As a child, because I was quite literally a child, puberty was a horrific experience. I will lead by saying that I got my period in fifth grade as an ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD. I don’t know what God was thinking when he made me fertile at such a young age, but I honestly thought I was dying.
I remember panicking in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant that sold knockoff Chanel earrings and thinking, “Oh my God, Oh my God. What is happening right now? Help me, Jesus!”
I knew about periods from legends and myths passed down from mystical older girls, but I didn’t know they’d literally just appear out of thin air one day when you’re still thinking about Barbies and which Babysitters Club book you’ll read next.
The only other girl that had blossomed in the way that I had was my friend Audrey. She was like 5’9 in elementary school. We stood strong as a force of period-knowing experts, being that our fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Lanier suffered a mental breakdown that year.
The word Xanax kept being whispered by all the school moms. Needless to say, Mrs. Lanier couldn’t responsible for explaining periods to the class. Audrey and I were going to have to be the backbone for all the girls who would become women that year.
Present day thought:
I don’t know what Mrs. Lanier was taking, but I want some. All I remember about her class was singing a psychedelic song about babies being birthed in the circle of the sun, giving a new classmate a human car wash, and painting birds on repeat. Like seriously, I must’ve painted 20,000 birds within the span of three months. This might be a useful skill to have in case anyone ever holds a gun to my head and demands that I paint a bird on command. Not only will I be able to do it. I will be able to do it well.
Any way, back to fond memories of Hannah and Her First Puberty: my morbid version of an American Girl Doll story. Going through puberty for the first time was like a vortex of every human emotion haphazardly packed into a Super Plus Kotex box. Why did I suddenly like boys? Why didn’t they like me back? Why did my mom give me a book about sexual intercourse? Why did I suddenly feel the need to punch 97% of American citizens in the face?
The word “moody” became a popular term in the Miller household. I basically had Roid Rage on 45 different levels. I also hated my mom on a consistent basis, which thankfully has changed over the past few years. It seemed like we were always conflicting on one thing or another. I had a smart mouth and a sassy tone, which has died down as an adult, but emerges once every quarter full moon.
Thankfully, me and all my family members survived my first puberty fully intact. Everyone officially made it out alive.
So, the worst was over, right?
People don’t tell you about your second puberty. You know, the one that you experience as an adult.
Adult puberty goes a little something like dis:
So, when you’re in college, you’re partying it up, living the life, you’ve got student loans to pay for all the worries in the world. You don’t really study much, you just hang out with your friends, go to football games, and meet preppy frat boys named Hamilton or John Michael. Why do rich kids always have weird names?
Then you graduate and you begin to start feeling things changing. Wait, do I see a sparkle of disillusionment in your 23-year-old eyes? Bills start getting collected, you start wondering what the hell you’re doing at this lame ass job, and you fall for a fuckboy the first time.
Ah, yes, you’re becoming an adult now. Congrats!
It honestly feels like puberty all over again. You’re lost, confused, your brain is changing, you’re panicking, you eat 40 chicken nuggets in an Uber on the way back from LA, because you can.
Wait, that might just be me. Either way, it’s a lot to deal with.
Everything kind of feels topsy turvy when your figuring your life out, just as it did when you were a teenager. You start wondering why you’re so damn moody and hating the world right now. It feels like all these changes are never ending and you have absolutely nothing figured out, just when you think that you might have things figured out.
I guess you gotta grow up to glow up. I really don’t know what that means, but it sounds good.
Honestly, I’ve always believed that I’m meant for big things. I’m from a tiny tot town that no one escapes. In fact, my 7th grade science teacher once told me that I had an 80% chance of marrying someone that lived within 10 miles of me. I’ve made it a life goal to NEVER let that happen, so instead, I’ve only dated men from other countries. If you end up with someone who only lives 10 miles away from you, you’ve probably not had many life experiences, traveled, or lived on any kind of epic scale. Some people don’t want to live that way, but I do.
I’m destined for a big career, a big love, a big life. All three. I’m not willing to settle for just one or two. I’ve always felt this way. But recently, I’ve found myself getting frustrated and anxious that it’s not happening.
Dear God. I feel like I’m at Cafe Gratitude right now, which is this horrible vegan restaurant where you have to order your food as a daily affirmation. Their menu is filled with dishes like, “Humble, Thankful, Grateful,” etc.
Your waiter forces you to say things like, “I am… Honest,” as you order your food.
Only in California.
I always say that I want to open a restaurant called Cafe Attitude, where your affirmation is something more like: “I am… a Bitch” or “I am… Hungover.”
Back to me though.
I had to put myself on halt and actually think about why I was being so hard on myself. In the past year, I’ve made HUGE life changes such as: leaving Nashville, traveling the world twice, moving back to Alabama, and then moving myself out to California. When I started becoming more self aware, I realized that I am going through this like Mario Brothers “next level up” progression and it is hard.
Just as it had been when I was a kid.
I try to psychoanalyze myself and my actions a lot of the time. I’d rather change my mentality than stay in a perpetual state of puberty for the next 15 years.
Stick a jumbo tampon in that, LIFE!
Since then, I’ve woke up about an hour earlier than I was before, I’m getting a significant amount of rest and relaxation in, I exercise every day, I have time to study comedy, I get paid to write, I’m not getting paid to write a book, but I’m doing it any way, and I am next level adulting.
I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, do you know what that mean? She got her own house. She got her own car. 2 jobs, work hard, she a bad broad.
But seriously, have all of those things going for me.
The only thing missing is a partner who’s my match, which is something that is very hard for me. I know how fucking awesome I am and I don’t have any tolerance for settling. Nevertheless, I’m down for a long, weird, creative ride with someone who is just as artistic, self-loathing, and cool AF as I am.
Better to know me before I’m famous, any way.
I don’t want anyone riding my coattails.
Adult puberty is not fun. It actually kind of blows. But it was only when I stopped and realized what all was going right, rather than what was going wrong, that I was able to figure out that I’m pretty much in the clear.
Well, for now at least. Let’s circle back when I’m having a mid-life crisis.