Last night I went out with my friends for the first time in a long time. It’s been almost 3 months since I’ve donned high heels and painted my face for a night on the town. I had high hopes, thinking that maybe this time, this one out of the last few would be different. Maybe this time I would be able to let loose and recapture some of the care free fun we used to have together. But at the end of the night, just like the last few I was silently clenching my jaw and talking myself out of driving home and never looking back again. I don’t know when the exact time was when I no longer found myself laughing until I cried, pouring drink after drink and stumbling home at the end of the night with a sense of being young and close to friends I never wanted to leave. But at some point that fun turned into annoyances and a sense of wasting my life being wasted in a wasteful bar. I have spent the last two years of my life drunk off my ass, taking the world as it came, staying awake until the sun rose above the trees, sleeping all day and waking up just in time to get ready and do it all over again. And quite simply, without any poetic words or digging under the surface as to why, I discovered a while ago that I am over it. The same times that brought me so much fun before, brings me anxiety and an unsettling sense of sadness now. As my friends are struggling to stand straight and put a two word sentence together I find myself checking my watch and thinking of all the things I’d rather be doing now.
For a long time I have struggled with what it means to be young. I ended my last relationship so that I could live in my twenties like a twenty year old should instead of living the life of a forty year old that I somehow fell into before I was even allowed to legally drink. At that time living in my twenties meant to me drinking and partying and staying out until times you couldnt tell your mother about. At that time I wanted nothing more then to abandon my warm couch with my chosen family to escape into the night with friends old and new gathered in a dim bar that would deliver fuzzy memories and forgotten stories. I know now that that deep seated need to get out and have “fun” was based on the unknown. I did things I had never done before, things I maybe shouldnt have done, things that were questionable but through it all I dont regret a thing. But now, as a 23 year old woman my idea of living young is changing. It’s evolving and it is still a challenging concept to me at times.
This morning I felt the youngest and happiest that I have in a long time. Today as I laid in bed with my honey and the early afternoon light seeped in through the blinds casting light on our bare skin as we laughed and talked in a smoke filled room I felt young and alive. Sometimes I feel there is an internal battle going on with myself as to whether or not I allow myself to sink into a happy fulfilling relationship, leaving behind the life that I’ve lived for the past two years. Is it doing a disservice to myself and everything I worked so hard for if I allow myself to be consumed by a man that I want to love more then anything instead of staying strong on a path of independence? I know to be careful, not to make him my whole world. Not to forget all the other so important components that make me who I am. But I have come so far and have earned the right to put 100% into him and this relationship. To give it the best chance, to allow myself to be happy and surround myself only with the people who care and love and support and bring positivity to my life. Change is always challenging for me but this time I am not scared. This time I am older and more confident with a greater sense of myself to know that it is ok to leave one life behind for a better one. If you are not constantly changing and evolving and seeking out better for yourself then you will just lay stagnant and one day I will blink my eyes and I will be drunk in a bar with the same people but my hair will be shorter and my skin will be looser and my butt will have fallen a few inches south. So I will not feel guilty for leaving that life behind to start a new one with infinite possibilities ahead. So I will find new ways to feel young, to feel like I am living the life I should be at my age. Experiences like the one this morning smoking green before the clock has hit 12 noon laughing between kisses with my honey, smile on my face, heart so full it could spill over.