1. About 2 weeks before any residency change, you are afflicted by a mysterious illness
“What illness?” you may ask. Such malady can go by many names. Paranoia, anxiety, stress-related-breakdown, etc. There are many symptoms of this mysterious ailment. For instance, your brain will feel detached from your body at all times, as if you are on “the drugs.” Other symptoms include shakiness, haziness, shifts between eating nothing and eating everything, and, most importantly, an unshakable certainty that you are about to die. Something is killing you from the inside out, you can just tell. Everyone says it’s fine, but it isn’t. It is not fine. But you also don’t know what it is. So you just tell everyone you love that you might be on your deathbed, and then go out for ice cream.
2. Your body develops a sleep-intolerance
I won’t go as far as to call it an allergy, but during a Kayla-Transition your body refuses to consume any Zzzz’s. During my current transition there have been several days where I was full of energy for well over 48 sleepless hours. Part of your sleeplessness comes from the insane string of thoughts that are flying through your head at any given moment. Another facet is the general stress and tension that never seem to leave your frenetic frame. On the bright side, the semi-hazy day after an all-nighter can come in handy. I procrastinate packing and hate thinking about the feelings associated with it, so I did all of my apartment pack-up between the hours of midnight and 3 p.m. The haze meant that my mind wasn’t capable of wandering, just trudging down that one dreary track with insane efficiency.
3. “This is so weird” becomes your catchphrase
Oh my poor, poor friends. They are so good and kind to me. Not only have I spent this transition chatting their ears off about my mysterious and deadly illness, I’ve also regaled them day after day with my catchphrase: this is so weird. It comes in a variety of forms, such as, “gahhh I feel so weird,” “isn’t this weird,” “AGH so weird,” etc. I may have a genius IQ and the Type-A efficient tendencies of a friggin CEO, but my mind apparently cannot wrap itself around the idea that I am moving from one residence to another. “Weird” isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life. It is my temporary identity. It is everything. Well, technically I’m always weird, but I’m especially connected to that weirdness during this lifestyle shift. GOD, you guys, this is so damn weird…
4. ALL THE EMOTIONS
Over the past two weeks I have introduced myself to RuPaul’s Drag Race. Guess how many times I remember crying? Four. At least four. Likely more. Have you been sobbing at kids cartoons? Finding your laughter a little too manic? Looking at your friends as if their faces are the most breathtaking works of art, like they should be the models for a new claymation Christmas movie? Take a deep breath. In. Out. You aren’t pregnant. (probably). You’re just channelling your inner transitional me. Everything is scary. Everyone in your life is a precious gift. You just want to bake a buffet of cookies and pies for all of your friends and acquaintances, then once they’ve gone home you want to demolish whatever is left with a bag of Franzia in one hand and a wad of tissues in the other. Nothing like sobbing while you scarf, I know.
The thing is, though for some reason people like to pretend that this isn’t true, emotions are good. Great, even. Without them, we wouldn’t have art. A world without art is a world that I don’t want to live in. And the world is flat, as my father likes to say. With Skype and Megabus and Snapchat, we will always be able to keep in close contact with those people who really matter.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile, because now you can go do like Brain and TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORRRRLD!