This week has been my spring break, and I have been celebrating by sleeping in, watching Dr Who on Netflix, and eating way too much junk food. It may sound dismal, but the truth is that it’s been just the sort of holiday I’ve been craving. I have, of course, left the house on occasion; but the few attempts at enjoying the outside world have been surprisingly awkward. I find myself shutting down, while my outward persona displays an unexpected desire to fidget, apologize, and in all other senses hide, as if it is keeping some sort of secret. The only problem is, I don’t know what that secret is. Do I feel ashamed of my hermit-like behavior? Am I expecting some sort of reprimand for keeping my life in stall? Or is the secret something sub-conscious, and therefore unknown to my waking mind?
The truth is that I have been feeling ashamed. I’m not sure what exactly brought it on, but I have suddenly become keenly aware of the fact that I am perhaps the only 22 year-old in existence with absolutely no sexual experience to speak of. The virgin confession is awkward enough, what with just about every person who procures it feeling the inexplicable desire to offer me some sage advice about either doing or not doing it as soon as possible. But then there is also the fact that I have never kissed anyone, never had a boyfriend or girlfriend, and never really experienced a mutual attraction. When I make a new friend, there is always that nagging in the back of my mind that tells me that soon enough, they will ask me about my experiences, and I will have to tell them I’ve had none. They never seem to mind, but it’s still… embarrassing. It makes me vulnerable in a way that I can barely stand, and I always end up feeling like the awkward kid sister, no matter how nice the other person is about it.
It is with confessions like these that I learn of my own abusive tendencies towards myself. I realize that it is all in my head and that the only person who really cares is me. But be that as it may, I often feel like the Rip Van Winkle of sex, a girl who has unwittingly slept through her own adolescence. And in many ways, I am reminded that I have truly missed the boat on a lot of experiences. The promise of a first kiss seems to have disappeared entirely, being replaced by suggestions of sexual encounters that won’t last the morning. And, as flattering as that can sometimes be, I find myself disillusioned and bitter. And I wonder who to blame if not myself. I am hidden. I hide. I barely know myself, and I won’t have anyone discovering or defining that self until I do. This cocoon is getting crowded. But I fear that even with this much troubled sleep and involuntary transformation, I am still the same little girl I always was.
So how much longer, I wonder, until I am ready to fly? For now, all I really want to do is sleep.