Today, he Girl in The Yellow Sweater turns the column over to a guest writer, Miss Natalie Bowles.

Last week, my mom (technically my step mom but that’s just details) wrote about how easy the transition from this tumultuous time back to normalcy would be for my generation.

Yeah, no.

Yes, we have been held up by the silliness of Tik Tok dances (of which I have memorized more than I care to admit), and the virtual presence of our friends. I understand her sentiment, but the truth is my generation has no normal to return to.

We are brand new adults, shiny faced and somewhat naive. We don’t know what happens next any more than you do, but we also don’t what “normal” we are striving to return to looks like.

It’s odd to think 100 short days ago I could go out and see my friends, catch a movie in theatres and end the night in a crowded, loud fast food place. Now, that seems unimaginable. In place of movies, we facetime the friends that are only a few miles away and binge watch classic TV shows. Instead of eating out, we’ve learned how to cook the same meal about 50 times. It’s the easiest learning curve many of us have ever had.

I am thankful for this vacation from what feels like an endless marathon towards a career, a family, a purpose. At the risk of sounding like a sunburned dad on a beach, I also need a vacation from my vacation. I love seeing the world be reinvented, but it is exhausting not knowing what that world will look like.

Now this exhaustion has paired with intense anxiety and a general feeling of listlessness. We are used to being “on” at all times, letting the world see us both online and in person. Now technology is our only respite from feeling completely out of sorts.

I have no control over the outcome of this pandemic, but it still feels like it lies completely on my shoulders to be preventative. I wear masks, wash my hands to the point that my palms are raw, and carry hand sanitizer at all times, but the feeling of anxiety and responsibility stays.

So here I am, a fresh-faced adult facing a world that is even newer than me. I am watching society take wobbly steps toward a new normal and having to take my own unstable steps and hoping neither of us fall face first. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, but also one that brings a sense of pride for surviving the shifting of the very ground we stand on.

I look forward to seeing all my friends in person at the grand opening of the “brand new world.” It’ll be a new start for all of us, and I can’t wait to discover what people paint on their new blank slates. I’ll even make 50 batches of my perfected mac and cheese to celebrate.

The Girl in The Yellow Sweater 

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