I was beside myself when I saw him putting lube on a condom, what the heck… Turned out it was for the internal sonar, but I didn’t know that at the time. Can we please educate our friends more on this? I might have to talk to my psychologist about my immediate reaction, but if I was warned it might’ve saved me a lot of trauma and money. Though the doctor was great – so calming and gentle and – I did really felt at ease. While he gave me a little talk, though, I kept thinking it would’ve been great if someone was there holding my hand.
Walking out I felt like a real woman! Like I had accomplished something amazing and can now sit in grownup conversations with my queens and not feel like an immature little girl. I can move mountains and swim oceans. That feeling was quickly replaced by the realisation that the only action I had gotten in forever was from a doctor (not something I want to think about again) and ultimately the knowing that I was heading back to my flat, alone. I was adulting on my own. And adulting sucks.
I wish I had someone to share the excitement, fears, and anxiety with. It’s amazing when we accomplish something we were afraid of for so long. Do you remember the first time you called the doctor yourself or the first time you went to SARS, how great was the feeling of accomplishment? Both are crappy things, but you did it yourself so go ahead, give yourself a high five.
I love eating the loaf of ciabatta I baked or the new recipe I tried, but without someone to share it with it sucks. I believe in being able to be alone. I love the single life, but when it comes to these things, tough adult things, I miss having my person. Someone to share it with. Adulting sucks, but I believe it can be a little bit better when shared. Here’s to hoping it won’t be too long still.